10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Social Marketing
Whether you’re just getting a social marketing campaign underway or you’re in search of new inspiration on how to get the best use of your social platforms, gaining valuable information these days is as simple as looking at your mobile device.
Just as social media has given us a look into the lives of our friends and neighbours, it can be just as useful for businesses interested in getting a better sense of their competitors, how they market themselves and how you may be able to stand out against them.
So how does your social media strategy stack up against your competitors?
Here are ten things to look at when you’re studying a rival’s social media marketing and consider how you can offer something different.
What Content Do They Produce?
We’re living in the age of content which means, with respect to social media, your followers are going to constantly want to be given more of it to consume. So which content is best for your business to create? The answer may have to do less with what the kind of content than who the content speaks to. 63% of content created for marketing purposes is tailored specifically towards a buyer’s persona. So if you don’t know who your customers are maybe your competitors do. Take a look at the kinds of things they’re creating and see if it may be a fit for your brand or if there may be a better way.
What Content Is Best Liked
If you can’t determine which type of content is best for your business or you’re struggling with putting a game plan into place for what type of content to create, you may be able to look to your competitors to see not just what they’re creating, but what types of their content is liked and engaged with the most. See how your competitors network interact with their content and use this as to guide your decisions on what to create.
Which Platform Is Their Favourite?
Not all social platforms are equal. While almost a fifth of the world’s population is on Facebook, Instagram boasts a much higher per-follower engagement rate than all others. But which is best? Certainly the content you choose to create may dictate a preferred platform, but most social media networks have reached a stage of maturity where they speak to all age and gender groups. Even Instagram and Snapchat, still the darlings of younger users, have started to broaden their base of users. So yes, your content strategy may dictate a heavier use of one network than another, but you’re likely going to have to be aware of how to use all of them.
Do They Use Each Platform Differently?
Just as you may want to use your social strategy to stand out from your competitors, so too must you consider whether you should apply different strategies across platforms. While each network has strengths and weaknesses with respect to how it allows your content to be accessed and engaged with, a decision has to be determined whether you repurpose the same content across all channels or use each specific channel differently. While the latter may require more effort, it’s possible that it may be the best way to reach customers.
How Often Do They Post?
Before you put together your content calendar, take a peek at the posting habits of your competitors, taking a peek not only what and how often they post, but whether it’s on a schedule. By gauging when your competitors post you can shift the timing of your posts to either appear around the same times or at times when your competitors are silent.
How Do They Interact With Their Customers?
Knowing that a majority of customers have said they would unfollow brands if they found their posts irritating, not only is what you post important, but so too is how you engage with those who follow you. Social media is at its best when you can convert your followers not only into customers but those who feel a part of your brand’s community. Interaction is vital to building this rapport and you should constantly be checking in to see how whether any of your competitors are pulling off this tricky balance.
How Large Is Their Audience?
Building your community is going to take time. And while most companies will have a sense of their market and their place within it, getting to know the social reach your competitors have will give you not just a glimpse into the success of their social campaigns but a feel for the value of their social network when compared to other types of marketing.
How Do They Distinguish Their Brand?
Sure, you have competitors, but never forget that your business is a competitor for them. By seeing how they distinguish their brand online not only will you get a chance to differentiate your social offerings, it will give you a better sense of how your competitors view their own offerings. While this should offer some insight into how to approach your social strategy, it could offer even deeper thought into how to shape larger business and marketing strategies.
Do They Offer Opportunities For Conversion
Of all the marketing channels available, social media undoubtedly is best for building a relationship with potential consumers. But though those in your social network may be willing to come back for more and more content, unless you’re eventually converting that traffic into sales, the effort put into the creation of content may start to feel wasted. By seeing how and what your competitors offer to their social followers in terms of promos, sales or other opportunities to expand the relationship beyond solely a content consumer you will gain a sense of how to build your own plan for conversion and get a deeper sense of the health of your competitor’s online business.
Are They Using Social To Complement Customer Service?
Nearly 60% of Americans expect better customer service through their social media accounts and by searching your competitors social feeds you should be able to get the feeling whether they’re succeeding or failing along those lines. While there may not be any specific lessons that you can take away, you can get an appreciation for how your competitors treat their customers and perhaps, learn how you can treat them even better.