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How To Research Your Social Media Competitors? Discover 7 Powerful Steps Now!

nehachaudhary29 profile image ailsa butter ・9 min read

Spying on your competitors might sound unethical to you, but it is an effective strategy that top companies use to increase their conversion and sales. As you are reading this blog now, someone might be spying on your social media activity.

When it comes to social media, we all know that it has become the central platform for businesses to promote their brands. 

According to Buffer, Around 73% of business enterprises believed that social media is “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for them.

Millions of brands are using social media to increase their sales, so to make social media platforms your promotion tools, it’s essential to have a solid social media presence.  

There are various strategies to boost your online presence on your social media. Researching social media competitors is one of them.

Why Competitor Research Is An Effective Strategy?

Competitor research is a proven way to determine who your competitors are and their strengths and weaknesses. It also gives you an idea of the strategies they are following and what's working or not working for them.

Instead of searching for new ideas that might have a risk of not working, it's an ideal choice to go for the market strategies that have already worked for your opponents. So, a social media competitor analysis gives you the following benefits.

  • It helps you understand which brands are your competitors on social media.
  • It helps you know their target platform.
  • It enables you to seize their social media strategies
  • It allows you to understand the type of content they are posting to engage users.
  • Identify social threats to your business.
  • It helps you find flaws in your social media strategy
  • It lets you know about thSearch on Social Media Platforms influencers working with your rivals.

How To Do Social Media Competitive Analysis?

Here is the step-by-step process of doing a social media competitive analysis.

#Step 1. Find Out Your Competitor

The first and vital step is finding out who your competitors are because if you don't have the proper knowledge of your competitor, then all your research will go in vain.

Search on Social Media Platforms

Since the most popular platforms for brand promotion are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I'm going to restrict myself to these platforms only.

Facebook

One of the practical and easiest ways to find your competitors is to use Facebook search. Type keyword in the Facebook search option that your consumers would write and pick the top 5 competitors from there. 

For example, If you have a pet supply store, you would Google "pet supplies," and it will show the top companies in that business.

Facebook Insights

Facebook insights allow you to see your competitor's weekly activity. You can see the latest post they published and the engagement they received on that post. 

The next thing is to check which post received the most engagement; Since the target audience and your competitors are the same, this helps you understand the type of content your audience likes.

Instagram

You can find your competitors' accounts on Instagram by doing the hashtag’s search.

Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter also allows you to find your competitor by typing keywords in the search option. 

Twitter also allows you to do a hashtag search to find your competitors. Pick the hashtag relevant to your niche, and Twitter will tell you which brands are using those hashtags are most.

#Step 2. Collect data using the analysis tool
After you created a list of your competitors, the next step is to collect information about their social media profiles using analytics tools.

  • Facebook Analytics

 Facebook analytics tool helps you to keep track of your competitors. Facebook “pages to watch” allows you to compare your competitor's total pages' likes, followers, total posts shared this week, total engagement this week with your own page.

How to use Facebook Pages To Watch?

Go on Insights from your Facebook Page, click Overview, and then scroll down the page to Add pages. The next step is to add at least 5 of your competitors.
Facebook suggests new pages automatically; these pages are based on your previous search. If you add those suggested pages to your pages to the watch list,  Facebook will notify them that they are added to the watch list, but Facebook will not reveal your identity.

Note: To use the Facebook Pages to Watch feature, you have to be the page's admin, which has at least 100 likes.

So. if your page doesn’t have 100 likes than you can use the following tools to do competitors research on Facebook:

  • Sprout Social
  • Sociograph.io
  • Quicksearch

  2. Instagram Analytics

You can use Instagram analytics tools to see your competitor's top posts, engagement growth, user interaction, hashtags used, best times to post, and many more.

Some of the best Instagram analytics tools are:

  • SocialFox
  • Sprout Social
  • Iconsquare

  3. Twitter Analytics

Twitter analysis tools allow you to analyze where you stand against your competitors. These tools  allow you to check your competitor's photos and videos that received the highest engagement, hashtags used by your competitor, and total retweets their posts received.

Some of the best analytics tools for twitter are:

  • Unbox Social
  • Social Insider
  • Tweet Charts

#Step 3. Keep Track Of Your Competitors Activity

Keeping track of your competitor's social media activity is an essential aspect of competitive research. You should know how often your competitors post on social media, what time they usually post, and how they interact with their users.

The main reason behind this type of research is to identify your competitor's social media strategy. If that strategy works for them, it will likely work for you, too, since your target audience is the same.

E.g., If your competitors are posting one post per day at 3:00 pm and getting maximum engagement, It's ideal that you should do the same.

You can easily track your competitor using some analytic tools. some of the best tools that can help you track social media competitors are

  • Sociality.io
  • Sprout Social
  • Social Insider
  • Socialbakers

#Step 4.  Focus On The Type Of Content Your Rivals Post

Once you know how often your competitors publish a post on social media, the next step is to identify the type of content they are posting.

Here are some questions that you should keep in mind when looking at the type of content your competitors are posting:

  • What do they post most – videos, Infographic, Testimonials, pictures, or written posts?
  • Do they ask questions in their post?
  • Are they resharing their old content?
  • Are they resharing their fans’ posts?

#Step 5. Lure The Influencers Working With Your Competitors

Once you know about the influencers working with your competitor, then you can directly reach out to them and ask them to collaborate for you. Since your competitors are working with them, the influencers' followers might be interested in the services you offer.

How to find influencers working with your competitors?

  • Check your competitor's social media handles to find their collaboration with influencers.
  • Check the backlinks of your competitors using tools like ahrefs.
  • Search for a branded hashtag on social media.

Conclusion

Keeping an eye on your competitor is an important market strategy to position yourself in the market. 

Researching your social media competitors helps you understand their strategy to get engagement from users. That will give you an idea of what type of content you should post on social media to get maximum attention from your audience.

In this blog, I’ve stated the step-by-step process of doing competitive analysis, so make sure you don’t miss any points to make your competitive research a success.

What’s your way to do competitive analysis on social media? 

I’d love to hear your strategies of doing competitive analysis.

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