January 8, 2021
Understanding your competition is the first step to beating them. In part 1 we looked at the basics of conducting a competitive analysis and why it’s important for a business. This includes tasks like:
Then choose up to five brands to focus on.
In part 2, we’ll look at the next steps in conducting a competitive analysis.
Once you have a sound understanding of who your competition is, it’s time to gather intel on them. The more you pay attention, the easier it will be to see which trends are successful and what simply isn’t working.
Start by clicking through the social profiles of each company you choose to study. The best way to quickly locate a brand’s social channels is to go to their website and look at the header or footer. There are usually little icons (buttons) with the logo for each channel, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
Create a spreadsheet with links to each brand’s social channels and top-rated posts. In your social media competitive analysis template, make note of the following about your competition:
You should also look at what the social share of voice is for each brand. In other words, who are people talking about the most out of the five brands you chose. Can you determine why?
Once you’ve gathered the data, it’s time to understand exactly where you stand compared to the competition. Part of this analysis means looking at potential ways to improve your strategy, as well as potential obstacles along the way.
A SWOT analysis is a way to analyze and think clearly about a large set of data. It will help you take a hard look at your business and the competition to identify:
Strengths and weaknesses are factors internal to your brand and involves both what you’re doing right and what could stand to improve.
Metrics that include anything you’re doing better than the competition.
These are metrics for which you are lagging behind the competition. These are ideas you want to focus on improving.
Keep in mind, you could have both strengths and weaknesses in the same channel. For example, maybe your Facebook follower count is higher than competitors, but they have better follower growth. Or maybe you have a few Twitter followers but higher engagement.
Opportunities and threats are based on external factors. This means things happening in your competitive environment that you should be aware of.
These are areas where you think you can improve over the competition i.e. potential opportunities to take advantage of.
To get an idea of upcoming threats, look at metrics related to growth or anything that signifies change over time. For example, a competitor that is small but has a high follower growth rate may be a larger threat than a bigger brand with stagnant growth.
Keep an eye on the broader industry for any upcoming changes that could affect your position compared to the competition.
Social monitoring is the perfect tool to grab instant data for better decision making. It’s an incredibly useful strategy for identifying potential opportunities and threats in the industry. It’s all about being aware of all social conversations involving your brand, industry, and competition.
Record any data you uncover through social media monitoring in the “notes” column of your competitive analysis template and keep them in your revised “opportunities and threats” on your next review.
Visit your social media competitive analysis regularly to keep it current. Make it a regular part of your quarterly or annual review. This means you’ll need a consistent flow of real-time data to analyze.
A competitive analysis is vital to understanding your market position. Conducting one now is easy as every brand has a digital presence. If they don’t, they’re not really competition in the first place.