Decoding Your Competitor’s Secret Sauce

by | Creative Illumination

There are many reasons that your competitors might look more successful than you on social. They could have a pro social media manager on their team or they might have an agency handling social media for them. Either way… they didn’t build a strong audience overnight.  We’re going to walk you through a Competitor Social Media Analysis to watch what your competitors are doing, show you how to learn from them, and when you are creating content you can apply what you’ve learned.

This isn’t for the feint-hearted. This is only if you’re serious about growing your business or your brand. It’s where we start with all of our clients. This is how we shortcut the learning process and we’re going to share it with you. It’s high octane fuel that helps propel you to greater heights faster. 🚀

This isn’t going to be a fluffy article – we’re going to be active, so let’s roll up our sleeves and dig in.

To help you through this process, we’ve designed a worksheet that goes with the exercises below.  So, download the worksheet. Ready, set, go!

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1. The Basics – Getting Started

Identify & Follow Your Competitors

  1. Identify at least 3 (aim for 5) competitors.  For example, if you are a real estate agent, find other agents that have a similar target audience.
  2. Look for businesses in your city, region, specialty.  If you are a florist specializing in wedding decor it may not be advantageous to seek a florist specializing in funeral arrangements (unless you are looking to broaden your services).  Seek out others like you in completely different markets.  They don’t all need to be direct competition.
  3. Like their Facebook Page as your business page! (See video for a how-to.)
  4. Follow them from your business Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts.

DO IT NOW!!!

Our workbook will help with this exercise. You already grabbed it, didn’t you?

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Sign up to get our step-by-step worksheet that walks you through this lesson.

Upon submission, the worksheet will be sent to your inbox.

In the next step we’ll fill out the Competitor Social Media Analysis worksheet for each of the competitors that you have identified.

2. Study & Learn

Study your competitors.

Don’t be discouraged if your competitors have a ton of followers.  Remember, the purpose is to learn and observe, not to judge and compare. You’ll look for trends, successes, and misses to grow your knowledge.

If you don’t already have our free workbook, this will help you stay organized (and possibly stay sane) through the process, as we work through the action steps.

What?!? You still don't have the workbook?

Sign up to get our step-by-step worksheet that walks you through this lesson.

Upon submission, the worksheet will be sent to your inbox.

What to look for:

  1. How often are they posting?
  2. Are they posting a variety of content topics?
  3. Is their writing style conversational?  Technical?  Silly/fun?  Formal?
  4. What kind of posts are getting good engagement?
  5. What topics are your competitors writing about?
  6. Is the audience liking and commenting on posts about your industry?  Or holiday graphics?  Cute dog images?
  7. You want to understand what fires up the base and causes them to take action.
  8. Does video get higher engagement?  Is it a product unboxing?  Is it a behind the scenes video at the company?  Is it a live video?
  9. Take notes and look for trends.

Fill out the Competitor Social Media Analysis worksheet for each of the competitors that you have identified.

Does this seem like too much for you to handle?  Contact our team.  We do this every day.

3. Keep It Up

Set-up Tracking

Now that you’ve identified businesses to watch, you need to keep watching them.  To continue to monitor your competition and stay engaged with this community, let’s set-up:

  1. Facebook “Pages to Watch”
  2. Twitter “Lists”
  3. Instagram hashtags – you can follow a hashtag just like you can follow a profile.  Let’s find and follow a few hashtags related to your industry.

This video will walk you through the steps.

Your Ongoing Assignment

Periodically (at least once a week)

  1. View your Facebook business “Pages Feed” to see a stream of posts from the pages you follow.  (see video)
  2. View the posts from the Twitter List you created.
  3. Scroll through your competitors’ Instagram feeds.
  4. Engage:  Like, share and comment on posts from your competitors and influencers in your niche.  This is the SOCIAL part of social media.

Refer to the questions in “What to look for” in the “Study & Learn” section, above.  Update your workbook, making note of the content that stands out and the things your competitors aren’t doing that you can do.

If you have questions or comments, post below.

Identify your competitors.

Follow and study competitors, industry leaders & influencers.

Track them, check in and engage.

If you found this helpful, please share the post and leave a comment below.

What other topics would you like to learn more about?  Please fill out our survey.  We’re working on a ton of new informative content and we’d like to know what topics are important to you and your business.  Click below to fill out the survey and you’ll also be the first to receive advanced notice on our upcoming courses.

Until next time…!

Doug

PS:  How would you like our free social media resource guide?  Click on the button below and fill out our survey.

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