Step 1: Identify Your Competitors
Your first step in creating a competitive social media strategy is selecting your competitors. You will want to find businesses similar to yours, but not limit your analysis to competitors of a specific size. For example, you may have a small local marketing agency, but you will want to include other small local agencies along with larger ones that offer similar services in your competitive analysis. Marketing agencies, large and small, are often going after similar or the same audiences.
Step 2: Analyze Competitor Profiles
A great social media campaign starts with solid social profiles and pages. Here are some things you will want to analyze to see how your competitors have set up their social presence.
What wording do your competitors use in their social bios?
Since you usually have less than 200 characters to describe your business to a first-time page visitor, you will want it to be succinct and capture the value you bring to the market. See what your competitors have to say about their business, particularly noting keywords they include. And regardless of what your competitors do, be sure to squeeze your URL into your description to increase the traffic potential from those networks. Especially on Twitter and Instagram, as you will only see the URL in your profile in some areas of the site like search results.
Step 3: Analyze Competitor Content
Once you have a great profile, you will need to create content for your social media updates. Here are some things to note about your competitors social content strategy.
Do your competitors share their own content and/or content from other industry news sites and blogs?
Businesses use social media in a variety of ways. Some use social media as a way to share the latest industry news and updates with their audience by posting links to content on a regular basis. The content may be a mixture of their own and off-site articles. If your competitors are sharing a mixture, see which updates are receiving the most engagement (replies, likes, shares, etc.) to decide on what approach will be best for your business.
Step 4: Monitor Your Competitors’ Changes
While you will derive a lot of valuable information in your initial competitor research, you will want to make sure you are monitoring them on a regular basis to see if they are changing their strategies. Rival IQ can help you quickly see when a competitor’s approach to social media and their results are changing at a glance on the major social networks.
You can also find out when your competitors change specific things within their social media profiles such as their profile photos and descriptions.