Are you following your competitors on Facebook or Twitter?
Researching marketing performance and strategies includes keeping an eye on competition, and social media has made that a bit easier for you by simply liking or following your competitor’s pages or accounts. Their efforts into social media are also part of their overall inbound marketing efforts, pulling in traffic and potential leads from a highly engaged audience already leaning towards a purchase.
Here are five reasons why it’s important to “like” your competitors:
spy on monitor their marketing
What better source for learning about your competitor’s inbound marketing strategies than your competitors themselves? By liking or following their social pages, you can monitor two important aspects of their marketing:
- Content strategy
- Social media strategy
You can study how their content engages their social crowds and brand communities — which types of content, when and to who they are delivered, and more — to find out how well they’re doing. You’ll get an inside look at their inbound marketing strategy that encompasses content pushes on social media.
Emulate strategies that work
After monitoring your competitor’s inbound marketing strategy using social content, you can then see for yourself what strategies and tactics work, and then use these to your advantage. You’re in the same niche as your competitor. Once you see which of their strategies consistently work, you can emulate and tweak these same strategies for your own marketing.
See how well your competitors are maximizing such tools as hashtags, post descriptions, and statistically high engagement content types. Determine if you can duplicate these tactics and make them even better.
Learn from their “mistakes”
Since you’re taking advantage of their best practices that work, you should also learn from their mistakes. Take note of tactics that backfire — be it tactics related to content or engagement. Based on these mistakes, how can you position your brand to be able to deliver something better? How can you differentiate your brand and succeed where they failed?
To watch their influencers and their impact
Social media influencers — the followers who actively spread word of mouth about a brand — are important for keeping an active social community and increasing brand awareness. Find out how many influencers (active, consistently engaging users) are potentially marketing for your competitor for free. Then, consider why they are influencers and how you can attain some of your own.
You also need to monitor how your competitors are engaging with these influencers, and what actions they make that result in more or less influencers. Based on your observations, you can again emulate best practices that work and learn from those that don’t.
See who has the bigger stick
Overall, who has the bigger stick: You or your competitor? It’s always a good idea to monitor inbound marketing key performance indicators — even indicators as seemingly simple as comparing the number of followers, likes, and retweets –and then measure these against your more solid metrics such as click-through rates and referral traffic. After comparing yourself against your competitor, launch campaigns specifically tailored to address weak points in your inbound marketing strategy, and see if they make a difference.
When it comes to competitor research on social media, make like an embittered ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Stalk them relentlessly and watch their moves. See how well they’re faring on an audience that could very well be yours. Monitor their content and social tactics to emulate what works and learn from what doesn’t, check on how they obtain and leverage influencers, and compare your own inbound marketing indicators against theirs.
Image: angermann, on Flickr
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