How to Perform a Social Media Competitive Analysis

Isn’t it absolutely frustrating to watch your competitors repeatedly outdo you on social media?

Even with a well-equipped team and resources at your disposal, you don’t see the results you wish. Well, we have a solution- conducting a social media competitive analysis.

While your social media marketing strategy shouldn’t be based entirely on this, it gives you an idea of what kind of content you can create.

The key to competitive analysis is knowing what makes your competitors successful. The insights can help you figure out how to do it better. For example, if a competitor heavily relies on Reels, you can start ramping up your efforts there.

A competitive analysis also helps you develop a long-term strategy as part of your business strategy. You can do this instead of simply mimicking ongoing trends.

In this blog, we’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to perform a social media competitive analysis for marketing success.

Let’s start with the most important question:

But which social media monitoring tool is the best for your brand?

What is social media competitive analysis?

Social media competitive analysis is seeing how others in your niche are doing their social media promotion. You can get a pulse of your competitor’s performance. It lets you see what’s working for them and what isn’t. By doing this, you can tailor your social media to best suit your needs and outshine your competitors.

It can act as a yardstick by which you can judge your social media performance and growth strategies.

5 reasons businesses need to do a social media competitive analysis

There can be a significant overlap between you and your competitor’s audience. So, doing a thorough social media competitive analysis can give you the edge you need to outperform the current top players.

Some of the other reasons you need to do a frequent social media competitive analysis include the following:

1. To set content benchmarks

Before you invest any money or resources in social media marketing, taking stock of your competition is a good idea. What are they doing? Why are they successful? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What can you learn from this?

By conducting a social media competitive analysis, you will learn how to develop better social media content that:

  • entertains
  • educates your audience

2. To understand the target audience

The best way to gain insight into your target audience is to understand your competitors first. Whether they’re the same size as your business, they’re still an excellent way to gauge your audience’s response.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to analyze their social media posts. See how often they post, what kind of content they post, and what interactions they get, then compare it to your own.

This will give you a great baseline to see what works for your audience.

3. To build a better social media strategy

It’s important to understand what your competitors are doing on social media. Take the real estate sector as an example. You’ll notice how posting videos works way better than mere pictures. This is because videos are more informative, which their audience needs to drive purchase decisions.

When you do a competitive analysis to see what others in your niche are doing, you can gain perspective on your campaigns. Tracking their activity can also help you get the most out of your social media strategy.

With this information, you will be equipped to compete in the marketplace. And you can only enjoy an advantage when you do a thorough social media competitive analysis.

4. To improve brand positioning

No matter how good your product or service is, you should always monitor your competitors. Learning from how they’ve positioned themselves in their target market is an invaluable resource.

It can provide clarity on why people are buying from them and how you can position yourself to compete with them. Perform competitor analysis by looking at how they brand themselves to their target market.

Gauge what it is about their content that others enjoy and how you can improve upon it.

5. To know current trends

The social media landscape constantly shifts. Whether or not we like it, it is important to keep up with the trends and topical content. If you don’t, how can you adjust your strategy accordingly?

Social media competitor analysis is a great place to start. It’s also important to look for social media trends that might come up in the future and see what your competitors are doing about them.

Now that you know the benefits, let’s look at actionable tips on getting started.

How to do a social media competitive analysis in 6 steps

Here is an easy-to-follow process for doing a social media competitive analysis:

1. Understand your social media goals

Do you have plans for your social media campaigns? Have you set goals for success and a plan to reach them? If not, it might be time to return to the drawing board.

A social media strategy allows you to have goals and a vision that aligns with your marketing plan. Without goals, it’s easy to lose your way while navigating social media marketing.

Set goals to ensure you get the most out of your social media campaigns. Do this before carrying out any other social media-related initiatives. For example, apart from posting its campaigns, Slack resorts to its Instagram handle to announce its feature release. This helps them notify existing users of new updates and even the newer folks who still need to convert into users.

Hence, they get the most out of social media campaigns with prior goal planning.

Source: SlackHQ

If you are struggling to set clear objectives, here are a few standard social media goals:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Improve content reach
  • Get more leads
  • Create a community
  • Increase web traffic

You can even use ‘SMART’ goals to guide your goal-setting process. They are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

2. Determine your competitors

Next, figure out who your social media competitors are and the platforms they are active in. While you may have other competitors, you must focus on only the ones who actively post. This is because there is a higher chance they know how to work with social media to boost business.

Further, they set a better standard of comparison than those who rarely or passively post. But how do you gauge this? Google. Type in the relevant keywords a visitor would type to discover your business.

For example, here are the results for “project management tools”:

Generally, at the website’s footer, you will find a list of the company’s active social media accounts. In this example, we checked’s website.

After a simple analysis, we found they are active on all their platforms and post a few times each week. A competitor like this would be ideal for competitor analysis. Even though not all businesses might post this actively, try to list the top 5 to get a clear report.

3. Collect data

Once you have identified your social media competition, you must collect key metrics data. The process for this will vary based on the platform you’re analyzing. Still, here are some key details you can track:

  • Active platforms
  • Follower count
  • Account reach
  • Average post impressions
  • Post frequency
  • Engagement rate
  • Ad performance
  • Hashtags they frequently use, the ones they follow, and the ones that show up in search
Source: Shopify

While some metrics don’t require a third-party tool to track, important metrics such as sentiment analysis, social listening, and hashtag tracking are possible when you work with a social media reporting tool.

4. Track your competitor’s activity

Gather intel on your competitor’s activity on every single platform if you are newly starting with your brand’s social media initiatives.

While doing a quick assessment of what their social media pages look like from the outside, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is their frequency of posting on the platform?
  • Do they repurpose the same content for other social media platforms or other channels?
  • Do they actively engage with their online community?
  • How is the audience responding to the content they are sharing?
  • What hashtags are they using often? Is it being used by the community too?
  • How fast is their follower rate increasing?

With these answers, you will get a fair idea of their performance.

Understand the content formats they post carefully and the intent behind them. Are they trying to educate their audience? Are they making it entertaining with memes and topical content? Do they use stock photos, videos, and graphics, or are they using their employees to make content?

Another factor to consider is if they are:

  • using their platform to give business updates
  • share promotional content extensively or if they are low-key about it

If most of their recent posts have a call-to-action at the end that nudges the audience to purchase from them, it’s more likely they focus on promotional content over ‘infotainment’ content.

You can either track all this information manually by creating and maintaining a spreadsheet. You can even simplify the work by embracing a social media competitive analytics tool.

Apart from tracking your competitors’ activity, you might also want to understand their share of voice in the market. It will help you figure out areas of improvement and how you can measure up in your future initiatives.

5. Do a SWOT analysis

Once you have detailed insights from carrying out the social media competitive analysis, it is time to break down the reports. To do this well, you must look at the data objectively to understand how you rank against them.

A well-known method for doing this is a SWOT analysis. It helps you scrutinize the data with no prejudice. Here are the areas it can help you discover:

  • S: Strengths
  • W: Weaknesses
  • O: Opportunities
  • T: Threats

Out of the four factors, two are positive, and two are negative insights. Typically, the strengths and weaknesses you gather from this activity will be internal factors related to your brand. On the other hand, opportunities and threats are external factors in the competitive market.

Here is a detailed guide to each of the elements:

1. Strengths

This section of the framework addresses what is being done well.

Since this is an internal reflection, go through your social media content to understand what kind of content gets you higher engagement, meaningful discussions, or even leads.

Try to identify where your audience spends the most time so you can ramp up your efforts on that platform. You may also want to look at your top-performing posts to know what to create more of.

Finally, try to gauge the element that sets you apart from other brands in the niche. For example, the skincare brand — The Ordinary follows a color theme to showcase the products that make them easily identifiable.

2. Weaknesses

While it may be difficult to be objective here, you must try to identify the following:

  • the platforms on which your engagement rate is low,
  • posts that haven’t performed well, and
  • social media campaigns that weren’t up to par.

Tracking these details can make you buck up and test strategies to fix these performance problems.

3. Opportunities

Since this is an external activity, you will check your competitor’s weaknesses. Do this to assess any opportunities your brand might be missing out on.

Are they not as interactive on Instagram? Do they need to tweet actively? Is there a large community on Reddit that they aren’t leveraging? Or are they not actively responding to relevant questions on Quora?

Since this is an external activity, you will check your competitor’s weaknesses. Do this to assess any opportunities your brand might be missing out on.

4. Threats

Just like opportunities, threats are external to your business. To gauge the threats to your social media strategy, look at quantifiable data that directly relate to growth on each platform.

You must also be aware of smaller businesses increasing their social media activity and gaining traction.

A lot of the threats your brand might face can be beyond your control, like social media algorithms. So, it is best not to fixate on it and take it with a grain of salt.

6. Use a brand monitoring tool to stay updated

Simply conducting a competitor analysis once isn’t enough. You will need to monitor them frequently to ensure the data you have is current. Ideally, you must do this exercise quarterly to review how you stack up against your competitors.

You can get a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses all from a single dashboard. Keyhole’s dashboard gives you a detailed rundown of metrics like engagement and impressions so you can assess brand health.

You can also get your competitor’s key demographics or do a sentiment analysis to assess their brand health.

Looking for more? Here are some helpful features Keyhole offers:

  • Performance benchmarking
  • Social listening
  • Brand monitoring
  • Campaign tracking
  • Hashtag tracking and analytics
  • Social publishing

Get an edge with social media competitive analysis

Apart from a meticulous strategy, social media also comes with an element of virality. Since one of these can be controlled, you want to ensure you do your best at it — and the first step is doing a thorough competitor analysis.

Based on the insights you get from this report, you can tweak your social media marketing strategy to make it a winning recipe.

Of course, manually executing such analyses can be time-consuming and waste crucial employee time. So, opting for a social media monitoring and analysis tool is viable. You can get top-notch data from a single dashboard that helps you improve your social media marketing strategy.

With Keyhole, you have all the tools you need to get your social media game right — in one place. Start your free trial today.

Related Articles:

Top 7 Social Media Competitor Analytics Tools for Marketers and Agencies
How Do I Calculate Engagement Rate in 2023?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you conduct competitive analysis?

The reason to conduct a competitive analysis is to identify your competitor’s strengths, incorporate them in your marketing strategy, and understand their weaknesses, so you may act upon them and enjoy better performance across platforms.

What should a competitive analysis include?

A thorough competitive analysis includes the competitor’s marketing performance on different platforms, engagement, the share of voice, sentiment analysis, strengths, weaknesses, growth over time, and customer reviews.

How do you conduct competitive analysis?

The easiest way to conduct a competitive analysis is as follows:
1. Identify your competitors
2. Gather data on their performance by tracking key metrics
3. Track down their strengths and weaknesses
4. Figure out your USP
5. Pursue gaps in their strategy to stand out

The post How to Perform a Social Media Competitive Analysis appeared first on Keyhole.

By: Sweta Panigrahi
Title: How to Perform a Social Media Competitive Analysis
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2022 07:47:39 +0000

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  • Walter Acosta

    Walter Acosta is a blogger. His primary interests are in digital marketing and content creation and curation. Acosta Walter

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About the Author: Walter Acosta

Walter Acosta is a blogger. His primary interests are in digital marketing and content creation and curation.