Are you struggling to create a social media strategy for your business?
Lacking insight into the social behaviors of your customers?
No data, no problem!
Chances are your competitors have done all the hard work and all you need to do is look for it.
In this post, I’ll show you how to research the competition’s social game plan so you can build a solid social media strategy of your own.
Finding the Fundamentals
When it comes to social media marketing, you need to answer a few fundamental questions:
- Should your business be on social media?
- What networks should you choose?
- How do you create a great profile?
- What type of content should you post, and when should you post it?
Everyone must answer these questions, including business owners who want to create a strategy for their own business, marketing managers who need to convince their CEO to invest in social media and consultants who create strategies for clients in a wide variety of industries.
Fortunately, you can find answers through the process of competitor research.
Keep reading to discover how to get insight on your competitors.
#1: Comparing Audience Size
While you shouldn’t obsess about how many fans or followers your competitors have, noting these numbers at the beginning of your campaign can help you answer the following important questions.
Noting the number of fans your competitors have can help you answer a few important questions relevant to your own business. Image source: iStockPhoto
1. Should your business be on social media?
If your competitors have an audience on social media, whether it is 100 people or 100,000, the answer should be yes. Otherwise, your competitors are tapping into a customer base that your business could be completely missing out on.
2. Which networks should your business focus on?
Do all of your competitors have strong presences on some networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but not others, such as Pinterest? If the answer is yes, then it means two things: 1) businesses in your industry do not do well on Pinterest or 2) with creativity, you have a chance to reach a group of customers with little competition.
3. Have you reached all of your target audience?
Competitor research isn’t just limited to businesses starting their social media strategy. If you have been using social media for a while, but not getting results, take a look at the size of your competitors’ social media audiences to help you gauge whether you are reaching as many of your potential customers as possible, or whether you still have room to grow your network.