15 Ways to Monitor Your Competitors’ Use of Social Media to Gain Social Intelligence
A number of years ago, in the days pre-dating the Internet, I worked at a company that had a competitive intelligence group within the marketing department. It was staffed by two employees who combed Lexis- Nexis eight hours a day looking for articles and mention of our company’s name and competitors. It was much harder at the time to keep tabs on your competitors and it necessitated having an expensive license for a few employees.
Fast forward to the year 2011 when so many of us spend countless hours a day online with a plethora of free and for-fee Internet tools that enable us to look at our competitors from many different vantage points.
If you’re looking to develop a Social Media strategy for your business or fine-tune an existing one, you can monitor your competitors to see how they are using Social Media and determine where you can use it even more strategically.
Monitor Your Competitor’s Use of Social Media to Gain Social Intelligence by looking at:
- Whether or not your competitors were early adopters of Social Media or if they’ve joined in later in the game? Are they playing catch-up? Or do they appear to be making leaps ahead?
- How many followers and fans do they have? Are they working at expanding the numbers or did they simply put up the pages and are now passively working at maintaining them?
- Are they responding to blog comments? How long does it take for them to respond?
- What topics are your competitors writing about? For instance, you can use this to find the holes in their content so you can develop a more comprehensive content strategy.
- Where do your competitors have presences on social networking platforms? Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube? When was the last time they updated?
- Are they using video? What do you like about what they are doing with video? Where can your videos stand out?
- Monitor popular keywords within your industry. Are your competitors writing about those topics?
- Look at their company profile on LinkedIn, do they have dedicated social media people within their departments?
- Are they actively using social media to market their business?
- How often do they write blog posts? Who writes the posts?
- Are they using share widgets? How can your readers help to spread your content more effectively?
- Have they fully integrated their social media presences? Do they have the links to the pages on their corporate website?
- Are they using Facebook contests or sweepstakes? Are they offering good prizes? What can you do that will be more enticing?
- What type of content are they sharing on Twitter? Their own links? Are they sharing news worthy stories from other sources? Are they retweeting, using hashtags, @replies? Can you have a more notable presence on Twitter?
- Are they responding to questions and comments on Facebook comments? How long does it take them? Do they appear to have dedicated staff monitoring their pages? Are they using Facebook for customer service and support?
By monitoring your competitor’s Social Media presences you can continue to develop your strategy, find the areas where you can carve out a larger niche and make an even bigger impact.
Are you monitoring your competitor’s social media presences? What else do you look for?