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4 Types of Social Competitive Analysis

Information Is Power

As anyone in sales or marketing can tell you, information is power when it comes to out-competing the competition.  What your competitors are doing and how they are performing shouldn’t set your strategy, but it should inform your approach to winning in your chosen markets. With these tips from Simply Measured, you can be on your way to gathering and leveraging competitive intel via social in no time.

Four Social Measures that Help You Learn from Competitors

1 | Compare Your Reach to Market Leaders

What is the size of your reach in total and via each social network? How does that compare to your top 5 competitors? (See the example of Facebook reach for retailers).

Image of Reach Comparison for Retailers

In addition to just measuring your social media activities, understanding where most of your audience is, and where you diverge from competitors can yield valuable insights. If you have a comparative strength on particular network, how can you leverage that?  If you see competitive momentum on a network where your company is weak, you can explore the tactics your competitor is using to build strength there.  Are those tactics right for you?  Do they give you ideas for other ways you can play to your strengths?

2Compare Share of Voice

For topics that are of importance to your business or brand, it is helpful to gather and analyze share of voice data.  How big is the conversation around the topic? How big a share of that conversation are you garnering, compared with your competitors?  Understanding the distribution of “ownership” of a topic, as well as the tone and content of the discussion, can generate ideas for how to steer the conversation in a positive direction for your goals.

3Compare Audience Engagement 

How much engagement are you getting via social channels? Tracking audience engagement via activities such as comments, @ replies, retweets, likes, posts, pins, hearts, etc. for your company and top competitors can help you understand the impact of your marketing efforts.  (See the example of Twitter engagement for top hotel chains).

Image of Audience Engagement via Twitter for Hotels

Compare types and levels of engagement as well as the percentage of your audience on each social channel that is engaging.  Also look at the type of content that is driving the most engagement.  This can help you understand your company’s sweet spots for topics, social platforms, and brand advocates.

4 | Compare Response Times

Measuring response times for your company and industry leaders can help you gauge your company’s performance relative to competitors and market expectations.  How long does it take you and your competitors to respond to customer service requests, to sales inquiries, to criticism?  (See the example of hotel response times).

Image of Response Time for Hotels

Monitoring these stats will help you determine market leader levels and establish a plan for how to achieve them.  It can also point out area for improvement before a crisis occurs. (Having a social media policy in place can be very helpful to ensure quality and responsiveness and avoiding a social media crisis).  And, if you’re doing well, sharing your impressive responsiveness is a way to show your customers how much you care about them.

What competitive information do you gather via social?  How does it help you improve your marketing?

Special image credit and thanks to Wicked Start Blogs

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A Social Media Policy: Brand Insurance

Consumer Expectations vs. Brand Activities in Social Media


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2 Comments on “4 Types of Social Competitive Analysis”

  1. Axel Schultze (@AxelS) November 7, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Very cool post and great insight. Thanks for sharing your reporting insights. We are also using SimplyMeasured / RowFeeder and in addition RivalIQ and Sysomos plus a few frre tools such as SocialMention.

    It goes hand in hand with a project I ran from 2008 on identifying opportunities to grow into a competitor’s market http://society3.com/2012/03/a-social-media-strategy-story-3-years-in-the-making/

    (My social presence)

    • socialrati November 9, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      Thanks for your comments Alex. This is really helpful information.

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