Social media columnist
Social media columnist

One the best ways to give your own business a boost is to check out your competition. Your competition, even if your business is more popular, can give you a lot of insight to your audience and how you can improve to make your business even more profitable. One way to do that is to analyse your competition’s social media efforts. Here’s how to do this.

Follow them on all their Social Media Accounts – See how they are using each social media account to give information to their audience and how they get more followers. Does it appear that they are using automation software?

Sign up for their Email List – Email lists are a really good way to check out your competition and see how they’re using their email, in conjunction with social media, to market their products and services.

Read their Blog Often – Set up their blog on RSS feed so that you can keep track of the type of information they’re disseminating to their audience. Do they ask their audience to share blog posts? Do they make it easy to share?

What do they share using Social Media? – What does their goal seem to be using social media? Do they try to lead you back to their email list, blog, other social media accounts, or something else?

How do they get people to Like or Follow Them? – Did they incentivise their audience to like or follow them on multiple social media accounts? If so, are they giving new or the same information on each account? On Twitter, if you click on a competitor’s Followers you’ll see everyone who is following them and, if they are the right audience for you, you can easily follow them from there.

How often do they send out Updates? – Track how often your competition sends out updates.

Track what time your Competitors send Updates – What time is the most common time that your competitors sends out updates?

What is the reaction of the Audience? – Is the audience engaging with your competition based on their updates? Or are they getting a poor response?

As you ask these questions, you will need to keep track of the answers. Some good ways to do this are to:

Create a Spreadsheet – Enter the information you collect into a spreadsheet in order to keep track of the questions you have about how each of your competitors uses social media.

Use Insights on your Facebook Page – On your business Page you have the option under Insights of adding ‘Pages to Watch’ which allows you to compare the performance of your Page and posts with your competitors’ Pages on Facebook.

Use Evernote – This is a great way to keep track of different things that you would like to try that your competition is doing. Make a note of it, and then put it into practice on your own social media accounts.

Write a Report – Taking each of your competition separately, write a report with the information so that you can easily look at it for future reference.

Tracking what your competition is doing, as well as how your audience responds to them, will help you know what to do more of and what to avoid in your own social media marketing efforts.

Breaking news

Facebook: Facebook Introduces New Video Ad Features: Facebook updated video ad features to include “automated captions” and “more reporting and buying options for video ads.” Facebook also offers examples of “consistent practices across many of the best-performing ads” for video campaigns.

Facebook Brings Live to Page Manager App for iOS: “Facebook rolled out an update for the Pages Manager app for iOS devices that brings the ability to manage Facebook Live broadcasts directly.”

Facebook Rolls Out Private Message Page Replies: Facebook released “an update to the Pages/Graph API which will allow a Page to reply to a comment on a post with a private message.

Instagram: Instagram Rolls Out Account Switching: “Starting this week, you can easily switch between multiple accounts without having to log out and log back in” on Instagram.

Instagram Extends Video Ads to 60 Seconds: Instagram “began running its first 60-second video ads, starting with T-Mobile and Warner Brothers.”

Twitter: New Twitter Timeline Feature Gives Users Option to See Best Tweets First: Twitter shared “a new timeline feature that helps you catch up on the best Tweets from people you follow.”

Twitter Introduces First View: “First View helps marketers achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter’s most valuable advertising real estate for a 24-hour period.

Twitter Updates Homepage to Reach Logged-out Users: Twitter is rolling out a “home timeline to people across 23 countries who visit the homepage on their mobile devices” and is making it easier for them “to discover stories and conversations happening on Twitter without signing in.”

Google+: Google+ Updates Web Preview: Google+ is “starting to roll out several improvements and bug fixes on the new Google+ Web preview.” The features affected include image upload, community member search and comment management.