Performing a competitive analysis is a fundamental must when creating a successful marketing strategy. As markets are rapidly evolving, studying the competition can give you the winning edge you need, by analyzing who your competitors are and how they conduct their business will determine what they’re doing right (and wrong).
Benefits of Monitoring Your Competitors
Why would you want to spy on your competitor’s followers and industry leaders? Simple, to track their growth rate, marketing strategy and establish what is gaining traction with their audience. Are your competitors attracting more followers with the use of video? What kind of language and tone are they using in their copy? How are they responding back to their customer service inquiries? All of this data can be used to fill the gaps to improve your own strategy.
The data costs very little or in Twitter’s case, the majority of it is free. There are no moral or ethical implications when assessing a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses to adapt your own marketing strategy because you’re not stealing their ideas, or copying them. You’re simply implementing a plan to improve your own reach, content, conversion rate and customer service. Copying a competitor, plagiarising their content, or falsely impersonating a client is unethical, dishonest and fraudulent, and in most cases illegal. That’s exactly what you don’t want to be doing.
Identifying the Competition
Creating a successful business marketing plan requires sizing up the competition and finding out exactly who you’re up against.
Scoping out the competition on social media is one of the best ways to see what impact their brand is having on the market. One of the leading social media platforms for business is Twitter, with a staggering 335 million monthly active users around the world, according to Twitter’s Q2 2018 Earnings Report. The great news for marketers and businesses is that the majority of the data on Twitter is public.
Twitter offers an option to create a private list to add users without following them. If your competitor has multiple accounts, or there are employees that work for the same company, then you can add all of those accounts to the list too. Adding multiple users to the list gives you more data streams to leverage.
Which Data to Look Out For
When analyzing the data from your competitors, you need to look out for these things.
- Growth: How fast have your competitors grown their brand on Twitter. How does their growth curve look over time?
- Interactions: Keep an eye on mentions, retweets, and likes that are associated with the brand. Knowing how much the audience engages with the brand and vice versa.
- Frequency: How often does your competitor post content? What kind of content are they posting? And which content yields the best results? You can establish what kind of content gets the best results by seeing if there’s a pattern.
- Response: Are your competitors responding to their following? Are they engaging back with their audience and how is this helping with them receiving positive or negative comments.
- Customer Service: Are you competitor’s using Twitter as a customer service channel and how are they handling those queries?
There are a number of tools available to use, such as Commun.it’s Twitter marketing platform. Users can be added to the platform to show their full profile and how much influence they have on Twitter.
When adding the competition’s followers to Commun.it’s platform, it also shows you their most used hashtags. This is particularly useful to find similar prospects that have the same interests and you can start using similar hashtags to appeal to their followers.
Stealing Your Competitor’s Followers
Establish who the most influential followers in your niche are and target them as prospects. You can also use data based on how often your leads post on Twitter to your advantage and post content that will appeal to them at the same time, to ensure you’re reaching the same audience.
Is there a moral dilemma, going after your competition’s followers? Absolutely not. Just because a prospect follows a business, doesn’t mean they can’t follow another business that will offer them more.
The reciprocity principle refers to an exchange of value. To gain a follower’s attention, I must first offer them a solution. For example, in a world where content is king, if I’m providing competitor’s followers with a solution, it’s for the benefit of those followers. Regardless of whether they are leads or prospects.
Now that you’ve built a solid profile of your prospects, it’s best not to spam them with things that you think they would like. Engage them and market your business towards them based on the information gathered on their interests, frequency of tweets and hashtags used, to build a solid relationship.
It’s crunch time. After an exhaustive analysis of your competitors, it’s time to put that data into a plan of action and build your marketing strategy as an improvement to your competitors. Spying on your competitor’s followers is an advantage for any business trying to establish their brand and grow their following and it’s ethically sound. If your goal is to generate traffic and revenue you can learn a lot about how your competitors engage their clients.