About 6 months ago I published a blog on tracking your competition and I feel like it needs to be addressed again. I’ve got some of clients who are afraid of what their competition is doing but rather than being afraid, they should be thrilled. They should be picking up where their competitors left off and running with it. That’s where my job comes in I guess.
My original post was more about following what they are doing and getting your own business page in order but what I want to talk about is how to get use your competitors content to your advantage.
Once you’ve identified your competitors on Facebook, add them to your “Pages to Watch” under insights, if it’s on Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram – Follow them! By being connected to their profiles, it will help you gain an understanding of what they are doing on social as a whole so that you have a well rounded social strategy. By watching them on social, you can identify part of your target audience that maybe you haven’t thought about before. Who’s engaging in your competitions posts? Who is retweeting their content? And on the other side of that, study how your competition engages with customers. Are they quick to response? Do they like the comments or retweet them? That’s something that you can use in your plans for community management going forward. If your competitors are fast responders and you aren’t, they might just snag the next sale.
When it comes to social, CONTENT IS EVERYTHING! As a brand you are responsible for getting your name out into the interwebs but it’s more than that. As a business, you want to connect with your audience by creating and promoting content that is engaging and conversational. You want to share snackable content that resinates with your fans/followers or prospects. Study what your competition is doing. Pay attention to the promotions they are running. Mimic what’s working but also, put your original spin on it. In the words of Picasso, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal;” and this totally applies. Steal the ideas that are working but then add something that makes it your own. By watching your competitions content on social you can also pick up what’s not working. Maybe your brands target audience doesn’t do Twitter well. Maybe they just don’t search for your brand/talk about your brand on Twitter and that’s okay but don’t force a budget there because you see your competitors doing it. That’s not a good enough reason to spend money on content for a platform that’s not working. This is a valuable lesson that I have to give about every other client pitch. Twitter is required for every brand! – ok, end rant.
But really, use your competition to your advantage. Learn from what they are doing and then do it better. Step it up. Create content that engages your users.
Party on. Ambushed.