Monitoring Competition on Social Media

Looking for competitive edge was never simpler with Social Media serving as an effective Marketing Hack that reveals much of what your competitors are up to. Using Social Media and various available tools to monitor your competitors not only reveals their strategy but also the reaction from their audience/customers to the same.

Once you have such insights it indeed allows you to permute/manipulate the gathered data to offer better strategy and drive home results.

Monitoring Competition on Social Media

With the right approach and tools that are available Monitoring Competition on Social Media is not difficult at all with inherently giving anybody an access to lot of information available on the social platforms. The best part is that you also get know how users are actually reacting to different type of gimmicks/strategies being run with.

Monitoring on Facebook

Facebook – With over 500 Million Fans to connect with, the potential here is huge and that indeed makes Facebook one of the top social networks for businesses. It also makes it easiest to find out a lot of information on about your competitors’ strategy and fan interactions.

Finding your competitors on Facebook is as easy as visiting their websites and clicking on the link to their Facebook Fan Page. The same is displayed with much passion making it most convenient for you to track. However, if not available than head either to Google Search or Facebook Search which gladly will reveal the competition’s presence on the Facebook.

You can also use the Browse All Pages directory on Facebook to find companies in your industry that are using the search or the category types listed, such as products, services, restaurants and more.

What you can Learn?

There are lot of strategic elements that are exposed when you are looking at the Page however to dig deeper you may have to first Like their page and become fan with your personal profile.

Once you are a fan, you’ll be able to see all sections of their profile. You will be able to find out if they’re using their Facebook page as lead generation through gathering email addresses, feeding other social media accounts or blog posts through their page, gathering and using customer reviews, creating & running contests, releasing Fan only offers, or if using additional premium applications like Involver or North Social.

You also want to check out as to how they use their wall for fan interactions. Are they posting their latest offers, discounts, videos, blog posts, relevant industry news, photos or other items?

Why is this valuable?

Because not only will you see their activity, but you’ll also see how it is running with their customers.

However digging deeper is little tedious to see the fan response or lack of it you would require to go through individual items on your competitor’s wall.  However it does give you great insights and so is a great way to measure what fans in your industry like the most. From contest to discounts to random status updates to photos or is it videos etc. and what type are these.

The above 2 images do indicate that how users tend to interact more when it comes to Contests or Deals that are offered via brands on the Social Media Channels.

Or Like in this case of ESPNStar.com where it clearly indicates that Cricket as a sport generates more response or interactions as compared to news relating to Football.

Visiting multiple Fan Pages within your niche can so give you lot of insights to work upon and get head-on advantage over your competitors as you would know what’s not working while they learned the same by first executing it.

Does being Early Bird really Matters:-?

Since Facebook fan page owners can also add other fan pages as their favorites it is important to go through your competitors’ additional pages through Favorite Pages or brand name searches.

This is a key area to check out, as it may lead you to find more competitors’ fan pages, revealing more of their overall Facebook strategy.

Monitoring on Twitter

Twitter is a great source of information, here not only can you view in REAL TIME a Brand’s tweets but also that of their followers and the conversation that’s taking place.

Finding your competitors on Twitter is easy, the best would be to visit their website and look for a Twitter icon mostly in a header, footer or most recently and commonly in the sidebar. Alternatively, you can Google the company name and Twitter to find the account.

What you can learn?

Looking at competitor’s tweets one will be able to make out their strategy (at present).  You would know if their strategy includes promoting discounts/special offers; engaging followers using contests and deals, driving traffic to their Facebook pages and engage there, handling customer queries and complaints, direct replies to their followers, or sharing articles, fun facts or other kinds of tweets.

You can judge the success of their strategy simply by looking at their follower counts (not really though, we will cover that separately). However for now, a better judgment of their success on twitter can be measured using a tool called Klout.

Klout is a tool which measures the influence of an account (brand in this case) within Social Networks and includes besides twitter, Facebook & linkedin.

The scores range from 1 to 100 and higher the score more is the influence that does indicate effective strategy as compared to one with lower score.

So in example above 2 competitors have huge gap in their influence clearly indicating that one has a better engagement strategy in comparison to other.

Audience

Getting to study Twitter Followers is almost like seeing your competitors’ clients (prospects) list and Twitter allows you to do so by simply clicking on the twitter handle of the followers, even better with new Twitter design which displays the follower’s short bio, recent tweets, location, and followers/following counts.

Clicking on a name of any followers reveal his/her bio, location, followers-following count which is great to judge what kind of users are they interacting with. It also offers you access to relevant people and start following them immediately to begin with 🙂

Alternatively, you can get an overview of a user’s followers by using Twitter Tool like Tweepi, which allows you to see every follower details all on one screen in tabular format that includes short bio information, location, number of followers and following, number of updates and when they last tweeted (active/inactive).

Digging Deeper

On Twitter number of Followers or one sided Tweets (from competitor’s account) does not reveal how their customers are reacting to them. For this you need to head straight to http://search.twitter.com.

Here all you have to do is type “@yourcompetitor’s twitter handle” in the search box and you will get as results what customers have to say about your competitors.

So in an example, you get to know that their customers are facing much issues with refund and deliveries and if in same niche you would want to find and pitch solution for the same.

Continuous Tracking is Easy!

Twitter is great at this essentially because it allows users to create their own Lists by putting other users into groups and access a stream only from them. You can cleverly use this as a hack to make a private List of all your competitors and have one click access to all their streams.

The tools like Twellow and WeFollow are great to find and follow such pre-compiled streams by others.

Other Tools:

socialmention*: A powerful & Real-Time Social Media Search Engine is another easy way to find your competitors on multiple social networks and view mentions about them by social media users.

SocialMention goes much beyond Facebook & twitter to dig you relevant information about competition that includes mention for your competitors on linkedin, youtube, blogs, questions, mentions, bookmarks, audio, images and more.

While researching however its only imperative that one does not only focus on popular Social Media platforms but goes much beyond.

As we understand that Forums are very strong and focused community of members continuously talking about products and services hence it is important to extend research to include this data. The fantastic tool to research within forums is boardreader that allows you to find your competitors and any talk about them on forums and message boards throughout the web.

Have you used Social Media to research your Competitors???

– Please share more tips, tricks you engage to research your competitors below and your important learnings…

Anubhav Sharma
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Facebook shutting down – Rumor or Fact?

Reported Weekly World News –

“Facebook has gotten out of control,” said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, “and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”

and he went on to explain that starting March 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

I personally don’t think that this is true… What about you?:

Do you believe in this news?

If you think that the news however may be true and you are an active user then it is only imperative that you take the backup of your account and keep it safe till we all get more confirmations on the same.

How To Backup All Your Facebook Data And Download It?

facebook backupFirst, login to your Facebook account.

After logging in, go to Account > Account Settings using the top right menu.

On the Account Settings page, scroll down to find the option that says, Download your information. Click on the learn more button and then click on the Download button on next page.

After clicking on the download button, Facebook will send you the download link on the email address associated with your Facebook account after the backup is ready. Click on the link sent to your email, enter your Facebook password and click on the Download button to download the backup zip file that has all your Facebook profile data.

Anubhav Sharma

Social Media Guide – Don’ts Series

While any basic search on web will lead you to several posts/articles on what to do for your Social Media Campaign’s Success, this post is the collection of very meaningful insights and effective links on Social Media Mistakes, Failures, Blunders and definite no-no’s.

Implementing what others have done already or similar is no guarantee for your success but avoiding the mistakes listed below will definitely serve as a better guide to make your campaigns more successful and unique experience, enabling you to engage with your audience and make the desired impact.

7 Deadly Sins of Social Media by James Clark (Room 214)

In his post James lists the 7 deadly sins most interestingly and insists that it is not in any particular order or represents any hierarchy; just identify the one which is the least of the seven evils and get away with it and then move on to eliminate the next as all of them are bad…
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Download the PDF version here
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Social Media Marketing Mistakes And How to Avoid Them by Ignite Social Media

A 6 video series essentially is “The Top 5 Most Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes.” plus 1 BONUS 6th mistake FREE. The must watch series for any online (social) marketeer:

Mashable’s Biggest Mistakes Made by Social Media Gurus

The post begins with David Spark admitting an error of his own of Responding to all Negative Comments which according to him is not very helpful besides being  too time consuming. According to him some geeks simply can’t help themselves being negative and would always have you wasting your time trying to resolve with them.

Well put list of errors in judgment from the people who should know better- top notch social media all stars. Read on…

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The post is particularly good talking about the mistakes made in social media and interactive marketing campaigns with some very good examples. Examples are well analyzed and includes  that of British Airways’ Twitter presence and Slurpee’s social network, Slurpee Nation amongst many others.

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A Must watch Ad Age Video: Social Media Mistakes of Five Big Marketers

This video is a speech given by Joseph Jaffe, head of the marketing consulting firm Crayon; criticizing the social media programs of 5 major marketers including Starbucks. In this video I Particularly loved the line where Joseph asks whether marketers are ‘in the business of commitment or campaigns’?

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Twitter Edition:

Why I Suck At Twitter: Confession Of A Failure by Sunil Pathak where he talks about his own mistakes on Twitter

7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid on Twitter from iMediaConnection.com

If you have any case studies or good articles on this subject feel free to add them in the comments section.

Anubhav Sharma