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Social Media Competitor Analysis in 10 Steps

Cullen Andrew
Dec 31, 2020 6:03:39 PM

Social Media Competitor Analysis in 10 Steps


A clear social media strategy is never complete without an in-depth competitor analysis that allows you to fully understand your brands positioning compared to you key competitors.

Not only will it help you create a thought out strategy, but it will also help you establish benchmarks to determine low and high performing aspects of content strategy overall.

An in-depth competitor analysis will tell you a lot about the landscape you operate in such as competitors products, their overall methods, creative design and development decisions, and overall approach to reach the intended audience.

Continue reading below to get an overview of key elements youll want to consider when you conduct a thorough social media competitor analysis.


Identify your top competitors 

Have you taken the time to identify your top 3-5 competitors?

It’s important that you properly identify brands that align with your business before you conduct a social media competitive analysis.

The goal in this step is for you to find companies that provide the same or similar products/services as you business.

Whether you are an international, national, or local company it’s crucial to determine competitors that are performing similar or even better than you are. Pay close attention to their audience and how they intersect with your target customers.


Define the competitive goals and key points of interests (KPI’s)

To accurately start your social media competitive analysis you need to really define your goals.

What is the purpose of your analysis? What answers are you attempting to discover? Sorting data without defining the purpose is essentially a waste of time.

A few key questions to ask yourself to determine what you need to know:

  • Improve your message
  • What platforms should you be putting the most effort into
  • How can you optimize your paid social media content
  • How can you improve organic reach

Key takeaway: by deciding what you want to achieve will make it easier for you to measure your results



Pick which social platforms you want to monitor

After you’ve identified your top competition, start to narrow down which platforms they are most active on.

Make sure you search each of their profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, tiktok and YouTube. Don’t forget to also check for any precedes they may have on less popular social platforms since you never know where your target audience may be.



Track performance and growth over time on social networks

After choosing several social media platforms, its time to dig deeper to fully understand how each competitor engages and grows their audience. You’ll need to track specific metrics such as:

Profile Metrics

  • How many followers do they have on each platform?
  • How many posts do they publish each week?
  • What platform are they most active on?
  • How many likes, shares, comments, etc do they get on each post?

Content Metrics

  • What types of content do they share?
  • How many posts do they boost?
  • Do they go live?
  • What’s their image post to video post ratio?

Brand Metrics

  • What is their tone on each post?
  • What issues are they addressing?
  • How are their followers reacting to their posts?
  • What branding methods do they use?



Take a look at their content strategy

Creating a defined content strategy is an extremely important aspect of social media.

Ensure that your content is meaningful and serves a purpose or answers their needs, otherwise people will not be interested. You should strive to provide top tier content.

Analyze their content to determine if their content strategy is providing something you are missing. What are they doing better than you are? What areas are they lacking in?

Pay attention to:

  • Messages
  • Format
  • Captions
  • Hashtags
  • Campaigns



Take a look at their engagement metrics

By analyzing engagements rates youll be able to identify growth opportunities which is an important part of a successful social media strategy

What you need to find out to determine performance

  • Number of posts published
  • Number of replies
  • Number of likes
  • Average response time
  • How they respond to others

Key focus areas

  • Profile engagement rate
  • Post engagement rate
  • Boosted post engagement
  • Day to do or month to month engagement evolution
  • Types of posts ranked by engagement
  • Likes, comments, shares



Fully understand how others engage with their content

Choose either to track months worth of data or analyze 10 random posts.

Be sure to take note of how many likes, comments, shares, etc. each post gets and get the average for each engagement.


Determine when people are active on each platform

Social media can provide a great way for people to amplify their brand awareness, however it's not enough just to post whenever you want. Customers want and expect to get well thought out and meaningful content that brings them value.

Take note of when users are most active across each social media platform which will tell you when is best to connect with them. This will increase your chances of reaching the highest number of people within your target audience.


Analyze their content strategy

This step can be difficult as it may be impossible to find the exact dollar amount your competition is spending on paid social media campaigns. There are a few ways to see if they are spending money on follower acquisition.

Take a look at their social media pages and find any sponsored ads they may have. For example, if they appear under the “Who to follow” column on Twitter you know they are paying to get more followers.


The right tools make a huge difference

Picking the right tools to automate competitor analysis and reports is crucial for not only accuracy but also saving time and money.

There are plenty of platforms out there that will offer a variety of options and features, consider which metrics are relevant to you and what features you will need then start your search.


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