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According to Sprout Social’s survey, 85% of companies rely on social data as a primary source of business insights. And with almost 4.6 million people on social media networks, they are a crucial part of your growth strategy.
It’s no longer news that there’s fierce brand competition — in every industry — roaming the web. So, how do you outcompete your brand competitors and grow your business on social media? By doing social media competitor analysis.
When you learn your competitors’ moves, you find ways to reinforce your brand strengths, improve on your shortcomings, and take advantage of opportunities. In this guide, we’ll go over what social media competitor analysis means, its benefits, the steps to take when performing this analysis, and a list of the tools you need.
What is social media competitor analysis?
Social media competitor analysis is the process of evaluating your competitors on social media to find opportunities and build strategies for brand growth. Performing this analysis allows you to identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to develop a working social marketing strategy. It also reveals relevant information about your target audience, why they’re interested in competitor brands, and how these brands do better at social media marketing.
Why is social media competitor analysis important?
Social media competitive analysis has its own advantages outside the strategy you use to examine your SEO competitors. It allows you to:
1. Understand your ideal clients better
Performing a social media competitive analysis lets you gain deeper insights into who your ideal clients are. Knowing your customer personas empowers you to get more marketing results because you understand:
What social media platforms your ideal clients use
How they consume content
The types of content they’re searching for
What pain points they need solutions for
What time they’re active on social media
2. Build a better social strategy
When you understand how and why your competitors are performing better than your brand, you can create a working social media strategy, or improve it if you already have one.
A social media competitor analysis challenges you to do your best because it compares your methods and results against the competition. Also, you can identify gaps to leverage for brand growth, and threats you need to deal with.
3. Create relevant content
It’s only natural that your ideal clients choose the brands whose values and content they align with. A social media competitor analysis will make you top of mind among your ideal clients.
This is because you’ll identify the types and formats of content they want to see. Also, you can take advantage of the content gaps you discover to create fresh, valuable content for your audience.
4. Better marketing and positioning
By conducting a social media competitive analysis, you can leverage your social platforms for more effective marketing. When you see what’s working for your competitors, you’ll start to use relevant, underused social media features and strategies.
More so, this empowers you to come up with a positioning strategy to differentiate your brand from the competition — and become an authority in your industry.
Six competitive analysis tools for social media
Alongside your traditional analytics tools, which we’ll talk about later, you need specific social media tools to perform efficient competitor analysis on these platforms. We’ve included six options below:
1. Not Just Analytics
Not Just Analytics, formerly called Ninjalistics, is an analytic tool for Instagram and TikTok. With this social media competitive software, you can monitor the growth of competitor profiles, the hashtags they use, and their engagement rates.
All you have to do is enter your competitors’ profiles into Not Just Analytics and analyze them. For example, after analyzing Isis Brenna’s Instagram profile, marketing strategist for business coaches, here’s what Not Just Analytics displays:
Social Mention by BrandMentions is a search engine for collecting user-generated content on social media, blogs, news, and videos.
Once you enter a competitor brand, Social Mention tracks and shows you all the conversations about them — who’s talking about them, what they’re saying, and on which platforms:
Socialbakers is a social media management tool that makes it easy to monitor all your social media platforms in one place. It works best for agencies.
This tool allows you to measure and compare your content performance to improve brand growth. In addition, Socialbakers has free competitor analysis tools for Instagram and Facebook, and you can analyze up to five competitor profiles.
4. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a suite of social media management tools for better brand marketing. It has scheduling, analytics, and competitor analysis tools for all business sizes and types.
Sprout Social's competitor analysis feature allows you to monitor your competitors' audience growth and publishing schedules.
Sociality is a full-service tool for social listening, scheduling, and competitor analysis.
With this social media competitor analysis tool, you can gain insights into your competitors' paid ad campaigns, social media performance metrics, and content strategy and history.
BigSpy is a free tool for analyzing your competitors’ ads on social media. This ad library holds a database of advertisements on different social networks.
BigSpy helps both small businesses and large enterprises find campaign inspiration from their competitors to create better marketing campaigns and social media strategies.
How to do social media competitor analysis
Performing social media competitor analysis doesn’t have to be a hassle. Whether you use Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube, here are the five steps to analyze competitor businesses.
1. Figure out your brand goals and metrics
Before examining and comparing competitors’ performances, figure out what you want. It’s important to always start with the end — your brand goals — in mind.
Determine the answers to questions like:
What are your goals for marketing on social media?
How do these fit into your overall brand goals?
What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you track to measure success?
Who are the ideal clients you want to reach?
2. Identify your brand competitors
It’s impossible to analyze your competitors on social media if you don’t know who they are or which social platforms they use.
Watch out for both direct and indirect competitors — that is, businesses that offer similar products or services and those that solve the same problem as you. Then, list your top five competitors.
You can find out your competitors by:
Using Moz’s free SEO competitive research tool
Enter your site domain and click Analyze domain. You’ll get a list of your top competitors and keywords you can target. You can head over to their websites, find their social handles, and see what they’re doing.
Using Google search
By using the search engine result page (SERP), you can find competitors ranking for your keywords on social media, although this can be a tasking process.
Enter your target keyword and take note of the websites, and especially social media profiles, that pop up during your search.
For example, if you enter the keyword “launch copywriter,” here’s what you’ll find on page one:
From the screenshot above, the websites ranking are likely competitors for that keyword. However, you need to check their social profiles to see if they are also social media competitors.
For this query, there’s an Instagram profile ranking as the fifth result and the only social media profile on page one. So, if you were looking to build a strong social presence as a launch copywriter, you’d analyze this profile for their strategies.
Searching on the target social platform
If you’re looking to grow your brand visibility for a specific product or keyword on a social media platform, enter the term in the search bar of that platform and go through the accounts or hashtags that pop up to see if there are competitors you’d like to analyze.
Screenshot from Pinterest’s search bar
Screenshot from Twitter’s search bar
3. Collect and analyze data
Data analysis and collection make up the majority of this process. To make it easier, you can choose a convenient analysis tool from the ones mentioned above to study, analyze, and compare the performance of your competitors.
And while you might have your brand KPIs, here are the important social media metrics to track during competitive analysis:
Number of followers
Social media ads insights
Share of voice
Estimated organic traffic to the page
Quantity of keywords the competitor
Using a simple tool called Keywords Everywhere, figuring out metrics 6 and 7 can be easy.
Install the Chrome extension for this tool. Once done, type “[the social media platform] + [brand name]” in Google Search. Then, move your cursor over the metric kw(us):
For example, when you enter “Instagram.com gucci,” here’s what you get:
This shows that Gucci’s Instagram page ranks for 312 keywords and gets up to 24,600 visits per month.
To further simplify your social media competitor analysis, here are some of the questions you should consider:
What is your competitors’ audience growth rate?
How does their content strategy look? What content type do they focus on — informational, entertaining, aspirational, or promotional? Which content formats do they use? Is it videos, texts, lives, carousels, etc.? What is their posting schedule?
Which posts get the highest engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares?
What is their engagement rate, on average?(Video) Social Media Strategy: Competitors Analysis
What other social media marketing types do they use, apart from organic promotions? Is it sponsored posts, collaborations, paid ads, referrals, or influencer marketing?
How does their hashtag strategy look? Which hashtags do they use? How many, and how often?
Now, compile everything you’ve analyzed so far into a spreadsheet. This makes it easy to track and evaluate data at a glance:
Bonus: instead of creating a spreadsheet from scratch, you can use this social media competitor analysis template by Sprout Social.
4. Create a social media strategy
Data analysis is important when evaluating your social media competitors, but data interpretation is more necessary. Everything in your spreadsheet is only lines, figures, and charts if you don't know how to use the data collected for business intelligence.
Meagan Williamson, Pinterest marketing expert and business coach says, “When your competitors have impressive metrics, it’s essential to understand what they are doing well to build a better social media strategy. Also, their weaknesses (that is, what they aren’t doing well) can be opportunities for your brand growth. Build a data-driven strategy that allows you to look at what’s working and what’s not, and how you can take advantage of these insights to accomplish your business goals.”
With this spreadsheet information, create a four-part SWOT analysis table for your strategy.
SWOT analysis is a well-thought overview of your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help you make informed business decisions.
5. Keep tabs on account progress
After doing your social media competitive analysis, that’s not the end. You need to keep tabs on your profile and, of course, the competition. This allows you to:
Monitor brand progress
Notice new competition quickly
See if your social media strategy is working
Identify new growth opportunities
Keep your marketing plan up-to-date
It’s crucial to stay on top of both industry and social media trends.
Stick to a routine to regularly analyze your social media competitors — whether that’s monthly, quarterly, mid-yearly, or annually. Also, ensure that you update your competitor research spreadsheet to identify new opportunities or threats.
Social media competitive analysis is vital to your brand growth, as it allows you to build a solid social presence, customer trust, and brand credibility.
By mastering the steps above, you can conduct this analysis for any of your social media profiles. Figure out your brand goals and turn analyzed, organized metrics into context-rich insights to improve your social media strategy.
What is social media competition analysis? ›
Social media competitor analysis is the process of evaluating your competitors on social media to find opportunities and build strategies for brand growth. Performing this analysis allows you to identify your competitors' strengths and weaknesses to develop a working social marketing strategy.What should be included in a competitor analysis? ›
A competitive analysis should examine your competitors' features, market share, pricing, marketing, differentiators, strengths, weaknesses, geography, culture and customer reviews.Why is it important to monitor competitors social media? ›
See how you stack up against your competitors
Social media platforms are a place to connect with your current and potential consumers and to exemplify your brand's voice and thought leadership. It's important to monitor how you're doing compared to your competitors and what it means for your brand.
- Step 1- Identify your Facebook competitors. ...
- Step 2- Know what you intend to discover from competitor analysis. ...
- Step 3- Start collecting data for metrics that are important to your research. ...
- Step 4- Get insights into your Facebook competitors' audience.
Visit Your Competitor's LinkedIn Page
Head over to LinkedIn and search for your competitor's page. Once you arrive, in the main menu, click on Posts. You'll then have the ability to select ads from the various types of content that page has shared on the platform.
As a general rule, it is advisable not to interact with competitors over social media, especially not sharing their content. The rationale behind it is pretty simple – it has the potential to increase their reach, web clicks and their follower numbers.What are the 5 competitive strategies? ›
- Cost leadership. ...
- Product differentiation. ...
- Customer relationship management (CRM) ...
- Cost focus. ...
- Commitment to customers strategy.
The purpose of a competitor analysis is to understand your competitors' strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own and to find a gap in the market. A competitor analysis is important because: It will help you recognise how you can enhance your own business strategy.How do you write a competitor analysis essay? ›
A competitive analysis covers five key topics:
- Your company's competitors.
- Competitor product summaries.
- Competitor strengths and weaknesses.
- The strategies used by each competitor to achieve their objectives.
- The market outlook.
Important Factors of A Good Marketing Competitor Analysis
Unique value proposition. Funding. Revenue. Target audience / customers.
Who are your competitors examples? ›
These are businesses offering similar (or identical) products or services in the same market. They also vye for the same customer base. Some famous examples of direct competitors include Apple versus Android, Pepsi versus Coca-Cola, and Netflix versus Hulu.How do you keep an eye on your competitors on social media? ›
Take a Look at Your Competitor's Website
Think about what you have in common with them and what sets you apart. If they have a blog, look at what topics they write about and how often they post. It's also a good idea to pay attention to how user-friendly their site is.
- Go beyond a google search. ...
- Do some reporting. ...
- Tap the social network. ...
- Ask your customers. ...
- Attend a conference. ...
- Check in with your suppliers.
To use this targeting option, go to the ad set level of your Facebook ad campaign and scroll down to the Detailed Targeting section. Click the Edit button and type a competitor into the search bar.How do you compare brands? ›
- Identify Your Competitors. ...
- Analyse Your Competitors' Customer Journey. ...
- Review Their Marketing Strategy.
- Social Status. Social Status is one of the best Instagram competitor analysis tools on the market today. ...
- Sprout Social. ...
- Falcon.io. ...
- Brand24. ...
- Sociality.io. ...
- Socialbakers. ...
One of the biggest reasons Instagram is winning over brands is that it has ad savvy and ad technology. A lot of that comes from parent company Facebook, which operates one of the largest digital advertising businesses in the world.Which tool can you use to find the Instagram statistics of your competitors? ›
INSTAGRAM ANALYTICS FREE
With our FREE Instagram Competitor Aanalysis tool, compare against your competitor, which types of posts your audience responds to the most, get detailed data on your engagement, and work out the best time to post.
Following your competitors on social media gives you the insights and the right tools to keep up with the trend. Especially if you are in the same industry or niche, some competitors have a different way of positioning their products and services on the market that might and might not work for your brand.Should we follow our competitors on Instagram? ›
Monitoring your competitors' Instagram accounts can help you to elaborate on a better strategy that will push you one step ahead of the competition.
Can Instagram followers be stolen? ›
Yep, you can steal followers from the competition. Simply visit their profiles & follow the people who follow them. Trust me, followers will start rolling in! Just don't follow people too quickly.
- A description of your company's target market.
- Details about your product or service versus the competitors'
- Current and projected market share, sales, and revenues.
- Pricing comparison.
- Marketing and social media strategy analysis.
- Differences in customer ratings.
- The core problems your target audience face.
- The potential solution you've come up with.
- The state of the market your product will enter.
- The look and feel of your product.
- The growth process of your business.
- The team behind the product.
- The competition on the market.
Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a great SEO and keyword research tool. You can use it to see what your competitors are ranking for, how much organic traffic they're getting, and understand what content of theirs is performing the best. You can also compare domains to see content gaps and track specific keywords over time.What are the 4 factors of competitive advantage? ›
The four primary methods of gaining a competitive advantage are cost leadership, differentiation, defensive strategies and strategic alliances.What are the 3 basic competitive strategies? ›
According to Porter's Generic Strategies model, there are three basic strategic options available to organizations for gaining competitive advantage. These are: Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus.What are the 6 factors of competitive advantage? ›
Competitive advantages are attributed to a variety of factors including cost structure, branding, the quality of product offerings, the distribution network, intellectual property, and customer service.Why do we need competitor analysis to succeed in marketing your brand? ›
A competitive analysis helps to identify the main market players, determine what strategies they use to succeed and identify resources your company could use to dominate the market.How often should you perform a competitor analysis? ›
If you go the annual route, you might not be as aware of your competition. If you go the monthly route, you might not be giving your efforts enough time to see how they stack up to your competitors'. That's why going back to the drawing board every three months is optimal.How is competitor analysis used in digital marketing? ›
- Identify Competitors. First, decide which competitors you want to analyze. ...
- Investigate Competitors' Social Media Ads Strategy. ...
- Benchmark Competitors' Google Ads. ...
- SEO Tools to Track Competitors' Organic Performance. ...
- Evaluate Competitors' Content Marketing. ...
- Map Out Challenges and Opportunities With a SWOT Analysis.
Is SWOT a competitive analysis? ›
What Is SWOT Analysis? SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company's competitive position and to develop strategic planning. SWOT analysis assesses internal and external factors, as well as current and future potential.What is the marketing plan? ›
A marketing plan is the advertising strategy that a business will implement to sell its product or service. The marketing plan will help determine who the target market is, how best to reach them, at what price point the product or service should be sold, and how the company will measure its efforts.What are some insights you gained from conducting a competitive audit? ›
Conducting a competitive audit is a foundational tactic to better understand what your competitors are doing and the threat they may pose to your brand. It also offers insights into who they are, their strategy, and what your brand may be missing out on.What are the factors to consider in identifying potential competitors? ›
- Market Research. Take a look at the market for your product and evaluate which other companies are selling a product that would compete with yours. ...
- Solicit Customer Feedback. ...
- Check Online Communities on Social Media or Community Forums.
There are four types of competition in a free market system: perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly. Under monopolistic competition, many sellers offer differentiated products—products that differ slightly but serve similar purposes.What is competitive analysis explain with examples? ›
A competitor analysis, also referred to as a competitive analysis, is the process of identifying competitors in your industry and researching their different marketing strategies. You can use this information as a point of comparison to identify your company's strengths and weaknesses relative to each competitor.How would you describe your competitors? ›
For each competitor, perform a SWOT Analysis and include the following information: Competitor's Name. Overview of Competitor (where are they located; how long have they been operating) Competitor's Product or Service.How do you analyze your competitors on Instagram? ›
You can view your competitors' top three hashtags underneath the Profiles tab of the Instagram Competitors Report. Hashtags are ranked by the total number of public engagements the competitor received on all posts that use the hashtag. You can conduct further hashtag analysis with Sprout's Advanced Listening tool.How do I use LinkedIn competitors analysis? ›
LinkedIn inbuilt competitor analysis tool
Note: You'll need admin access to your company page. Step 1: Go to “Analytics.” Step 2: Click on “Competitors.” Step 3: LinkedIn shows a suggested list of competitors that you can modify.
Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a great SEO and keyword research tool. You can use it to see what your competitors are ranking for, how much organic traffic they're getting, and understand what content of theirs is performing the best. You can also compare domains to see content gaps and track specific keywords over time.
How do you analyze the competitors in the FBS industry? ›
Analyzing competitors' marketing models. Evaluating various factors impacting product prices and comparing the client's pricing strategy with competitors through a pricing strategy engagement. Comparing client's product offerings with competitors using a competitive benchmarking analysis.How can I analyze my competitors on Instagram for free? ›
- Social Status. Social Status is one of the best Instagram competitor analysis tools on the market today. ...
- Sprout Social. ...
- Falcon.io. ...
- Brand24. ...
- Sociality.io. ...
- Socialbakers. ...
One of the biggest reasons Instagram is winning over brands is that it has ad savvy and ad technology. A lot of that comes from parent company Facebook, which operates one of the largest digital advertising businesses in the world.Who is LinkedIn biggest competitor? ›
- Top 10 LinkedIn Competitors and Alternatives. Facebook Groups. Bark. Opportunity. Xing. Meetup. Slack. Reddit. Indeed.com. Twitter Threads. Jobcase.
- The Takeaway.
Shield is one of the best LinkedIn analytics tools that offers you all the needed data to keep track of your LinkedIn performance. The important thing to keep in mind is that it offers only own profile analytics and it doesn't provide you with data for business pages.Should I connect with competitors on LinkedIn? ›
Connecting with your competitors is a great way to gain greater understanding of your target market. Once you connect with a competitor you will be able to see all the people they are connected to. Some of your competitor's connections will be clients, some will be prospects, and some will provide no value whatsoever.What is the best competitive analysis tool? ›
- #1 – Semrush. Semrush is our favorite competitor analysis tool for SEO. ...
- #3 – Serpstat. ...
- #4 – SpyFu. ...
- #5 – Ahrefs' Site Explorer. ...
- #6 – BuzzSumo. ...
- #7 – Semrush Traffic Analytics. ...
- #8 – Ahrefs' Content Explorer. ...
- #9 – Social Status.
- Identify main competitors. ...
- Analyze competitors' online presence. ...
- Gather information. ...
- Track your findings. ...
- Check online reviews. ...
- Identify areas for improvement. ...
- Tools for competitive research.
Building a Competitive Advantage
Michael Porter, the famous Harvard Business School professor, identified three strategies for establishing a competitive advantage: Cost Leadership, Differentiation, and Focus (which includes both Cost Focus and Differentiation Focus).
- Evaluate the viability of new products and services. ...
- Rate the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. ...
- Identify unserved or underserved gaps. ...
- Getting the most value from your competitor analysis.
Which of the following is the first step in a competitor analysis? ›
The first step in a competitor analysis is to determine who the competition is. This involves determining the current potential competitors within a market. At this stage, the analyst should also determine if the competitor is direct or indirect.