Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working together to take the overwhelm and frustration out of social media marketing. We’re working on creating a social media marketing plan. So far, we’ve talked about why it’s important to have a social media marketing plan, created a social media mission statement, and talked about the difference between target market and ideal customer and created an ideal customer persona. Now, it’s time to take a look at our competition. Let’s complete a social media competitive analysis and apply that information to our own social media marketing!
How to Create a Social Media Competitive Analysis
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Now, let’s learn how to create a social media competitive analysis!
Identify Your Competitors
Step one in completing a social media competitive analysis is to identify our competitors.
Obviously, we can’t analyze our competitors if we don’t know who they are. But we aren’t looking for just any competitor. We need the ones who are in our niche and are leveraging social media successfully.
Complete a search using the same keywords that your customers might use to find you.
Once you have a list of 8-10, you’ll want to do a little research and find out which competitors on the list are leveraging social media successfully. A preliminary analysis might include things like number of likes or followers, frequency of publishing updates, and engagement.
This will be a quick look into these competitors. Once we narrow down our list, we’ll do more in-depth analysis.
I searched the following keywords and came up with a list of 10 competitors:
- Virtual Assistant
- Virtual Assistants for Bloggers
- Blogger VA
- Social Media VA
Compile the Data
The easiest way to keep track of and compare the information you’ll be gathering in your social media competitive analysis is in a spreadsheet.
But, if you find yourself being drawn to a different way of compiling this information, listen to your personal preferences. This is just what works for me!
Usually, I start by looking at Facebook. I typically get the most information from Facebook, and it’s where my ideal customer is (remember when we talked about target market and ideal customer). And it’s also where I spend the bulk of my time as a blogger and a Virtual Assistant.
If you go to your competitors’ Facebook pages and click on “Likes” on the left sidebar….
You’ll have access to some basic data like People Talking About This, Number of Page Likes, and New Page Likes this week.
On your spreadsheet, include a link to your competitors’ Facebook page, the number of followers, and the information you saw above by clicking on “Likes.” I also included a few notes.
Repeat the same process for the 3-5 competitors you identified.
You can collect similar information on other social media platforms if it makes sense for your business.
I’ll add information for Pinterest, because it’s a big player in my niche’s social media marketing. I may also include Instagram and Twitter.
Evaluate Competitors’ Online Activity
Compiling the information above doesn’t give us a full picture of our competitors. We also need to see how they use their social media platforms and their blogs, if they have one.
Look at things like:
- How often they post: Are they consistent?
- When did they last post?
- What type of voice and tone do they use?
- Do they engage with their fans’ comments and questions?
- How often do they publish promotional posts?
- Do they have a blog?
- What content do they publish on their blog?
- Do they publish content consistently?
Make a few notes to yourself on your spreadsheet or other info tracking method, if you’re using one.
Compare Your Data
Now it’s time to turn the tables. Look at your Facebook Insights and analytics for any other social media platforms you included.
Do you stack up?
- How do your numbers look alongside your competitors’?
- When did you last post?
- How often do you post on social media: Are you consistent?
- What type of voice and tone do you use? (Record this on your social media marketing plan; get yours by becoming an Insider HERE!)
- Do you engage with your fans’ comments and questions?
- How often do you publish promotional posts?
- Do you have a blog?
- What content do you publish on your blog?
- Do you publish content consistently?
Try to get a picture of you versus your competitors.
And as you’re completing this process make note of any content types that might resonate with your readers. Obviously, you wouldn’t copy it directly, but you can get some ideas and interpret them in your own way.
Add Takeaways to Social Media Marketing Plan
Once you’ve looked at all of this information, record any takeaways on your social media marketing plan under “Competition Analysis.”
Did you realize that you’ve been neglecting an entire content area? I did!
Or maybe you realized you aren’t sharing enough posts about your service or product. Or perhaps you realized you’re sharing too many posts about your service or product.
And that’s how to create a Social Media Competitive Analysis. This process is time and thought intensive, but the information you come out with makes it completely worth it!
Take your time with the process and really focus on comparing your social media marketing to that of your competition.
Pin It So You Don’t Forget It
Make sure you pin this post, so you don’t forget it!
More Posts in This Series
This post is part of the Social Media Marketing Plan series. Here are the other posts in the series for your reference.
How to Complete a Social Media Competitive Analysis
Don’t Forget to Snag Your Printable, Fill-In Social Media Marketing Plan
Just by becoming a Calyx and Corolla Insider, you’ll receive a FREE printable, fill-in social media marketing plan!
Then, follow along with this series and, by the end of the series, you’ll have a completed social media marketing plan, which will take the frustration and overwhelm out of social media marketing!
And as an added bonus for becoming an Insider, you’ll also receive 5 FREE printables to help you get your home office organized.
Good luck with your Competitive Analyses, and thanks for joining me today!