Social media monitoring tools not only inform brands about consumers, but they enhance growth and stimulate improvement by teaching about where competitors have gone wrong and what they’re doing right.
So what, exactly, can you learn from the competition on social?
Measures for realistic goal-setting
Targeting the competition on social media helps you develop measurable, realistic goals for your brand by comparison. Simply saying, “let’s grow our social channels by, say, 25%” without concrete reasons for choosing that number is a set-up for failure. With social listening, gone are the days of throwing out arbitrary numbers and hoping for the best. Instead, you have access to competitive benchmarks that will enable attainable, informed goal-setting.
Effective social media channels
Social media monitoring helps you understand which social channels you should be prioritizing. It’s no secret that different campaigns work better on different networks. Social listening enables you to identify the channels strengthening your competition, and those that are falling short. That way you can focus on the best channels for your brand, without relying on trial and error on your own marketing dime.
Compelling content choices
Should the bulk of your content be under 140 characters, or should you put the weight of your efforts into longer posts on Facebook? Lending a social ear to competitors allows you to hone your campaign’s focus by identifying which types of content are engaging consumers, and which are going ignored.
Key players and influencers
At a party, it’s pretty easy to identify the leaders in the room – they’re the ones engaging the crowd, listening and leading as people gravitate toward them. Social listening allows you to spot the same on social media. Using monitoring tools you can identify who the influencers are in your competition’s network, and observe the strategies that are garnering attention. You also glean the key players amplifying your competitors’ messages – giving you the opportunity to engage them yourself.
By providing real-time insight into what your competition is doing and how consumers are responding, social listening helps identify trends as they’re emerging. This way, marketers can get to work on developing strategies that will coincide with those trends, rather than respond retroactively and fall behind. What’s more, your product development team can apply consumer insights to innovating the next big thing for your brand.
With great reach, comes great responsibility
Social listening gives marketers a longer reach to consumers, which is great when engagement is going well, but if efforts are failing, brands have farther to fall. To stay on top of the game, you need to know not only what your competitors are doing right, but what they’re doing wrong, too.
Few things are worse, from the consumer perspective, than walking into a business and being told to “take a number.” No one wants to feel like a number, so don’t treat consumers like one. A lot of marketers drop the ball by paying all of their attention to quantities of mentions, followers, and retweets, and not enough to the valuable messages behind those numbers.
Social listening enables brands to treat consumers as individuals by providing nuanced insights into what they care about and what’s important to them at present. This information lets marketers look beyond the numbers and hone in on emerging trends and sentiment to better inform campaign strategies.
Competitive intelligence makes all the difference when it comes to whether your brand will race ahead of the pack, or constantly struggle to keep up. For optimal success, keep your ear to the social ground.
Have questions about how to make competitive intelligence work for you? Let us help!
Image from Chris Lott