How To Do a Social Media Competitive Analysis: Tips and Tricks

social-media-competitive-analysis

Today, social media is a major channel leveraged by businesses to drive sales, and profitability. According to 2023 statistics, 77% of businesses used social media to reach their customers. Additionally, 41% of small businesses depend on social media as a major revenue driver.

These percentages are only going to increase in the coming years, as more consumers get onto social media. The estimated number of social media users by 2028 is estimated to be 6 billion users. Thus, investments in growing social media channels is important for business growth.

But is your business struggling to outperform your competition on social media? Well, nothing feels better than outperforming your opponents on social media. For this, you must keep a careful watch on what your competitor does, a.k.a., performing a social media competitive analysis.

You must understand what is working for them and how they are doing compared to your content. Eventually, this allows you to assess your social media performance and also provides you with tools to enhance your approach. If you’re wondering how to do a social media competitive analysis, you’re in the right place. 

In this blog, we’ll cover all you need to know about social media competitive analysis. We’ll cover everything, right from data collection strategies and procedures to drawing conclusions and presenting your results. Read on!

What Does Social Media Competitive Analysis Refer To?

What is a Social Media Competitive Analysis?
Source: Social Bakers

Operating your social media accounts in a vacuum, can be a risky proposition. While investing your resources in driving engagement and conversions through social media is important, it’s also important to know what’s happening with the competition. 

Identifying your top rivals and obtaining information about their performance, both (positive and negative) to compare to your own is known as social media competitive analysis. It is one of the most effective and systematic methods to examine how your online presence compares to the competition. Additionally, it can assist both B2B and B2C businesses.

This form of analysis will force you to look at indicators such as follower count, posting frequency, engagement rate, hashtags, etc. As a result, you’ll learn what works (and what doesn’t), and you’ll find new methods to improve your plan.

You’ll examine important metrics such as follower numbers, engagements, and reach across several platforms, noting their accomplishments and the kind of content that gets the most favorable engagement.

Then, you use this data as a benchmark to compare your performance and identify methods to enhance them.

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What Is the Main Purpose of Doing a Social Media Competitive Analysis?

Social media competitive analysis helps you peel back the layers of bluster surrounding your industry and its players.

Did a competitor’s social post go viral? 

Should you copy it or not? 

What type of outcomes do you expect to accomplish if you do? 

Is it on the brand to replicate that social post?

What are your competitors strengths and weaknesses?

How do these compare to your own social media accounts’ strengths and weaknesses?

This blog answers an important question for your business: how to do a social media competitive analysis? Furthermore, we’ll discover how to identify your industry’s competition and what type of data you should focus on. You will also learn how to compile and analyze your data.

After you’ve completed analyzing the data, you will be able to develop meaningful insights. You’ll know who your competitors are on the various social media platforms, which platforms are present, how they are leveraging each platform, which businesses are producing the most successful content and what types of content are generating the most interaction. You will be able to identify the gaps in your social media strategy and learn how to benchmark your performance in comparison to the competition.  It also lets you know what steps to take to help improve your brand’s social media positioning.

Core Benefits Of Timeline Social Media Competitive Analysis

A thorough social media competitive analysis can deliver a wealth of insights that can help you completely transform your brand’s social media strategy. Here are some potential outcomes that can fuel the right actions for your brand: 

  • You can develop a more comprehensive data-driven social media strategy that goes beyond the data of your own social media accounts.  
  • Based on the data, you can set realistic performance benchmarks for your business. This includes followers, number of posts, engagement rates, likes, and shares of content. 
  • Identify fresh ideas for content that your audience can engage with. Also, understand what type of content is not working.   
  • Identify the best times to post content based on competitor data. 
  • Build a deeper understanding of key customer pain points. 
  • Understand what types of posts can work on diverse social media. 
  • Zero in on big ideas that can help differentiate your brand from the clutter. 

5 Most Effective Tips To Run a Social Media Competitive Analysis

Social media competitive analysis entails a set of tasks that must be completed on a consistent basis. Therefore, planning is the key to delivering insightful analyses and executing a fantastic job. This, in turn, helps establish and finish successful projects.

You should know precisely what duties you need to perform at each stage and how to complete them with perfection.

As we break down our method, you’ll see that we concentrate on one aspect at a time. Specifically, we separate the identification of your competitors from the collection and analysis of data. This simplifies the whole procedure. It also expedites the procedure. As you go through each phase of your social media competitive analysis, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

1. Figure out your brand goals and metrics

The first step to conducting a social media competitive analysis is to figure out the goals and metrics of your brand. Now, start by deciding what you want for your brand before you look into what your competitors are up to. You need to be sure about your brand goals and what metrics you will be using to achieve your target.

Here are some questions that will help you determine what is it that you want for your brand:

What are the goals that you want to achieve through marketing your brand on social media?

How will these goals fit with what you have already planned for your overall brand goals?

Which key performance indicators (KPIs) will you prefer to use to measure the success of your brand against your competitors?

Who are the ideal clients that you are planning to reach through your social media marketing strategy?

Once you get answers to these questions, you will be able to set clear goals and metrics for your brand.

2. Identify Your Competitors

After you set your brand goals, you need to determine who are your major competitors in the industry. Concentrate on the brands whose services or products are most closely related to yours. Well, you might already know who they are.

To begin, you should target three to five rivals. Investigate each of their social media profiles; you’ll most likely want to target the firms with the most followers and activity.

On the contrary, if you don’t know who your biggest competitors are, Google them! Look for terms that are linked to your solution.

For example, if you own a sporting goods firm, put “sporting goods company” or “sports goods producers” into Google. The results that appear are prospective rivals for your analysis. It’s that simple!

How to Identify Your Competitors

Now, you can select brands from this search to conduct your analysis and study the results. But isn’t this competitive search analysis for social media? Yes, it is! Thus you need to be sure that your search results also rank as top results on targeted social media platforms.

Searching on the target social platform

So the brand ranking through your keyword search on Google may not rank well on social media networks.

This is why you need to be thorough with your selection of brands to conduct competitive analysis. The brands you select should also be the ones that rank on top even in the social media search results.

All you need to do is go to the search bar of the platform for which you want results. Afterward, enter the term in the search bar and check out all the accounts and hashtags that show up there. Finally, select those you feel are your potential competitors that you would like to analyze.

Now that you have a list of your competitors, let’s begin to collect the data you will need for competitive analysis.

For example, say you searched for a sports goods company on Google and got your results. Now you also need to go to the social media platform for which you want the competitive analysis results. Type your term in the search bar and select the brand you want to analyze.

How to Identify Your Competitors for Social Media Competitive Analysis

3. Start Collecting Social Media Data of Your Competitors

The next step is to gather social media data. You may adopt one of two methods.

Start Collecting Social Media Data of Your Competitors
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

To begin, you can manually gather social media data. Visit your selected businesses’ social media pages and take note of their follower, likes per post, interactions, shares, and more.

Many social media networks, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, include native analytics tools. These tools assist you in scraping data about your competition.

However, it’s a time-consuming and inefficient method. Here, you must visit each social media outlet individually and input all of the data into a spreadsheet.

Because follower numbers and likes fluctuate all the time, the data will never be totally up to date. Furthermore, drawing comparisons across multiple channels and calculating sophisticated metrics is substantially more difficult.

A third issue is that this is a manual data-entry approach, which can be time-consuming and consume financial resources. It can also result in errors, and omissions. It is highly unsustainable in the age of 24/7 social media cycles. This is a major problem because social media competitive analysis is a process that must be consistently performed throughout the year.  

Social Media Competitive Analysis tool of Predis.ai

The second alternative is to automate the acquisition of social media data. Tools like Predis.ai gather public data from your competitor’s social media accounts and aggregate it all in one place.

In this manner, you can get precise, full, and timely data from your social media competition study. Consequently, this allows you to derive relevant comparison insights.

All you need to do is add the business profiles you wish to monitor. Predis.ai’s competitive analysis dashboards provide accurate, up-to-date information in a single location.

4. Analyze the Social Media Data That You’ve Collected

After you’ve gathered your data, it’s time to begin evaluating it. Analysis can be seen as a wide word with several applications. To provide clarity, we prefer to conceive of analysis as a series of questions that provide insights.

Check Which Brand Has Remained Consistent Over Time

Social Media Competitive Analysis - Check Which Brand Has Remained Consistent Over Time
Source: Oberlo

On social media, consistency is essential. It’s all part of the process of building a successful brand. When evaluating your competitors, consider how consistent they have been in providing the content.

Depending on the indicators you look at, you should know if a brand has been consistent or dropped the ball somewhere.

Where are Your Competitors Underperforming?

Where are Your Competitors Underperforming?

Can you identify any areas where your rivals seem to be failing to produce results?

This may need a bit more work to be determined. Once you’ve defined what ‘underperformance’ looks like, you’ll be able to immediately understand where rivals are failing.

For example, look at engagement values vs. the number of articles published. This is a simple approach to determining whether the competition is failing.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Will you be able to identify the number of likes, shares, and reactions that they receive on average? 
  • How does one brand compare to all others? 
  • Which brand gets the lowest engagement? 
  • What is the size of your competitor’s audience on the social media platform for which you want the results?
  • Is the engagement ratio with regard to the audience size high or low? 
  • How will you determine what the low or high engagement values are for your specific brand or industry?

Which Types of Content are Good Performers and Why?

Identifying top-performing social media material is going to be one of the most important components of your investigation. When doing so, don’t stop at determining if blog articles or videos are effective; instead, go further.

Pay close attention to your competitors’ videos. Examine them.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Was the video structured and what is it that the structure includes?
  • How long is each video on average?
  • Who appears in their videos?
  • What kinds of information do they share?
  • Do they make any offers?
  • How strong are their calls to action?

How Often Are Your Competitors Publishing Content?

Understanding the regularity with which your rival releases content is also important. Frequency is important since all companies must sell themselves to remain relevant, yet they all have financial limits.

Yes, some businesses have higher resources, but that doesn’t guarantee they know how to efficiently employ them.

When you study your competitor’s frequency of social posting, you may categorize the sorts of posts they produce by format. This will allow you to observe the content kinds people are concentrating on.

You’ll be able to establish a strategy for your content creation based on the sorts of content proven to achieve results. But first, you need to recognize the types of content brands are creating.

5. Take Action

Finally, after you’ve met your marketing team, act on your findings and start making adjustments to your social media plan. Try out some fresh hashtags that your rival has used and that you haven’t used previously.

Alternatively, consider providing more evergreen content since such sorts of pieces generate high interaction rates from your competitors. You should include freshly found keywords in your account biographies to make your brand apparent to consumers who actively search.

Whatever path you choose, the key line is to put what you’ve learned into practice and don’t be hesitant to experiment. That is, after all, why you did a social media competitive analysis in the first place!

5 Competitive Analysis Tools for Social Media

Want a peek at what’s going on with your neighboring company? Would you like to track, analyze, and learn from your competitors’ strategies?

Here are 5 competitive analysis tools that will help you gather your information to boost your marketing campaign:

1. Predis

Let’s take a look at Predis’s competitive analysis tool. The tool allows you to dig deep into your competitors’ content patterns, showing the best and worst-performing content. Moreover, you can easily take a look at the hashtag set used by your competitors.

This enables you to understand what type of content works best for your competitors. Additionally, you get a look at the hashtag set that drives their post engagement.

Predis competitive analysis

Now all you need to do is leverage this information for validating your future campaign ideas. Otherwise, just use this information to get inspired for your next post ideas. 

Additionally, the Predis analysis tool provides you with deep insight into industry trends and competitor behavior. So now you can buckle up to woe your clients by presenting them with deep analytic reports regarding market strategies.

2. BuzzSumo 

Ready to track the key performance indicators around your competitors’ marketing activities? Then BuzzSumo is where you need to land. With the BuzzSumo competitive analysis tool, you get your answers to:

What content works best?

Which are the best-performing networks?

Which audience is sharing their content?

How does your content compare to theirs?

buzzsumo content analysis
Source: BuzzSumo

Now you can sit tight and take a look at top-performing content for relevant topics of specific competitors. It not only looks at the engagements but also where the content has been shared across the web.

This helps you to know whose content is running at the top of the industry. Moreover, you get to explore on your own the latest potential hot topics.

3. Unbox Social

Here’s a chance to gain a competitive advantage in your industry by comparing your content performance with your industry rivals. Through this competitive analysis tool, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as strategies that didn’t work out for you. 

you can view all the historical data along with comparing your content performances using Unbox Social’s competitive analysis tool. You also get to analyze the interactions, type of content, number of posts as well as your top posts. This enables you to improve your future marketing strategy.

unbox social content analysis
Source: Unbox Social

Moreover, you can easily check what position you stand on as compared to the industry competitors present. Now this is done with the help of brand scores that will highlight the specific performing areas of your competitors. Thus making it easier for you to identify and work on areas in which you fall behind.

Additionally, you get access to a well-curated competitive analysis feature. Here, you can see what your competitors post and the reactions they receive.

4. Ahrefs

The competitive analysis tool from Ahrefs allows you to study the key aspects of your competitor’s website such as:

Organic traffic performance 

You can check what keywords are used by your competitors and how much traffic those keywords bring to their websites. Ahrefs monitors millions of keywords across various locations. This allows you to estimate a website’s organic search traffic on Google. 

ahrefs competitor analysis
Source: Ahrefs

Backlink profile

As it has the fastest backlink crawler in the industry, you can track the backlinks used by your competitors’ websites. You can also analyze the quality of the backlinks used by them.

ahref backlink analysis
Source: Ahrefs

Paid traffic performance

This allows you to check whether your competitor is into paid search advertising. Moreover, you can even track where they funnel their paid traffic to.

ahref paid keywords analysis
Source: Ahrefs

Additionally, Ahrefs provides you with historical data of 7+ years. This makes it possible for you to track previous keywords, backlinks, and traffic history of your competitor. Now you can use this through research to improve the performance of your company. 

5. Alexa

Alexa is a competitive intelligence software that provides you with keyword research, competitive websites, target audience analysis, and SEO analysis. 

Here, you are provided with a great opportunity to discover the target audience of your competitors in the industry. The competitive analysis of this tool helps you identify the demographic data of customer persona, content strategy, PID traffic targeting, etc. 

alexa site analysis

Moreover, you get to discover new competitors in the industry. This allows you to compare your website’s traffic and engagement with those of your competitors. You can also easily determine the visibility of your brand’s website against that of your competitors.

So with the help of these above-given competitive analysis tools, select the one that suits you the best. These tools are very useful for you to keep track of the progress made by your competitors in the industry.

Examples of Social Media Competitive Analysis

You could be asking what indicators to evaluate in a social media competitive study and what conclusions to draw from your results.

The metrics you monitor are usually determined by your social media KPIs. Here are some indicators for measuring social media success across several platforms.

1. Instagram Social Media Competitive Analysis

Instagram, being an image-based medium, is popular among beauty firms. It’s a terrific platform for them to advertise their goods and repost user-generated material. It also includes selfies from beauty bloggers and makeup artists.

For this example, you will see how you can use Predis.ai to do Instagram competitor analysis. In Predis.ai, we have added Starbucks’s Instagram account for analysis. You can enter any public profile that you want to analyze.

Straightaway you can see that Predis.ai gives you all the necessary metrics at the top. You can see their engagement rates, number of followers, average likes, and comments. 

Instagram competitor analysis tool

Predis.ai uses AI to classify your competitor’s content. It then organizes and shows it to you in an easy-to-read and comprehended format. You can easily find meaningful insights and plan your social media strategy.

You can check your competitor’s content distribution and engagement patterns across posts. Their AI logically combines posts in categories and shows you in a sunburst chart. You can click on any category to see the corresponding posts. This is a great feature as you can directly study your competitor’s posts from Predis.ai. This can help you a ton to analyze the type of content your competitors are using. Also, what is working or not working for them?

competitor analysis  tool
source: Predis.ai

2. YouTube Social Media Competitive Analysis

Let’s use well-known vehicle companies for our YouTube competitive analysis scenario.

Because YouTube has a 30-day data restriction, we’ll examine a period closer to the publication of this blog post. It will be the first two weeks of November.

According to the Key Metrics chart, Mercedes-Benz is significantly more active on YouTube than BMW.

YouTube content analysis
Source: Quintly

However, the top four most-viewed videos of this period are all from BMW. This is consistent with what we witnessed on Facebook. BMW may post less often, but its messages seem to get more attention from fans.

Of course, Mercedes-Benz continues to be the leader in Total Video Views. However, the corporation would be wise to investigate how BMW distributes its material. This will allow it to get a pretty high degree of attention for the few videos it publishes.

3. Facebook Social Media Competitive Analysis

If Facebook is your primary channel, you should examine how you compare to their competition on the network.

For this analysis, we have chosen Mercedes-Benz and Chanel. On Predis.ai, we see that they have a good amount of followers and posts but their average engagement rate is low.

facebook competitor analysis

It can be observed that they have a good amount of content around the Luxury category, as they are a luxury brand. The categories which pop up are all around their business, like design, automobiles, transport, motor, and so on.

facebook competition analysis tool
source: Predis.ai

You can see the posts categorized with their AI. Meaningful insights can be derived from the average engagement rate, the share of voice, and the engagement percentage. You can observe that they have a better share of voice in the Fashion, Art, and Travel categories.

4. Twitter Social Media Competitive Analysis

Let’s have a look at Twitter now. We picked three prominent fast-food restaurants for this example: Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Chipotle.

Wendy’s has approx 3.7 million followers, followers, much more than competitors Taco Bell or Chipotle. The second graph, on the other hand, shows an unusual surge in Chipotle’s followers over three days.

Twitter analysis
Source: Quintly

Based on this information, you should investigate what Chipotle was blogging about over those three days. This will help you to determine whether a similar strategy may work for you. Perhaps one of its postings has gone viral! So let’s go a little further.

The table below displays the most retweeted tweets from Chipotle throughout those three days. Of course, there will be a Halloween contest! Perhaps that’s a strategy you should keep in mind for your client’s next Halloween promotion.

Source: Quintly

5. LinkedIn Social Media Competitive Analysis

Finally, for LinkedIn, consider two US retail behemoths: Walmart and Target.

As seen in the graphic below, Walmart is the market leader in this channel.

Quintly linkedin analysis
Source: Quintly

Walmart’s fan base is also rapidly expanding. It drops somewhat on weekends. This makes sense given that LinkedIn is a professional site that receives greater traffic throughout the week.

However, We can observe that the shift in followers over time suggests a trend. This might be due to trends on LinkedIn. Or else, it could be because the two organizations used identical techniques – and had comparable results.

When we check into Followers Change Per Weekday, we can see that Walmart’s busiest days are Monday through Wednesday. Target might strive to offer fresh employment openings and other forms of information on certain days as well.

Source: Quintly

Wrapping It Up

Analyzing your competitors’ moves is a critical component of any marketing plan. So now you know that the use of social media is widely spread across the world. Thus, knowing the complexity of how your competitors use their social media platforms may offer you a significant competitive edge. Again, this should be a goal for every organization.

Follow our tutorial on how to analyze and arrange your rivals’ data with a social media competitive analysis. This might help you go ahead and dominate the industry. Keep this blog in mind as you begin your approach, and do leave a comment if you have any further tips!

If you’re looking to turbocharge the social media performance of your brand, consider partnering with Predis.ai‘s competitive analysis tool to get access to quality data on a timely basis, and activate a strategy.

You can also leverage Predis-ai’ superior AI-powered content generation capabilities and data-driven analytical approach to automate the generation of high-quality content that drives engagement, conversations, and conversions.  

For more such informative posts about social media tips and tricks, stay connected to Predis.ai.

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Vinita Yadav