10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Social Media

BY: ON MONDAY, JULY 09, 2018

Launching a social media campaign can be an intimidating process, especially when you’re competing with established brands that are backed by teams of experienced marketers. How can you possibly make your social media pages and posts as appealing and effective as a firm of professionals who have a bigger budget and better tools? Although that’s certainly a valid concern to have, you don’t really need a lot of money or a degree to create and steer a powerful brand presence on major social networking sites, as persistence and effort can go a long way by themselves in achieving the results you are seeking. In fact, many a times you can just imitate what your competitors are already doing to achieve similar levels of success. With that being said, here are 10 things you can (and should) learn from your competitors about social media.

1. Progress Expectations

One of the most interesting ways to begin your investigation of a competitor’s social media presence is to track their progress back to the beginning. For example, you could browse their YouTube channel to see how many views their first view videos got in comparison to their more recent videos.

How many videos/posts did they make per month leading up to this point? How long did it take for their brand to reach its current position in terms of follower/subscriber count? Don’t be discouraged if a competitor shows rapid growth that appears difficult to match, as many marketers utilize promotional services like Social Media Daily to achieve significant traffic boosts.

2. Targeting Tactics

Now that you’ve got an idea of how long it may take for you to come close to your competitor’s level, you’ll want to take a closer look at their audience to see if there are any recognizable patterns. Are your competitors using targeted phrasing or keywords to attract a specific demographic or subculture?

3. Niche Trends

Active social media marketers are always staying on top of trends using a variety of sources, so the easiest way to start competing is to simply follow their lead. Ideally, you should be doing your own research and paying attention to developments independently, but staying on top of the competition’s moves will ensure that you’re not left out on a potentially profitable industry trend.

4. Content Ideas

Competitive analysis is a common practice for content strategists. One popular approach is to cover everything your competitors have covered, and then some. In order to do that, you’ll have to start by building a content foundation that is comparable in every way. Of course, unique content with a fresh perspective is extremely important, but following your competitors’ content decisions can also inspire new headlines and article ideas.

5. Branding Methods

There’s a good chance that some of your competitors are actively engaged in brand marketing activities such as merchandising and guest blogging – authoring posts on other sites to draw attention to the brand. You can check out what blogs and platforms your competitors have been using and coattail your way into a decent amount of web traffic in the process.

6. Linking Strategies

Competitive link analysis is an essential component in every well-rounded SEO and SMM campaign. What kind of anchor texts are your competitors using? Where are they putting their links and what kind of pages are they linking to? Answering these simple questions can provide insight into the kinds of linking practices you should be using to propel your brand forward.

7. Landing Page Design

What do your competitors’ landing pages look like? How are they persuading visitors to act? Are they using email list opt-ins, unlockable content, videos, or infographics? How is the call to action phrased and where is it placed in the content? Answering these questions can give you a solid starting point for designing your own effective landing pages.

8. Paid Advertising Tips

When you’re getting ready to invest in marketing services, it’s always a good idea to see what your competitors have done first so you can make informed investments with your own advertising budget. Are your competitors using PPC advertising to have contextual ads appear at the top of search results or on sites like Facebook and YouTube? Checking out their Facebook ads can give you inspiration for creating a similar ad campaign of your own. How are they formatting their ads? Are they using banner ads or video ads?

9. Lead Generation Techniques

How are your competitors encouraging engagement and soliciting leads? What kind of words and phrases are they using to attract targeted leads? Find the angles that other marketers are using to turn followers into leads and you’ll be on the path to social media marketing mastery in no time. In addition to taking these hints from your competitors, you should also spend some time researching the art of lead generation as a whole.

10. Customer Service Practices

How are your competitors using social networking platforms to better serve existing and prospective customers? Accommodating customer service requests on major social sites like Facebook can be an advantage that sets your brand ahead of the crowd in this regard.

Staying active and present on social media helps your company become more accessible and available to interested parties. Thus, responding to queries and engaging in discussions related to your brand on social sites is like having an outreach extension of your on-site chat support service.

Combining What You’ve Learned to Become a Formidable Competitor

After examining all of the above aspects of your competition, you may feel overwhelmed by the challenge of having to cover all of those bases just as well as your competitors have. Just take it one step at a time until you’re emulating them in every way, at which point the playing field will become more level.

Although budget may play a role in how quickly you’re able to get there, once you’re taking all the measures that your competitors are, the primary competitive factor becomes innovation and creativity, both of which are only limited by your imagination.

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a Major in Marketing. He writes for several sites online such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Bizcommunity, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary and Dzhingarov.com.

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