Managing social media is a lot more than responding to comments left on your various platforms; it’s about creating conversations between your brand and customers – both present and potential – in a way that makes them want to come back for more. Part of that conversation comes from utilizing tools to know what your competitors are up to on social media. Using social listening to ensure that you always get the highest ROI is just smart business. Here are a few reasons why you should follow competitors on social media.
See What Works For Them
Keeping track of what competitors are doing well will help you figure out areas where your brand can improve, or areas where extra care should be spent on targeted ads. You can create a “Pages to Watch” list on Facebook to keep track of how many posts competitors do in a week, what the engagement looks like, how many overall followers they have, and more. Facebook also allows you to target competing audiences with ads, thereby allowing you to shift your focus in real-time to gain more followers, a larger reach, and hopefully, a few new fans.
Learn From Their Mistakes
Paying attention to what mistakes competitors make will allow you to avoid the same pitfalls. In 2010, Gap took steps to rebrand, including spending $100 million to change its logo overnight.
While brands change their logos all the time, the new logo was so different from the original that fans were outraged and the outcry on social media made Gap return to the previous logo within six days.
The lesson for brands that were paying attention, of course, was to make logo changes slowly. When customers love a brand, the logo becomes part of the brand identity to that customer, and slower changes make it easier for customers to get on board.
Beyond logos, awareness of mistakes competitors have made online (and avoiding making those same mistakes) is just smart business.
Social listening is monitoring social media for certain terms that are important to your industry – including mentions of your own brand. By utilizing social listening tools like Brandwatch, you can navigate conversations not only on your own social media channels, but on the internet as a whole. So when your competitor mentions information that is pertinent to your brand, not only do you see the mention, you have the chance to respond to it. Extending these brand conversations allows you to reach potential customers, and shows them that you’re willing to engage in the conversation no matter where it takes place.
One of the most amazing things about brand management on social media is that strategy is never set in stone. Yes, to an extent, brands should create a digital strategy based on past performance and build toward future goals. But, the digital world moves swiftly. By allowing a certain amount of fluidity in the strategy, brands can react to world and industry events faster than their competitors and show customers that they are relevant and fully engaged. Furthermore, when brands take steps toward implementing the strategies that have been effective for their competitors, they can extend their reach without additional investment.
Sun Tzu and The Godfather were right about one piece of advice: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” In business, not every competitor is an enemy, but keeping a close eye on what they’re all doing on social media is an important way to measure many different aspects of social media management. It allows you to gauge the temperature of the water (so to speak) on whether similar campaigns should be attempted. It benefits you to learn from their mistakes (or even profit from their wins). Lastly, lets you amplify brand conversation by replying directly to their customers (in hopes of gaining a few for yourself). And when it comes down to it, knowing what your competitors are up to helps you stand out. Looking for ways to edge out your competition? Social Factor would love to help. Contact us today!