As a business owner, It is important to know what your competitors are doing-especially if you are starting a social media account for a new business or if you have an existing business presence and want to stay ahead of your competitors. either way, you’d find the competitor analysis useful.

If you’re a startup, then you would want to use proven strategies and methods that work for your specific industry or specific target audience and this explains why your closest competitor is important.

If you are an existing brand, and have a competitor doing something better than you or is suddenly growing their follower numbers, popularity then you’d want to know what they are doing to replicate their strategy.

When it comes to competitor analysis I’d recommend these four(4) basic steps to plan your business social media strategy.

1.Define your competitors

This may sound rather intuitive, but may small business owners fail to really identify who their direct and indirect competitors are and may endup tracking the wrong target.

  • To do this, you have to identify your industry keywords e.g (#photograghy, #confectories)
  • Next, go to your Instagram account, open the search bar and type your specific keywords and location (e.g #photographylagosnigeria)
  • Observe keywords,hashtags,location tags,Similar accounts and brands your competitors interact with.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, head on to step 2

2.Collect Data

Its essential to create a work sheet or any file you can use to track you competitors. I recommend excel worksheet. It works really well for this purpose.it helps you track all the actions that this competitors are making. You’d notice which of their actions affects their strategy. When creating this template, your should look at followers, content type, posting frequency, content pillars, engagement rates, hashtags, comments and marketing goals.

Download excel worksheet template for instagram here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AtMNIl6UG54ZkM73WSs1-dG7olxT_Yfh2RfYWRneAIE/edit#gid=0

Download excel worksheet for Facebook here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhO_gyaQUNXUdEtSYV9RTmItWlpvLUdSOGtvVEhiUWc&usp=sharing

3. SWOT Analysis:

SWOT analysis is a strategic analytic tool used to audit your own account and your competitors account. Its helps you analyse the data brought to your Intel to know where exactly you stand compared to your top competitors. You can analyse this by listing down their strength and weaknesses and also locate opportunities and threats to avoid in other to get ahead of them.

4. Monitor your competitors over a long duration of time:

In other to be ahead to need to keep up with the trends by constantly changing, innovating, and exploring new options and opportunities. So, the likelihood that your competitors are innovating, learning and improving is also a factor that you need to take into consideration.

Competitive Analysis tools 

Facebook or Instagram Insights 

Facebook and Instagram have a built-in insight feature for business accounts. This tool is completely free and provides its users with complete data on impressions, engagement, reach and top posts among other metrics. A tool such as this, will help understand your audience better, who they are, the demographics they fall under, and the platforms the bulk of them are from. 

Iconosquare 

Iconosquare is an analytic tool designed for brands on Instagram and Facebook which operates multiple accounts. It provides valuable insights into metrics such as engagement, competitors, and industry influencers who are interacting with your posts. In addition to offering you analytic tools, Iconosquare provides a free Instagram audit for business profiles. The audit ensures that your profile is sticking to the platform’s best practices and conducts a general assessment of your account settings, especially your 30 most recent posts. With the increasing competitiveness of Instagram, it is never a bad idea to have a bird’s eye view of your online presence. Iconosquare gives you this vantage point. 

Union Metrics 

Though this tool may not be as advanced as some others on this list, it has a handy feature called Free Instagram Checkup. This feature brings up several suggestions which Instagram users can use to boost the engagement and reach of their brands. It also enables users to monitor all the conversations around their brand using a keyboard feature. Union metrics is a great tool to get comprehensive reports on top hashtags, followers, and average post engagement. 

Keyhole

While it is always good to have insights into past performance, being able to analyse real-time data can also be beneficial. That is where Keyhole comes in. Keyhole offers real-time hashtag tracking for Instagram, provides suggestions on hashtags for social media contests, brand campaigns, or other marketing efforts that pertain to hashtags. Asides from providing hashtag insights, Keyhole also shows additional data on best performing posts containing your hashtags, posts and related hashtags with high-level engagement.

So there you have it. Start tracking your competitors today!

Schedule a free strategy call if you need help understanding your competitive edge

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