If you’re not doing it, you can bet your competitors are. Competitor analytics, as the study of how brands stack up against one another in any given market or industry, has become a key barometer for success and longevity and the hierarchy between brands has now moved across into the social sphere. Whereas once a brand’s health may have purely been derived from revenue and gross profit, today there are more subtle and telling metrics that define and predict the long term success of any given company. They can be tracked most effectively using social media metrics, which is essentially a hard line into exactly what customers are thinking about a brand and which is why it makes is so compelling and objective.
It’s not new to compare brands in order to ascertain which is the best or most suitable for a specific requirement or needs. There are numerous well known companies in the research industry that have done just this and realised hugely successful business models of the back it. Think of Gartner’s Magic Quadrent, Forrester’s “new” Wave or the Forbes Top 100 “insert anything”. They all serve a great purpose, as human beings and as consumers we like to assess and understand what are options are and ultimately what is the “best” in any one category. They help us to cut through the marketing spin, the sales brochures and the financials and get an easy to digest view of what is happening.
Now, for brands in the digital era it is becoming increasingly important to rank well in social terms as the reliance on traditional media wanes. Today’s businesses are concerned with: what their audience size is, who their demographic are, how many customers are engaging with them and what their brand sentiment is. In a market where a tiny start up can reach millions of potential customers with a clever campaign it becomes vital to ensure your strategies and content are performing well against the competition.
How brands do this? Well, they need to ensure they are tracking their competitors social metrics as well as their own. They also need to ensure that they are able to monitor their own strategies and campaign effectiveness against that of their competitors. After all, if you launch a campaign and it gets 5,000 engagements that might sound great until you here your competitor’s campaign received 50,000. Likewise, you might think your new # had performed valiantly until you compare it to your competitors and see that they have been dominating you there as well.
It’s an old saying, but it’s a goodie….”knowledge is power”, if you don’t know what good looks like for your industry, how can you know if you are performing well? This is why competitor analytics are becoming as important if not more important than standard social media analytics. You need a benchmark to judge success, you need to be tracking your competitors in order to see if there are strategies and activities that you are missing out on and need to consider. To put it another way, you need to understand what your share of voice is compared to the wider market – this is the only way to be sure you are realizing your potential.
Finally, how many of you would be interested in seeing who the most influential fans of your closest competitors are? I mean, the people who are obviously interested in the industry you operate in whether that is food or accountancy. I guess it would be pretty useful to know who these people are, how they engage with your competitors and what they are saying. Well, again that’s where competitor analytics can be so useful. Identify a group of influencers who are active in your market. What a fantastic opportunity to engage and develop relationships with people who are already educated and passionate about your market.
A few examples of how you can use competitor analytics
- Compare your brand’s social performance against the market using a range of metrics
- Compare the top performing posts, #’s and campaigns for a market
- See who is engaging with your competitors and rank them by influence or loyalty
- Understand your position in the hierarchy
- See what strategies and tactics are working well for your competitors
Data without context is meaningless, that’s why using competitor analytics offers so much potential to really improve brand performance. Not only does it allow for the best strategies and activities to be understood and propagated but it also allows brands to access and engage with a huge group of potential customers who are likely to be receptive to their advances.
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