Track competitors. How to reveal your competitors’ marketing secrets?

Even if you know a lot about your competitors, you might have the impression that you should and could know a little bit more. You can never know your competitors well enough and there’s always room for improvement, so it is important to track competitors in the world of marketing.

4 takeaways from our article:

  1. Why should you take a deeper look at how your competition is doing?
  2. How do you track your competitors on social media?
  3. What should you measure and compare?
  4. How do you make the most of your competitors’ mistakes?

Analyzing your own performance on social media is vital for optimization and delivering the best possible results. But while you’re busy collecting data on your marketing efforts, your competitors might be looking at that very same data. X-raying your statistics helps them make better decisions and understand your audience as well as theirs. So why wouldn’t you do that in return?

Why should you start tracking your competitors?

  1. Inspiration. Find some of your competitors’ profiles on social media and analyze their communication to get inspired with your content. We don’t recommend copy-pasting anything though. You’ll end up doing more harm than good.
  2. Their digital footprints can reveal what they’re planning, what they’re in the middle of doing, or which campaigns were successful.
  3. The less you know, the easier you sleep? That doesn’t apply to marketing. You should know as much as possible to stay one step ahead of the competition. Track competitors to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  4. Your competitors don’t really sleep, so if you don’t start tracking now, you might wake up with tears in your eyes (as well as poor campaign results from and an empty marketing budget).
  5. Bearing in mind their campaigns and results, you can see what is better to avoid in the industry, what works well, and what could be improved. You’ll learn from their mistakes without spending your own energy, money, and time on something that might not even work. It’s enough to track competitors.
  6. It keeps this competitive business spinning, as well as offers even better communication and understanding. Win-win-win.

Start analyzing your Facebook profiles with Sotrender!

How do you track competitors on social media?

There are many tools you can use, but of course we are here to recommend Sotrender. With our tool, you can:

  • Benchmark your competitors on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You don’t need to have an admin role to be able to analyze what and how your competition is doing.
  • Measure their performance and see what kind of content engages their audiences.
  • Get to know their audience better – see how they behave online and which content is their fave.
  • Make a comparison group out of your market rivals and compare their performance with intuitive, user-friendly reports you can get familiar with – in PDF or XLS.
profile overview in Sotrender

Profile overview in Sotrender

What metrics should you measure?

  • Reach and reach demographics – Are they reaching the right people? Is it your target group? Or maybe there’s something suspicious in their results?
  • Engagement. Even if your competitors reach a lot of people, they may not engage them all, meaning their communication might not be effective. If you track your competitors on a regular basis, you’ll find it out. You can either check their engagement rate, for example, or track the engagement under their posts.
  • Response time. This is an essential factor both for your competitors and your brand. By looking at their response time, you can judge if they’re managing their customer service on social media successfully or if they’re struggling.
  • Content types. What kind of content do they use and which ones really work for them?
  • Most popular posts (top posts). Look at their most successful posts and try to find a few reasons why they got so popular among your target groups. You can get inspired for your own communication.
  • Fan growth. Are they growing naturally and at a normal pace, or are there some bumps along the chart (does it imply buying fans, a Page Likes campaign, or just a series of great posts encouraging users to like the page?).
  • Fan demographics and age groups. Who are their fans and where do they come from? If your business is all about local activity and you have competition in the area, their fans should be gained locally as well. Having fans from other countries while you work locally can imply some dirty practices.
  • Sources of likes. What is the most effective way to gain new likes? Are they coming naturally, or maybe certain types of posts are getting the most attention? Track competitors to find out.
  • Negative feedback. How many fans react negatively to a particular brand’s communication? Negative feedback reflects the number of unlikes, hiding posts, or hiding all posts on a page. Unnaturally high growth in any of these might be the result of poor communication or content.

Can you track competitors’ ad results?

The good news is: yes, you can! Thanks to Sotrender’s extra module, Sotrender Ads, you can get access to some useful and very insightful data. While accessing the exact results of your competitors’ campaigns isn’t possible at all, Benchmarking section in Sotrender Ads gives you an idea of how much they invest in ads, and what campaign goals they aim at.

So, basically, Benchmarking enables you to access 4 crucial scores that compare your and your competitors’ results. They are as follows:

  • Impressions score,
  • Clicks score,
  • CPM score,
  • CPC score.

You just need to select one of the 25 different categories and one of the three campaign goals available. And this is, more or less, how your results can look.

benchmarking results

Comparing ad results in Sotrender Ads

Basically, these results mean that most of the scores are to be improved, except for the CPM score which, in this case, is just great. But, as you can see, the competitors’ results in terms of impressions, clicks, and CPC are better than the results of a brand profile that we analyze.

Now, you can also see the score trend which shows you the exact same results over the time of last few months. You can see on a timeline how clicks, impressions, CPC and CPM score were changing, and make some conclusions about the efficiency of advertising activities.

score trends Sotrender Ads

Analyzing Score trend in Sotrender Ads

Now that you have this data, take a look at spend and campaign goals comparison. Simply put, see monthly ad spend with regard to competitors’ expenditures, and take a closer look at which campaign goals they invest in, and how often.

campaign spend and goals

Checking spend and campaign goals in Sotrender Ads

Such data is super insightful as it can obviously influence some significant changes in your social media strategy and can shape your approach to advertising. See what your competitors are doing, draw conclusions and implement this fresh knowledge into your new, advanced strategy.

Start analyzing competitors' ads

How do you make the most of your competitors’ mistakes?

Their mistakes are your advantages, so you can do a few things to turn their mistakes into your successes:

  • If your competitors don’t make any offers, become a trendsetter in this matter (and in any other matter!). Give your followers some added value in the form of e.g. a discount code. It’s easy and effective to measure conversions.
  • Encourage users to like your page in your posts so you can gain even more followers.
  • Take care of your response time (especially if your competitors don’t do so) so that others will consider your brand to be helpful, professional, and open to their followers.
  • Did your competitors have only a few posts that were super popular? Take them as examples and add something similar to your strategy to analyze and optimize afterward.
  • Start communicating with your users and fans on social media. Users notice when there is a brand that stands out from the rest. Having helpful and reliable moderators on your Facebook page could improve your relationship with fans. Here’s how you can use Sotrender’s Facebook moderation to do just that.

Tracking your competitors may be fun – unless you’ve been tracked before! In that case, be sure to know how to reply to it and win over your customers (and your competition’ customers) hearts with your strategy. Do you track your competitors? Let us know in the comments!

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