Social media is a powerful and effective tool if used properly. Through various platforms and channels, you can connect with customers worldwide within seconds. The big question is: how do you face up to competitors here? The marketing experts from BehaviourExchange are here to share some valuable tips with you.
Where (and how) to start
First, think about what a successful social media strategy can do for you. Put some time into the research! According to recent data, while 97% of all smaller companies use social media to generate new customers, many users are also struggling to implement an active social media strategy. In particular, companies whose offer of products changes or who set themselves on changing trends, often have difficulties with a suitable social media strategy.
As indicated, a key factor of successful social media presence is a successful competitive analysis. Let’s have a quick look at all the necessary elementary steps:
The first step is the identification of competitors within social media. Think of all brands and companies that are important to your business and target the same audiences. You should be able to make out at least two competitors, who are already active on social media here, although five would be better in order to get relevant information out of it.
Plan your posts and find out when you are switching them
The timing at which you post individual posts can greatly influence their reach, impressions, engagements, and click-through rates. Determining exact dates for successful posting is quite difficult and tips and instructions regarding this matter vary greatly. Some sources claim it is good to post before lunch around noon, others swear to afternoon and evening times. Such tips are more general – nobody really knows the best posting times for your company or brand. You have to start and find out what makes sense for you here.
Find out which post-frequency makes sense
In your competition research, of course, you also take into account the total number of posts and the posting frequency. Do they post daily, weekly, monthly, weekend, and which platforms do they use? The posting numbers of your competitors should serve you as a benchmark so you can orientate yourself. If your competitor posts twice daily, for example, this is definitely the right way for you to start. If you do not find the necessary info, here are standard posting frequencies: on Facebook: 1-3 / day, on Instagram: 1-3 / day, and on Twitter: 3-10 / day.
Experiment with different types of post
While you collect the background data about your competitors and you get into necessary tools, you also should take screenshots of the different posts. Record the topics and types of content and check your list regularly. While the channels, platforms and posting times used are likely to shift less often, the posting types will change constantly. Professional companies are constantly testing new approaches on social media, looking for exciting topics and experimenting with the preparation of content, repetitive postings, etc.
Use data to build your own strategy
Once you have all the aforementioned information together and neatly deposited (for example, via Google Docs) and made accessible to third parties in understandable tables, you can already begin to collect the necessary data. Make necessary evaluations and comparisons and evaluate your competitors. You will notice similarities – post types, timing and posting frequency may be similar. In addition to similarities, special content and extraordinary social media approaches stand out. It may be worthwhile to keep an eye on them!
Collect the most meaningful data from your own channels
The analysis and evaluation will slowly but steadily gain in importance, in addition to the creation of really good content. By setting up a well-founded posting calendar, you are bound to follow it and keep up the desired posting frequency, content types, and posting categories. Make sure you also collect the data regularly (monthly). That’s a lot of work, but it’s ultimately crucial.
Now create a list of your successful posts. Find out what type of content works best and what appeals to your audience most. Analyze the posts that do not perform well to find out why. In addition to analyzing individual posts, you need to get an overview of your entire social media presence and observe the channels as a whole. Are your follower numbers and engagement going up or are your numbers stagnating? What can you do about it?
Now we come to the “final” step. Now you can revise all the activities in the process and work on ways to overtake your competitors. Work on the fine-tuning of your social media calendar and optimize the strategy constantly. Report to customers and bosses to receive the necessary support. Think about new, innovative content types and educate yourself. Maybe renewing your entire social media channel makes sense because you have new information? Consider whether you are evaluating the right information. Do you have to change your posts? Do you use the right channels? As soon as you can actively play with new content types and pay attention to the evaluation, it gets really exciting. Maybe it even makes sense now to consider whole new platforms and do something that the competitors do not yet do?