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Iceni Magazine | January 26, 2021

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Keeping an eye on your competitors

Social media can be a highly competitive marketplace and being aware of what your competitors are doing and analysing what they’re doing well (or not) can be a huge advantage in getting your own social media presence balanced and working well for you – here’s how.

Collate a list of your competitors based on your industry, product/service and audience demographic – this could be short, or long, and may include local and national companies. Some of these will be easy to determine as these might be companies you’re often compared to or compete against.

Once you’ve a list of competitors find out what social media platforms they’re on. A good place to start is the their website since this normally contains links to all their social profiles.

Don’t forget there’s a variety of third party social media apps like Hootsuite or Sprout Social that allow you to collate the most popular social media platforms into one place and create ‘lists’. If you’re just focused on Twitter consider creating a private list of your competitors Twitter accounts so you can keep track of them simply and easily without the added ‘noise’ of all the other people you follow.

Examine each of these and cross reference this with your own profiles – do you share the same platforms? If not, why? See which of their social media profiles they’re getting the most engagement from by considering the following:

  • Types of content – text only, custom photos, videos, animated gifs, etc. Which appear to get the most response?
  • How often do they post content?
  • No. of followers (increase or decrease)
  • Are they serving up Organic or Paid content – especially relevant on Twitter & Facebook. As a general rule only one third of your social media output should be promotional with the other two thirds being conversational.
  • Are they using hashtags? If so, what are they.
  • Are they using links? If so, where are they directing you to (i.e. a blog, service or product page, third party site etc)
  • How often do they post content?
  • What day and time of day do they get the most and least engagement?
  • Are they reacting to their customer or are they initiating conversation?

With all of this competitor data you should be able to see a pattern of what appears to work for them – the best time of day to tweet, most successful content, popular hashtags, balance of engagement and so on. Armed with these competitor insights you can then tweak your own social media strategy to incorporate the best bits from your research and make it more successful.

If you need help with your social media strategy don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at or at @PKirk_designer

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