Imagine a world where you have access to your competitors’ databases, email statistics, ad budget data and analytics. What juicy insights could you extract?!
The bad news: some dreams are not meant to be. The good news: social media opens another major channel for accessing tonnes of data about your competitors. Why? Because nearly all of their social media content, campaigns, and programmes are happening in public. Consider the public data streams you can access about your competitors on Facebook…
• Content posted BY your competitor
• Content posted ABOUT your competitor
• Specific customer feedback and complaints about your competitors
• Performance statistics on all aspects of your competitor’s Facebook page community
• Responsiveness and customer service efficiency
• Page structure and organisation
So how do you make use of all this data to inform your own Facebook strategy? There are three related but distinct ways to put this data to work:
Competitive Benchmarks | Competitive Analysis | Competitive Insights
Competitive benchmarks: Benchmarks give context to your own statistics by providing an important point of comparison. Instead of saying, “We had 4,500 people engaged on Facebook this month,” you can give context like, “We had 4,500 people engaged this month, 20% higher than industry average and a 10% gain month by month against our top competitor.” The key is to determine which competitors you want to compare against, which KPIs (Key Performance Indicator’s) matter, and how to set a regular plan for tracking change and trends.
Competitive Analysis: Your benchmarks will often give you some idea of where to dig deeper, but the most important analysis requires some harder digging. Deeper competitive analysis is more of a question and answer session with your Facebook data than a fixed result. Benchmarks give you 4 of the 5 W’s—What, Who,Where, and When. Analysis helps you understand Why. You need to ask yourself, What tactics and content are working for your competitors? What are they doing that is different to your brand?
Competitive Insights: Competitive Insights are ways you can take action on all this data to stand out from your competitors. The really juicy insights might not be there every day or week, but will emerge over a longer period of time as you benchmark and analyse Facebook data at regular intervals.
To sum up.. Facebook, and social media in general, provides a level of competitive insight traditionalists could only dream about. There is a massive opportunity to use this data to analyse your competitors and inform your strategy.
Steps to get started:
1. Pick the competitors you want to benchmark against.
2. Define your KPIs.
3. Set a regular plan for benchmarking
4. Pick the right tools and processes to collect, understand,and share your data.
5. Dominate the competition
Simply Measured- the people behind the data!