One of the main challenges to the growth of any business is its competition.
Brands are always competing against each other for market share and constantly trying to improve their strategies.
For many years, conducting a competitive analysis has been one of the first and foremost steps in marketing. It allows companies to understand what they’re up against by understanding their rivals’ products and services, reach, customer engagement, brand perception, etc.
Your competitors hold a lot of valuable information, which can be mined using Social Listening tools.
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Intro: Social Listening for Competitors Analysis
Social listening is the process of regularly monitoring everything being said on the internet about a brand, its competitors, and its industry.
Social Listening uses keywords to track these conversations and collect data. Tools are used to reorganize the data so that it can be analyzed.
The analysis helps marketers identify gaps in the brand’s social performance and gives them keen insights into how to fill those gaps. These insights are translated into actionable campaigns, and their results are monitored again through the same process.
Social listening tools create a bank of data based on competitors’ online activities.
There are numerous social listening tools a brand can leverage to understand the strengths and weaknesses of its rivals. These tools allow brands to take action in time to remain strongly competitive in the market.
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6 Benefits of Using Social Media Listening Tools for Competitive Analysis
1. Benchmark your social performance
Social listening tools can be used to directly evaluate a brand’s performance against its competitors.
Social listening allows brands to discover their competitive strengths and weaknesses. Such competition analysis can help a brand understand where it stands in the market and where it wants to be.
First, it is important to identify exactly who your competitors are. You may be aware of most of them, but social listening can uncover a few that you may have missed.
Next, many metrics are used for comparison, like reach, engagement rate, click-through rate, social sentiment, etc.
A brand must decide its key performance metrics or KPIs for social listening and use the current picture as a benchmark to measure future improvements.
Marketers can use social listening data to strategize ways to improve their metrics and increase market share.
This data can be especially useful for brand positioning during a new campaign or product launch.
2. Discover Valuable Insights
Social listening gives a deep understanding of competitors’ marketing activities.
There is a lot to learn from well-performing companies—how they generate new business and followers, how they keep their audience interested, etc.
Social listening platforms allow you to understand why your competitors are conducting a particular campaign and who they are targeting.
Such valuable social listening insights can give businesses practical and substantial knowledge of how to strategize their marketing efforts.
It points out the social listening strategies that are working well. More importantly, it points out the strategies that are failing. Social listening tools identify exactly where a campaign is going wrong and suggest ways to get it back on track.
Additionally, these tools identify campaigns that must be abandoned in the interest of saving resources. These resources can be put to better use in new, data-driven campaigns.
3. Find Trending Posts in your Industry
In today’s world, marketing culture is highly based on trends. Customers follow trends closely, and brands need to do the same to stay relevant and competitive.
When brands keep up with movements in the industry, they benefit as much as their customers.
Social listening is a solution to quickly recognizing current trends. By leveraging tools, brands can better understand why certain topics in their industry are trending and quickly adapt their marketing efforts in that direction.
Social listening also monitors competitors’ activities and general changes in the industry.
By monitoring the entire industry, brands can predict upcoming trends and take steps to stay ahead of the competition.
4. Discover New Business Opportunities
Through an extensive social listening strategy, brands can get their hands on an enormous amount of data that would otherwise be invisible.
This data is unstructured, and these tools help organize it and derive actionable insights from it. After the data is organized, it has the potential to reveal new business opportunities.
The information coming directly from customers, like product or experience feedback, pain points, etc., is very insightful. It gives exposure to what they want and can give brands new ideas on how to deliver that. Thus, social listening can highly benefit the customer experience.
Using social listening tools, you can also identify the biggest influencers in your industry.
5. Identify Influences of Competitors
Listening tools dig through many extended sources of information, like published articles of market research companies, news sites, industry experts, etc.
By keeping track of such records, brands can understand how much of the market is influenced by their competitors. Social listening software can easily conduct a detailed analysis of where and how these influences occur.
The rival’s weaknesses may also come to light. A brand can strategize to compete and gain more share if the influence is low.
If the influence is high, a brand can take measures to either compete against the heavy competition or protect itself from it.
6. Analyze Sentiment
To understand the true image of a brand in the market, customer engagement is not enough.
Brands must look at customer perception. How people feel about your brand is the actual test.
This is where sentiment analysis comes into the picture.
Sentiment analysis is the process of understanding the tone of the customer when they say something about the brand. Sentiment analysis is essential in customer relationship management,
Social listening tools in India are equipped with the ability to read the text and identify whether the sentiment is positive or negative.
It must be done not only for your brand but also for your competitors to obtain a practical and holistic picture of what you are up against.
A Few Examples of Effective Use of Social Listening Tools
1. Red Bull
Red Bull uses social listening to see how big competitors like Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, Vitamin Water, and Rockstar perform on Twitter.
Every day, they monitor more than 1.5 million global tweets to come up with their key messages.
This analysis allows Red Bull to react quickly to what’s happening in the beverage industry by making adjustments to its marketing campaigns and promotions.
2. Dell Computers
Dell uses social listening to research customer opinions about their computers and to keep up with industry trends.
They use tools to monitor competitors like Apple, HP, and Alienware.
This monitoring helps them discover new technology in the market, observe the customer response to it, and decide how they want to improve their product line.
3. TEVA Pharmaceuticals
TEVA is a pharmaceutical company that produces generic drugs for diabetes, hypertension, etc.
Using social listening tools, they identified a new marketing opportunity among people who write about health care daily.
Based on this information, they were able to quickly implement an influencer marketing strategy and gain a significant edge over their competitors.
All industries today are highly competitive. The rivalry comes from big players as well as the growing community of startups. But as the competition gets tougher, marketers must equip themselves with creative ways to fight and keep growing.
Social listening has been one of the most rewarding ways to do so. It has allowed companies to gain access to the inner workings of the market. It can collect, compile, and analyze a ton of data that is helping businesses combat competition every day and achieve new levels of growth.