3 min read
Austin Williams - Jun 30, 2017

How Social Listening Can Reveal Your Competitors' Strategies

There are of course many benefits to social media listening. Brands commonly utilize social listening to plan content, messaging, target audiences for upcoming campaigns, engage with influencers and fans and followers, and analyze performance of their own marketing efforts.

Conversely, the ability to monitor your competitors and gain insight into their activities on social is a benefit that is just as helpful. Here are three way to use those insights to reveal your competitor’s strategies:

Track Events Your Competition Attends.

Whether hosting or participating as a guest, trade shows, conferences, and networking events are great ways to market your business, especially for B2B brands—which is why we attend so many, and encourage others to do so as well.

Among other benefits, events boost engagement on social media, as attendees love to share their experiences. As you monitor mentions of your own brand during a conference, it would be wise to monitor those of your competitors in order to compare your performance.

If you find your competitor is receiving more engagement and positive sentiment online, you might want to dig into their strategy to gain insight regarding how they made that happen. If they are hosting an event, things to consider would be what they spoke about, how they presented their material, and the ways in which they interacted with the audience. If they are sponsoring or attending an event like a trade show, you might want to look at top hashtags used, handles they included in tweets, whether or not they had a booth somewhere in the venue, etc.

Stay on Top of Developing Trends and Innovations.

Industries are always changing, rapidly and with little regard for businesses that get left behind. Luckily, social media moves at a rate that allows marketers to keep pace. In terms of staying up to date with what’s trending, the days of having to wait for your competitors’ sales to be revealed in quarterly earnings reports are over. Companies are now announcing their developments in their products in real time on social media and consumers are responding before the products are even released.

One of our customers, a global LED lighting manufacturer, benefitted from monitoring their competitors’ mentions about new product releases. Instead of waiting to see how those products perform in the market after release, social listening provides a preliminary idea of what actions consumers will take based on their levels of online engagement.

As a result, this lighting manufacturer was able to innovate their own products faster, and adjust marketing campaigns based on their competition’s upcoming releases.

Understand How Competitors Adjust Strategy by Location.

For many large companies comprised of brick and mortar stores, competition is dependent on individual store locations. For brands like these, it’s important to utilize a social media listening tool that allows data to be granularly segmented by various locations.
Another Digimind client is a French nationwide hypermarket and supermarket brand, operating over 800 locations throughout the country. No two locations are alike. So as they monitor their competitors, it’s important for them to monitor all competing stores independently. This is commonly referred to as geographic sorting.

The purpose of geographic sorting when monitoring competitors is to make sure you have an accurate account all consumers’ different needs in different areas and how competitors respond to them. If you’re going to steal them away, it’s important to know consumers are not monolithic.

Using geographic sorting, the supermarket brand was able to identify competitor strategies in major cities such as Paris, that differed greatly compared to more rural areas of the country.

Be sure to stay tuned to our newly designed blog for more tips on how to use social listening tools for more than what meets the eye.

Written by Austin Williams

A New York based writer and pop culture enthusiast, Austin is your best bet if you ever want to know about the MTA or Love & Hip Hop.