December 12, 2013

CaptureIt’s not exactly corporate espionage. Your competition’s social media pages are right out there in the open where you can see them, and ignoring them can be a big mistake. There’s a lot to be gained through spying on your competitors. However, as with most things there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Keep in mind that when you choose to spy on the competition, you’re not looking to mine their page for content. What you’re after is something much more crucial – a social media strategy that works. And spying on the competition can help with that in a number of ways. At a glance you can see what engages the type of audience you are looking to attract, what turns them off, and the way that your potential audience is responding to different types of media – all valuable information that can offer you a number of benefits.

What Your Competition’s Audience Can Tell You

Where has your competitor set up shop? Are they Twitter-happy or do they prefer to spend their time on Facebook? If they’re on multiple social media sites, where do they have the biggest audience? Where do they experience the most audience engagement?  Answer these questions, and you should have a clear idea of the site that might work best for your needs, which can be especially important if you’re still in the earliest stages of building your social network.

If you’re a little further on in the process, you can use your competition’s audience to determine whether or not you’re doing everything you can as regards your social media efforts. Whether you’re lagging behind by a handful of followers or your follower stats are lagging behind by several digits, this might indicate that you have not yet reached your full potential. It might be time to step it up a notch.

Check Out The Competition’s History

They may be getting it right now, but chances are that they were getting it wrong at some point. Check out their history, making note at the amount of engagement they received at various points in time through the number of likes they received, the number of shares, or the number of retweets. If you note that there seemed to be a major upward shift at some point, see if you can’t figure out changes your competition might have made at that time to get that extra boost.

Use Monitoring Tools

Even if you don’t have the time to personally conduct espionage missions on your competition’s page, you can always utilise one of the many tools that are available to do the job for you. Analytics tools such as those at Rival IQ and Simply Measured give you at-a-glance access to your rivals’ stats. That gives you instant data that you can use to improve your own page.

These social media spy games can be of big help to you as you seek to improve your presence online. Just remember to spy ethically, and remember to keep the competition friendly.




Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

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