Social networks are the most important place to advertise your business. However, things tend to move rather quickly, and new trends can emerge much faster than most companies can react. You can also test various marketing strategies and determine which approach gives the best results. Thankfully, you don’t have to do everything the hard way, and you can save yourself some of the efforts. An excellent way to see what’s working is to peek over your neighbor’s fence and check what they are up to. With this in mind, here are six reasons why you should follow competitors on social media.
1. You are competing over the same audience
It’s no secret that businesses in the same line of work are competing over the same audience. Unfortunately, those users will pick one of you to purchase from. This means that you should learn from the mistakes of your competitors. Once you realize their mistake, you can try to approach your mutual audience with a better offer. If you follow competitors on social media, you can learn a lot about your customers. Get to know what that audience likes and dislikes from someone who already did all of the market research. You can see which posts get more attention and use that information to grow your business. It can save you a lot of time on customer research and profiling.
2. Get inspiration from what others are doing
We’re not suggesting that you should directly steal the ideas of your competitors. However, you can turn to them for inspiration. In reality, every story has already been told. Therefore, the only thing that matters is what you can do to iterate on those ideas. How you approach that which has already been done in a unique way will make you stand out on social media. Follow other companies on social media, and whenever you think, ‘oh, I would have done that so much better,’ start developing a marketing plan around those ideas.
3. Analyze their technical approach
Often, too much emphasis is put on creativity, and people casually overlook the technical skill needed to produce quality content. However, to truly dominate the social media landscape, you’ll need to master the art of content creation. Learning how to create content is one of the reasons why you should follow competitors on social media. Video content has become especially popular on social platforms, so you should note what kind of cameras your competitors use and see what type of video production effects get the best results.
Thankfully, even the social networks themselves will often provide you with the tools to grow your business. You can get insights into your profile and track how your competition is doing using the free tools built into the social media platforms. Keep in mind that different social media networks favor specific forms of content, and plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
4. Watch how your competitors handle negativity
Even the most successful social media campaigns can stir up some negative comments and reactions. This shouldn’t discourage you from developing a presence on social media. However, you will need to learn how to deal with the negativity. Check out how your competitors handle adverse user reactions and use that as a learning opportunity. Additionally, you can use this as an opportunity to gain positive PR by reacting to the mistakes of your competitors. Instead of joining in with the others who are only criticizing, you can offer your services and try to fix the users’ issues.
5. Follow your competitors’ social media schedule
Nowadays, much of social media relies on automation, and you can schedule all of the posts in your social media campaign months in advance. Unfortunately, if you aren’t paying attention to what your competitors are doing, you could run into overlap for event dates or product launches. As we have previously mentioned, you will be competing over the same audience. User attention can only be stretched so far. You might want to schedule important events for your company on dates when nothing else is happening.
6. Stay up to date with multiple social platforms
Every business needs to have a way to reach its target audience. Social networks can be constructive in this regard. That’s where most people spend a large number of their online hours every day. Having accounts on multiple networks may sound great, but that also takes up time and resources. Ideally, you should know which network your target demographic prefers and focus most of your marketing there. However, you should follow competitors on social media to stay up to date with what is trending on different networks. Major audience shifts have happened in the past, and reacting at the right time can get your brand a lot of exposure.
The bottom line
Now that we’ve given you six reasons why you should follow competitors on social media, you can devote a bit of time each day to check up on what they are doing. If you are observant, you can use a lot of the research that others have done for your benefit. Stay informed, and you can react to trends while they are getting a lot of attention.
Author Bio: Damien Molloy is a content writer for Digital Dot, where he primarily focuses on creating content suited for social media. Damien loves hearing what users have to say and responding to their comments.