Many believe ‘going social’ means setting up a Facebook business page and posting content, hoping your target audience will happen across your profile. Unfortunately, most who follow this approach simply fail.
To succeed in social media, you need to bring a comprehensive, well-informed strategy, and the first step to any successful social media strategy is a competitive social media audit.
A social media audit of your own brand is, of course, important to help shape your first campaign. The biggest part of this involves psychographic research into your target audience. By creating specific profiles of the people you will be targeting, you will discern…
If you have not yet begun marketing on social media, you would use this information to inform decisions when crafting your strategy. If you have already established your social media profiles, compare this information to your current tactics and see how you can adjust and reevaluate to improve your performance.
However, your social strategy isn’t just driven by your own audience’s needs. Social media is an overcrowded, fast-paced environment, which makes it hard to be discovered and heard. By conducting thorough competitive research and a gap analysis, you can see what your competitors are doing, where they have fallen behind—and how you can get ahead.
Begin with identifying your brand’s top competitors (no more than 5-6), and what social media platforms they are on. You’ll then conduct an in-depth social and content audit of their social profiles. You want to ask questions such as…
When it comes to content, look at each profile individual and see:
For that matter…
Once you have a solid grasp on their content, you need to gauge how it’s performing. You would of course check to see how many followers, fans, or subscribers they have—but be aware these numbers can be easily manipulated.
The best indicator of the success of content is engagement:
You can see how the answers to these questions can easily give you the impression of not only what strategies work on social, but what strategies are most successful in your niche. A thorough competitive audit will give you a solid grasp on what your target audience is already responding to—which means half of the research has already been done for you.
You don’t need to start from scratch; you can already see what works, what doesn’t, and now you simply need to figure out the ways in which you can improve upon your competitors methods.
(social audit / shutterstock)