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3 Awesome Tools to Research Your Competitors' Digital Marketing Struggles

Monitoring your competitors is one of the best ways to come up with your own winning social media marketing tactics. But the trick is not to blindly replicate what seems to work for the other guy of course.

The trick is to see what works, what doesn't and learn from their mistakes. Groucho Marx put it very well:

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself."

And it perfectly applies to marketing as well - there's no point in making mistakes in order to learn from them. You'll be losing time and money, and while experience is priceless, there's a less expensive way to understand what you should not be doing when promoting your business on social media: Learn from your competitors' mistakes.

Monitoring your competitors' social media marketing struggles will help you:

  • Save time and money by not doing what doesn't work as well as prevent possible online reputation crises
  • Fill the gaps: Approach your customers and social media influencers by offering them something your competitor is lacking
  • Come up with better, more efficient social media marketing campaigns than your competitors.

Here are three important tools to identify and monitor your competitors' digital marketing mistakes:

1. Serpstat

Serpstat is a powerful keyword research and search engine optimization platform offering you a wide range of features, from competitor rank tracking to load time optimization and backlink checking.

I like using it to see how many social media domains rank for all kinds of my competitor search results.

For example, search for your competitor name and pay attention to social media icons for each suggested terms:

3 Awesome Tools to Research Your Competitors' Digital Marketing Struggles | Social Media Today

The above search results also give a perfect idea what your competitor's customers are interested in (and more importantly, what they couldn't solve using your competitor's site because they had to turn to Google to solve it).

I like using the data to structure my own site more efficiently.

2. Twitter Sentiment Search

Are you monitoring your competitors' brand name mentions on social media? You should be - but you can do more than just that.

Twitter supports so-called "sentiment" search enables you to search for tweets expressing a negative sentiment using the :( smiley. For example, search for [competitor name :(] and you'll see all tweets expressing a negative emotion, for example:

3 Awesome Tools to Research Your Competitors' Digital Marketing Struggles | Social Media Today

Now imagine watching all those unhappy customers of your competitor talk. You may want to chime in sometimes and softly offer your help too.

Now, to search for and monitor multiple competitors you may want to set up a social media monitoring dashboard. I use Cyfe because it's very cheap, limitless and easy to set up.

Just add "Twitter search" widget, search for [competitor name :(] using that widget and repeat the action for each of your competitors.

3 Awesome Tools to Research Your Competitors' Digital Marketing Struggles | Social Media Today

Cyfe also enables you to set up a searchable archive too - which is nice to have for inspiration, employee training, etc.

3. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo's Facebook Analyzer feature is the only efficient Facebook competitor analysis solution I'm aware of.

Simply search for your competitor Facebook username and it will return the Page updates and let you sort them by all interactions, Likes, comments or shares.

3 Awesome Tools to Research Your Competitors' Digital Marketing Struggles | Social Media Today

This provides great insight into which types of posts seem to work better for your competitor. You can also filter results by type (image, link, giveaway, etc.) and date (i.e. to see most recent updates).

Now, try searching for the least popular updates by searching for the most recent updates and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Now you also know what doesn't seem to work for them either.

The "Analysis" tab also offers some insight into most popular post type, most popular day, estimated monthly interactions, etc.

3 Awesome Tools to Research Your Competitors' Digital Marketing Struggles | Social Media Today

You can export searches and save them to keep them in your BuzzSumo account.

Are there any other tools allowing you to understand what your competitors' customers are struggling with? Please share in the comments.

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