Building a strong, meaningful presence on social media is no easy feat in today’s fiercely competitive digital space. You have to constantly adapt to market changes, keep an eye on the latest trends, and spy on your competition 24/7. It takes a lot of work to make it happen.
The truth is, social media success is a marathon, not a sprint. And only the best tactics can get you to the finish line.
When it comes to social media competitive intelligence, the key is to invest in top-performing tools that will help you keep a close eye on your competitors and obtain valuable insights. With the right tools in hand, the next step is to leverage the insights you get to stay ahead of the curve.
Keep on reading to find out what social media competitive intelligence is, what it can do for you and your brand and how to do it right. But first, let’s start with some definitions.
Social media competitive intelligence is the process of gathering data from your competitors’ social media accounts to gain actionable insights into their marketing strategies.
Social media competitive intel also looks at things like customer behavior and community management.
By monitoring your competitors’ social media activity, you can learn about their strong suits and weak points and identify opportunities to refine your own social media marketing efforts.
Competitive intelligence is often mistaken for competitor analysis, but it is more than that.
By doing competitive intelligence research, you don’t only get raw data that shows how your competition is performing on social media, but you also get strategic, contextual insights.
Even outside of social media, competitive intelligence in general is incredibly useful for knowing where you stand. In fact, it’s so useful, that 90% of Fortune 500 companies leverage competitive intelligence to gain an edge over their competition.
Long gone are the days when businesses were strictly local (and land-based) and you had a very clear idea of what your competitors are and what they’re doing at all times.
Now you have to be constantly on the lookout for competitive intel and use it to stay ahead of the game. Without further ado, let’s explore some of the benefits of social media competitive intelligence.
It gives you real data to act upon.
One of the most harmful things you can do for your business is to make decisions based on guesses or assumptions. Luckily, with the help of comparative intelligence, you don’t have to.
Social media competitive intel gives you real-time insights by tracking every move your competition makes on social media and measuring its impact.
As a premium social media analytics and reporting tool, Socialinsider lets you spy on your competitors’ data and visualize this data using charts, graphs and maps so that it’s easier to understand and share. But more on that later.
It answers questions you didn’t even know you had.
Depending on how long you’ve been in the business, you might have a smaller or larger number of questions about your competition. (pro tip: the more you have, the better!)
The magic of social media competitive intelligence is that it provides answers to questions you didn’t even think to ask. And that’s a great thing, because it widens your horizons and encourages you to ask more questions going forward.
Especially with the help of automated reporting, key insights are being pushed to you, instead of you needing to pull it out or sift through ridiculous amounts of data to get what you need.
It helps you find gaps in the market.
Another benefit of social media competitive intelligence is that it helps you identify gaps in the market. By monitoring your competitors’ social media activities, you can identify areas where they are not meeting the needs of their customers.
This information can then be used to develop new products or services that meet unmet customer needs.
It benefits the company as a whole, across multiple teams.
Social media competitive intelligence and benchmarking don’t just serve the brand’s social media team. They’re just as relevant for the rest of marketing, sales, dev and product teams.
Any one of these teams can tap into competitive intelligence to update, fix and improve their internal processes.
The right social media competitive intelligence tools will get from point A to point B without any confusing detours and unnecessary stops. Such is the case with Socialinsider.
With Socialinsider, you can have a bird’s eye view of your competitors’ activity on social media at all points in time. This tool allows you to have a micro or macro approach to competitive intelligence, depending on your needs.
If you’re adopting the macro strategy, then you’re most likely interested in general competitive insights across a longer time range. Here’s where the Benchmarks feature from Socialinsider comes in handy.
Getting competitive intel is as easy as grouping the competitors’ profiles into projects to create social media benchmarks.c
Inside the Benchmarks section, you see comparative data across different platforms, brands, or for each individual social media channel. All three options can be instrumental in understanding how you stack against your competition.
If your brand is only (or mostly) active on one single platform, you can select that specific platform from the navigation bar and see competitive data that is exclusively relevant for it.
Inside the profile summary, you can see and compare a lot of stats at a glance – including followers, engagement and reach.
The charts included in this dashboard also help you quickly see which brand is performing better in terms of engagement, follower count, average posts per day and more.
You can also see the top 3 best-performing posts from each profile, ranked by engagement.
In terms of historical data for competitive insights, you can go as far back as 12 months with the Strategy price plan or just 6 months with the Analytics and Competitors plans.
To maximize the time range of your Historical Posts Data, you can choose the Enterprise pricing plan.
There will be times when you need topical, on-the-spot insights about your competitors. For that type of situation, you have the Campaigns section inside the Socialinsider app.
The Campaigns feature is, if you ask me, a very underrated tool that can provide a lot of value.
As useful as this feature can be for measuring the performance of your own social media campaigns, it’s even more valuable for analyzing the performance of your competition’s social media campaigns and comparing it with your own.
Campaign measurement insights cover all the important metrics, including engagement, impressions, reach and so on.
It also helps you visualize the top-performing hashtags and the post distribution for all profiles tracked in a specific campaign.
Pro tip: For an extra dose of social media competitive intelligence, check out and download our 2023 social media industry reports, where we break down the current social media scene by key metrics and industry.
See how your own industry as a whole is performing during every quarter and compare your findings with your own analytics data.
If you’re not already tapping into social media competitive intelligence, this is your cue to start. Look for patterns in your competitors’ content strategy, engagement rates, and follower growth.
Then use your insights, as well as the tips and tricks outlined in this article, to get started and stay ahead of the curve.