Competition is the key.
Even if you think you’re the only player in the game, somewhere, someone is doing the same thing as you do. So never underestimate the needs of the people, they are basically the same in every corner of the world.
So if you’re the only player in an area, don’t forget to look for possible competitors in surrounding countries or even on other continents.
But how do you see what your competition is up to social media? How can you learn their strategy, behaviour, or tendencies? Or… do you even want to know all these details?
My guess is that yes, you’re interested in the details and you should be aware of them.
I’m going to tell you how to spy on your competitors, no matter where they are.
1. Use special tools that track your competition
There are many, many ways to spy on your competition. But why waste lots of time on it? Use a tool like Brand24 to automate part of this work and concentrate on creating your own strategy.
Create a profile and start creating projects for your businesses. Also, create a project for one of your competitors. The tool is very simple to use. This is an easy way to spy on what they’re doing, where they are mentioned, and the impact they create in their network.
Being so easy to use, Brand24 allows you to choose the network you want to follow both for your businesses and for your competition.
For example, use Instagram as the network and you’ll see all the Instagram mentions and the feeling the users transmit throughout social media related both to your business and your competitors.
Use tools to automate your work so you can concentrate on your strategy, to make it better than your competitors.
2. Follow your competitors to see how they engage with their followers (comments, reply, like)
But. Because this is followed by a but: try not to follow them as your brand profile.
They’ll know you’re spying on them.
Why is it important to track your competitor’s actions?
So you see how they interact with their audience and benefit from tips and tricks they don’t give explicitly.
If you’re in another country or even continent, the language and the slang might differ, but the ideas remain the same.
See how they reply to comments, what they like and share. Even if you have a brand profile on Instagram, you can still like posts that your followers upload on the social network.
Follow your own followers. See what they like, what they post and what they comment on. It’s like giving your followers a bit of status. Which I encourage you to do.
It’s important to see how your competitor acts in their “natural habitat” with followers they may or may not know. The object is to see how much importance they give their audience.
3. Use a fake account to follow their Instagram Stories
As I told you before, try not to be obvious when you follow your competition. They may know who is behind your business’ profile. So try to use an account they don’t know and follow their posts and Instagram Stories (you know they can see who viewed their stories).
But don’t forget that any type of content, whether it is a photo, a gif, a video or a story is specific to an audience. It can inspire you to adapt it for your own audience.
My advice for you is not to copy, but to adapt.
See what their audience is like, what they follow and interact with and try to create content that’s similar.
This recipe will be successful.
4. Search their branded hashtags
Besides help from your tools, invest some time to do research on your own. Follow your competition’s posts and learn the specific hashtags they use. Search for the hashtags on Instagram to see who else is using them and interact with them.
As any other social media expert would say, you must to have a specific hashtag to represent your brand on Instagram. So your competition must have one.
In order to facilitate your job, find the hashtag they use the most (which is like a tagline for the business) and search for it on the platform. Get to know how they present themselves to their audience and how their audience sees them.
A good tool to use for this strategy is Websta. You’ll get a really good view on the hashtag you’re following.
Or you could use the native search explorer from Instagram.
I think this is one of the easiest ways to see how your competition behaves and how their audience see them.
Competition is good. Competition is the key. The key for your improvement.
Imagine if you were the only player in the game. You would deliver the product, answer your customer’s questions and repeat. But having a competitor makes aware of what you can offer your audience, feel the need to understand them and want and deliver.
Competition is good if you know how to handle it and how to take advantage of it.
Spy on them, see how they behave and do better. See how they interact with their audience and do better. See what they post and do better.
This is my advice for you.
Consider your competition and you’ll see your brand evolve.