How Knowing Your Competitors' Social Habits Helps You
What a brand competitor analysis can do for you
Assessing the social media and web presence of your competitors can help unlock key differentiators. How? Brand strategy is more than what channels you use; it’s how you show up in those channels. Here are three things to look for in your competitors’ brand strategies that you can use to inform your own.
Which channels do they use?
Look at the channels your competitors use to engage their audience. Do they stick mostly to the big social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and possibly TikTok? Or do they use platforms like LinkedIn and email to engage their followers? Perhaps it is a combination of all these. If so, are they posting the same content across channels or do they tailor their content to the platform?
Answering these simple questions can reveal a lot about a company’s brand strategy and brand identity. For instance, a company that mostly uses popular social media will likely cast a larger net and maintain a casual image. In contrast, a company that uses LinkedIn may have a more targeted, professional approach. Understanding what channels competitors use can inform your own decisions about which channels are best for you. Is there a platform or audience your competitors neglect? Maybe that’s where you should be.
How do they show up?
This one isn’t as simple as checking which platforms competitors engage and how often, it requires a bit of a deep dive into their comment sections and posting history. If you pay close enough attention though you can often discern a company’s brand archetype simply by exploring their web presence and social media content.
In addition, some companies will build an online community, or sense of community, by interacting with followers. Others maintain some distance. Neither strategy is more effective than the other it simply depends on what brand image you wish to convey and the type of audience you are targeting.
Consider Wendy’s infamous X (formerly Twitter) account that lightheartedly trolls other establishments and frequently engages with individuals. This strategy would not work for many companies but has been a boon for the fast-food chain by emphasizing Wendy’s fun and whimsical side. It also evokes a sense of nostalgia for the Burger Wars of yore while keeping the company firmly in the 21st century. Lastly (and this is important) it makes the massive corporation feel more human. Rather than be angry that a fast-food chain is making fun of them, people are impressed by the personality and individuality expressed by such a ubiquitous brand.
What kind of content do they provide?
Lastly one of the most important things to examine is the type of content they produce. Some companies (like Wendy’s above) can effectively engage their audience by providing laughs or simple reminders that they exist. Others require more engaging content such as thought pieces, quizzes, helpful hints, and even events like livestreams or video blogs.
If your competitors are often posting photo carousels of their team camaraderie but neglecting to share actionable insights, maybe that’s your queue to create a set of reels that offer helpful advice in your industry. Maybe your competitors produce video content you can’t hope to top but neglect long form blogs and interactive quizzes. (Studies show people love quizzes.)
So what's the bottom line?
If you know you need a brand strategy but don’t know where to begin, a competitor review is where to start. What’s more, understanding your competitor’s brand from this perspective can greatly inform your own marketing strategy. By answering where, how, and what of your competitors’ brand strategy you can ascertain where you need to be, how you need to show up, and what content you need to push.
If you feel your company's sales are slowing or you're losing ground to competitors, it may be time to run a Brand Competitor Report.
Choose your top 3 competitors and we'll run a report to help you find your differentiators and uncover your brand.