Facebook isn’t just a place where brands share content and connect with their audiences, it is also an excellent source for market research. With most businesses having a Facebook page, it becomes much easier to monitor their efforts and set the right benchmarks for your brand’s Facebook strategy. In this guide, we’ll go over the step by step process of conducting a competitor analysis on Facebook.
- Step 1 Choose competitors for your analysis
- Step 2 Start from collecting simple metrics and gather them in one spreadsheet
- Step 3 How to Measure Facebook competitors’ engagement rates?
- Step 4 What is a unicorn Facebook post?
- Step 5 Analyze competitors’ overall Facebook content strategy
- Step 6 Analyzing Facebook competitors report via Sociality
Competitor analysis on Facebook without purchasing any software
Step 1 Choose Competitors for your Analysis
You probably already have an old drive document collecting virtual dust somewhere in the “Marketing” folder. Bring it back to live and update according to new changes happening in the market.
Note that Facebook competitors differ from your regular, business ones. As here, we are fighting for audiences’ attention.
Facebook competitors are categorized to direct and indirect.
Direct competitors offer a similar product or service. For example, all tea producers are direct competitors to each other. That’s easy.
Indirect competitors produce a product that can replace yours. For example, coffee or cocoa producers are indirect competitors for the tea industry. However, on top of that, bloggers and celebrities whose audience share similar demographics characteristics with your audience are your Facebook competitors, too.
Why? Here is how it works. Bloggers, celebrities, tea/cacao/coffee producers are competing inside audiences’ Newsfeed top position. Your content that outperformed other tea producers still crushes through the wall of bloggers who benefit from the Facebook algorithm. (since they are not business profiles)
So, taking the above advice, update your old competitors’ document.
Step 2 Start from collecting simple metrics and gather them in one spreadsheet
Go to each competitor’s Facebook page and collect data. Copy-paste the number of people who like the brand or follow it. What is the difference between these two metrics? In contrast to page followers, people who liked the page aren’t going to see the page’s post in their feed.
If you use only the data from Facebook, you can track alone the following metrics:
- Facebook Link
- % of Followers
- Avg. Engagement Rate on Recent 3-12 Posts
- Links to Unicorn Posts
Step 3 How to Measure Facebook Competitors’ Engagement rates?
Since it would be tough to gather and calculate engagement data manually, we suggest using only the recent 3-12 posts to measure engagement rates. It will give you a fresh insight into how brands are doing on social media in the present moment.
Note: Don’t use posts that were very recently posted, like an hour or a day ago. Use posts that have been posted at least two days ago.
Gather the number of total reactions and comments a post got, and use the formula below to calculate engagement of each position separately.
The result will show the percentage of their entire following that engaged with that specific post.
Pro tip: since Facebook has both Likes and Followers, we recommend going with the followers of the Facebook page rather than Likes.
Step 4 What is a Unicorn Facebook Post?
Unicorn post is content that outperforms by showing higher than overage engagement rates. You can manually analyze it by comparing likes, shares, comments, and reactions from post to post.
Understanding what content drives results is essential to your brand’s successful Facebook marketing strategy. However, alone you won’t be able to test all different hypotheses and experiments. Your competitors are already doing their best to reach similar to your audience. Why not learn about their successes and failures?
Step 5 Analyze competitors’ overall Facebook content strategy
This step is prone to subjective conclusions. Unless you have access to competitors’ documents with state content strategy, you can only intelligently guess what is happening behind the closed doors.
Here is a list of questions you should answer:
- How often do your competitors post on Facebook?
- What time do they post on Facebook?
- What content do they post the most? (Links to more information, Images/graphics, video, text/status, photos)
- Determine posts that your competitors have boosted or used for ads. (Posts that show great spikes in engagement are boosted by competitors.)
- Do they answer users’ comments? How long is the responsive time?
- Do they post user-generated content? And what strategies do they use to encourage users to post such content?
- What hashtag strategy do they use? Do they have branded hashtags?
- Do they create giveaways or other contests?
- What emoji do your competitors commonly use?
Save time with automatically generated competitor analysis reports.
If you don’t want to go with the manual method, you can use a social media management tool like Sociality.io to create a Competitor Report for Facebook.
There are 11 software companies that provide the Competitor analysis feature. You can compare pricing in the following folder by clicking on “Competitor analysis” in the left menu. It is a resource that compares 150+ social media management software pricing. Learn more here: https://socialmediatoolscomparison.com/
Step 6 Analyzing Facebook Competitors Report via Sociality.io
Inside Facebook Competitors Report, you get different metrics that can help you better understand your competitor’s presence on Facebook and their results. No manual labour!
The Report consists of three sections: fans, page posts, and engagement.
The Fans report helps you understand how effective your competitors are, compared to you, in growing their audience on Facebook. It can help you adjust your goals to make it realistic for your market.
Total Fans graph shows the comparison of the number of likes.
The growth of Fans shows the number of acquired likes either on a monthly or weekly basis.
Page posts reports show the activity level of each competitor. What time of content they share the most: images, videos, or text-only posts. The data from the Report will help you better adjust your social media content strategy to the competition.
Page Posts shows how many posts each competitor is posting either on a weekly or monthly basis.
Post Types shows how much media the specific competitor is using in their Facebook posts.
Post Days and Post Hours are quite self-explanatory, but make sure to take a close look at these metrics as well to see if there are any patterns. Make sure to examine things like if they post any holiday messages and how they time promotional posts.
The 3rd part of the Report showcases how much engagement your competitors receive for their Facebook posts. Other than the self-explanatory Engagement Rate monthly or weekly graph, you can also dive deeper and see Interaction Types which shows what kind of engagement they receive the most: reactions, shares, or comments.
In Reactions, you can see the total number of reactions that the competitor got in the selected time, and Reaction Types shows you the types of responses a specific competitor is receiving the most. Comments and Shares show the number of the respective engagement the competitors received in the selected period either on a weekly or monthly basis.
Sociality.io gathers competitors’ content in one place in order that can be defined by your needs.
With the help of competitors’ content strategy you can go behind the obvious metrics you collected in the beginning on the guide to more sophisticated ones.
- What content generated the highest/lowest number of reactions?
- What content generated the highest/lowest number of comments?
- What content generated the highest/lowest number of shares?
- What content generated the highest/lowest engagement rate?
- What content generated the highest/lowest of total interactions?
To wrap it all up,
The following of your competitors should help you in understanding how popular your offering is on Facebook. Use this data in setting SMART goals for your social media following. But do keep in mind to compare yourself with a competitor that is close to your current level, i.e. if you’re a sneaker brand that is just starting, comparing yourself to the industry giants like Nike or Adidas, won’t be realistic in the short term.
Also, take the time to dive deeper into their audience and see which demographic is the most prominent. This can also help you in your Buyer Persona development in case you haven’t done so already or are looking to improve it.
The more you know about your competitors, the better you are prepared to navigate in the market. So make sure you always monitor your competitors, especially on social media for better-targeted campaigns.