You’re competing for the same share of attention on social media.
You and other businesses in your space are trying to get engagement, brand growth, and ultimately sales from the very same audience.
So, who best to emulate, learn from, and outmaneuver than others with the same goals as you?
And what better place to start than the content you publish?
Because, the fact is, thriving on social media is about posting quality content that uniquely appeals to your audience. But your idea of what that content is may not be as fully sketched out as you think.
Chances are your competitors have made realizations they’re leveraging to optimize their social media content for better performance. And you can learn those secrets without going through the same trial-and-error they likely endured.
When your competitors’ social media content strategy shifts, tracking it can help you see exactly what they’ve changed. Further tracking can show you if it was a worthwhile move and the results it’s driving.
With the context firmly laid, we’ll walk you through exactly how to track and analyze your competitors’ social media content strategy.
Let’s jump straight in.
- What to look at when tracking competitors’ social media content strategy
- Improving your analysis of competitors’ social media content strategy
What to look at when tracking competitors’ social media content strategy
While general competitor analysis accounts for different aspects of your competitors’ social media strategy, our focus right now is on the content itself.
We’re looking at the kind of content your competitors have decided on posting and how they’ve chosen to do so. We’re also particularly interested in the substance of the content and how your competitors are positioning it for success.
Track post days and hours
As you’ve probably already realized, posting at the wrong time can harm the performance of otherwise good content.
Your competitors have probably learned this, too, prompting them to schedule posts to coincide with their followers’ most active hours.
Take a clear look at this information, paying attention to both the days and hours your competitor has chosen as regular times to publish content.
Take care to change your timezone to match with the competitor you’re tracking for accurate results.
For a wider perspective, you can look at the frequent post days and hours of different competitors.
If they seem to be aligning, that could be a sign that each timeslot has proven optimal for boosting the performance of posts.
Track post types
A crucial part of any content strategy is the mix of post types.
Your audience may enjoy, say, carousels more than pictures. But posting too many of them can backfire.
The trick is in finding the right balance to maximize and maintain engagement.
Your competitors have probably put some work into finding their ideal mix, which can provide inspiration and useful insights as you try to find yours.
See what post types they’re focusing on and the percentage of their total posts that each type makes up.
Track paid and organic posts
If you have ad spend to optimize, you’re also interested in which posts your competitors have chosen to promote.
You can see their paid engagement relative to their organic engagement to get an idea of that.
For Instagram, you can see the exact posts that competitors have promoted. They’re marked with a 💸 sign.
Related article: How to track competitors’ promoted Instagram posts?
Track individual posts
Finally, one of the most effective ways to analyze your competitors’ social media content strategy is to look at their posts.
You’ll find these at the end of all reports you generate.
This gives you a chance to see the actual content, including graphics and captions.
Plus, you can see essential performance stats for each post — how much engagement it attracted, what percentage of it was organic or paid, etc.
You’ll also get a higher-level understanding of how the factors we mentioned above are playing out in practice.
This helps you see what tactics your competitors are using within their content.
Some common ones include:
- Using emojis in captions, shown by one study to increase engagement by 48%
- Placing text within images and stories, shown to boost performance on Instagram by 75%
- Putting subtitles on videos, which can increase engagement by 12%
Of course, much of it depends on your industry and your exact audience. But be sure to look at various elements of competitors’ content.
You may find that your competitors are inviting engagement by, say, asking questions.
This crucial part of the analysis we’re covering today also gives you insight into things such as your competitors’ voice and tone, their brand aesthetic and how they’re incorporating it into their social media content, as well as their broader creative decisions.
You can also sort posts according to the ones that are performing best. The various options help you to sort the results according to your own KPIs, making it easier to draw lessons you can act upon.
Improving your analysis of competitors’ social media content strategy
Apart from tracking the metrics and factors mentioned above, there’s more you can do to allow for deeper and meaningful analysis.
The farther back you can look when analyzing competitors’ social media content strategy, the more context you can tap into.
Sociality.io retains competitors’ posts going back 100 days from the time you add the competitor to the platform.
By leveraging this data, your understanding of competitors’ social media content can expand beyond what they’re doing now. Instead, you’ll be able to develop a longer-term picture of how their strategies are shifting, and precisely in what ways.
Multiple competitors at the same time
Analyzing one competitor can lend you some perspective, sure, especially if your products, services, market intersect heavily.
But if you want a bigger picture that tells a fuller story about connecting with your audience, you’re best off analyzing a few competitors at once.
Remember, you can have reports with all essential competitor information sent to your email. All you need to do is set your preferred frequency.
Social media management can involve a lot. Automatic reports free up more of your time so you can dedicate it to other tasks that contribute to you meeting your objectives.
That’s as much as you need to know to get started with figuring out your competitors’ social media content strategy and using it to improve yours. Keep those aspects of your competitors’ social media content strategy, but maintain an open mind.
Any change in their practices might be worth investigating, and it can point you to more substantial changes your competitors are making.
With this specific form of competitor analysis, you’ll always have a content strategy that’s a step ahead of other businesses vying for your target audiences’ attention.