Use Competitive Insight To Improve Social Media Strategy




Good morning internet fans, Ryan Perry here, Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, May 11th, therefore it is Internet Marketing РSocial Media Wednesday, is actually what it is. Therefore, I have Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing. Good morning, Sarah.
Sarah Giametti: Good morning, Ryan, how are you?

RP: I’m doing good, thank you. It’s a little dull and gloomy outside, but it’s Sonoma County this time of the year, so what are you going to do?

SG: It’s June gloom a little early.

RP: A little early. Let’s bust out of that June gloom and talk about social media seeing how it is Wednesday, and more specifically how you can use insights to improve your social media strategy.

SG: One of the things I know a lot of my consulting clients have issues with, you and I have issues with, is figuring out what to post and what our audience wants to learn about, and looking at what your competition is doing and what’s working for them is a great way to generate ideas. And we don’t wanna copy them, ’cause we don’t wanna be them, but if their audience is responding to certain types of content, it’s probably a good indication that your audience would be interested in the same type of content.

RP: Right. We’re assuming that when we’re talking about your competitor, that your competitor also has similar demographics and all that type of fun stuff as far as who their target audience is at that point.

SG: Right. And in some of these tools that we’re gonna talk about, you can see if a certain person is responding often, or a certain similar business that maybe they would be a good fit for you to build a relationship with. Maybe they don’t really like the content, they don’t really have a relationship with your competitor, and it’s a way to start engaging in conversations that you weren’t having before.

RP: Okay, perfect. If we’re talking about tools, what is the first tool we’re going to talk about?

SG: The first one is using Twitter Search to see what your competition is Tweeting. And this is given that your competition is on Twitter, they have an active Twitter account and they’re Tweeting on a regular basis. You can do the… It’s, which we can type that into the little chat bar here, and from there you can enter the Twitter handle of the competition or the business that you want to do some research on and see what they’re tweeting, ’cause it’ll give you results. You’ll see the users… This is where you’ll see the users who are sharing your competition’s content, by doing that slightly different search than just doing the normal Twitter search.

RP: Is this the advanced search that you’re talking about?

SG: It’s not quite; it’s a little bit… Yeah. It’s…

RP: What was the URL again? Twitter dot…

SG: Com/search-home.

RP: Dash home, okay. Let’s see what’s happening right now. Go ahead.

SG: Oh, there it is. So from that, you can see the users that are sharing content and you can see what content they’re sharing. So it kind of gives you two really important pieces of information, because you can then look at that user and you can kind of dig into that user and it can help you define maybe your target market maybe. Maybe they fit perfectly in your target market; maybe you need to adjust your target market. It also shows you what types of content people are sharing that will give you ideas on what content you should be creating and sharing to your audience. So it gives you a lot of good information on streamlining and improving your social media strategy.

RP: Yeah, and what’s great about this is you’re getting it straight from the horse’s mouth; you’re going directly to Twitter, it’s not a paid feature, you’re not having to go through somebody else’s analytics, you’re going straight to the source. So you know the information is gonna be as good as it can get.

SG: Yep, yeah. So social media data is some of the cleanest data that you’re going to get, and so if you can harness that as part of your competitive research and part of your strategy, you can’t go wrong. It’s not… We’ve talked about it before, polling your customers. You already know what you’re going to get. But social media data, people are just putting out what they like, what they’re interested in, and they’re doing it on their own. So you’re just mining this information to improve your strategy and ability to get in front of your target audience.

RP: Okay, perfect. So once I do that, do we move on to another tool? Or is it just another tool that kind of supplements this information?

SG: It’s another tool that kind of goes one step further. It’s called, Twazzup.

RP: Twazzup, huh?

SG: Yeah. Some of these are great tools, but the names they come up with sometimes, I don’t understand it.

RP: I have not heard of Twazzup. I’m not even gonna try and spell it.

SG: I’d only recently heard of it, it’s T-W-A-Z-Z-U-P. Again, you put in the Twitter handle of who you wanna track and you get real time updates, you get top influencers, top ten key words associated with that search that you’re creating, top re-Tweeted photos and links, so you’re finding out what the most effective content is from that Twitter handle’s posts, or Tweets.

RP: All right, I’m gonna check it out right now.

RP: I’m gonna be Twazzup’n while we’re Twazztalkin’. And I can’t wait until we get this transcribed. The poor transcriptionist service gal is gonna be all “Twazz what?”

SG: What the heck is that? I had that… Five second side story. I’ve got a naturopath physician, and I had one transcribed, and he had said something in there, even when I watched the video, I was like “Ah, what is that phrase?” I had to ask him ’cause I didn’t know. The poor transcriptionist. Again, you don’t need to spend a ton of time on this, but you definitely want to research and put in your top maybe three competitors and see what kind of stuff they’re putting out there, especially if you feel like you’re hitting a wall and you have no idea what content to create, what to put out there. These are great ways for you to just kind of get some insight in what’s working for somebody else. Another one is HowSociable. It’s another one for monitoring… You can not only monitor your presence, but your competition. You can track up to a dozen social sites with the free account, so you know, it’s definitely something, and it’s more than Twitter. So you’ll be able to get some more… You can see what they’re doing on other platforms, so if you’re not a Twitter user, if you’re competition’s not a Twitter user, this is one you may want to use ’cause you can put it in Facebook, which is what most B2B small businesses are on, are on Facebook.

RP: Right.

SG: And that’s the first one they focus on, so you can put that in there and track yourself, your competition, and get some information on their content and activity.

RP: All right.

SG: Are you looking at it?

RP: I just went to HowSociable. I typed in my name and it’s a bunch of spirally little… Looks like flower petals.

SG: Ooh.

RP: Looks like it’s checking out You Tube, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, wow. Foursquare’s still around?

SG: It is.

RP: And then it gets into GetGlue, yfrog, there’s some other things out there. That’s interesting. My strongest score’s on LinkedIn.

SG: Interesting.

RP: But it didn’t pop a Facebook or Twitter account. Hmm. All right, I will do some search afterwards, dig into it a little bit more. And you know, I think this is always good. Stuff like this, like HowSociable, when you put in your own name, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve kind of checked your own, what you’re doing type of stuff, it’s kind of interesting because a lot of times you may find, “Oh, wow, I’m really doing better than I thought”, ’cause you kind of talk about that struggle early on, that I think all business owners have, and sometimes we need to be shown that we really are doing a good job, and then at the same time, “Oh, I thought I was doing better over here. Let me investigate and see what’s going on to kind of re-energize myself to get a little bit better in this area.”

SG: Right. You definitely always want to check out occasionally what you’re doing. Little bit more that occasionally I should say. At minimum once a month you should just kind of check in to see… Using something like HowSociable to see how you’re doing, but I know I come up with it… You and I create so much content that sometimes I feel like there’s nothing new to talk about.

RP: Right. That’s where you got to go back to the Cosmopolitan philosophy of regurgitating information, putting a new spin on it. Actually I just saw… I was posting content today, and I saw an article, and I’m like, “That’s like the same stuff we’ve been talking about for five years, but the reality is it’s still relevant, so we need to talk about this stuff, even though we’ve been talking about it for five years.” I think Gary V. Some of the big people I follow… Gary V, Casey Neistat, who’s a big You Tuber, they’ll tell you. I pretty much talk about the same stuff all the time. It just is what it is, ’cause yeah, until the new great app… Like Beme, I don’t know if you’ve heard about Beme yet…

SG: Oh, good God, no.

RP: Yeah you know, it’s like, “Okay, do we want to start talking about Beme or whatever”, which is a video app. Yeah, the reality is marketing is marketing is marketing. I don’t think marketing at the core has really changed since the beginning of time because human nature hasn’t changed. I think marketing’s gotten smarter, and we have different platforms, but the core aspect of, “You have a problem, I have a solution, how do I communicate that” really hasn’t changed much.

SG: No, it hasn’t. And so but utilizing… Seeing what your competition’s doing, especially if… And we as business owners, you feel like your competition’s doing better than you are. We all have that, “I’m not good enough” syndrome, especially as entrepreneurs. This is a great way to measure yourself up against them, and maybe they are doing a little bit better, and that’s okay. But if you’re actively looking at doing this competitive research, and you’re actively trying to improve your own strategy, then it’s fine. You’re eventually going to catch up to them. You don’t need to catch up with the Jones’s. You just need to reach your own goals, but use this to see… Maybe you need to be on a different platform that they’re on, and you haven’t thought about and they’re having huge success in that platform. Maybe it helps you readjust your strategy or it helps you find better content ideas for content that you can create for your blog and videos and social media posts. So it just kinda helps with get the creative juices flowing, and if you’re competitive, like I am, I like to watch that and go, “Oh, how can I beat them?”

RP: Right.

SG: So and not even just beat them in a business manner, but beat them online, where I’ve got a better, more engaged audience.

RP: Yeah. Okay, perfect. We got a couple of minutes left. I wanna make sure we covered Twitter search, we covered twazz something, and then HowSociable.

SG: We did the last one is Fanpage Karma. And this is for a Facebook page for… So entering a Facebook page that you wanna… But this will give you when… It gives you insights to when they’re posting and how it’s working for them. So, times and types of information will… So that’ll help you make… Even though your insights we’ve talked about in the past… Your Facebook insights, you look at that to see when your audience is online. But most likely, your competition has a somewhat similar target market than you, and especially to see that they are getting more interaction, better engagement, you can use a tool like this to see not only what they’re posting, but when. What day of the week, what time of day, maybe you need to adjust yours despite what analytics is saying, maybe you need to play with it a little bit and adjust it to similar times and dates of when they’re posting to improve your strategy.

RP: Okay, perfect. These are all ways of kind of looking from the outside in, I guess. As business owners, a lot of times we’re on the inside of our business looking out, and looking at our business at a different perspective, I think, is always very powerful for a multitude of reasons. So I think all four of these platforms will give you some different insights. Moving forward, not necessarily that you need to use all four of these platforms, you may find that you like one over the other. That’s great. The other key piece of advice is make sure you calendar times, set a reminder, set a time in your calendar once a month, every two months, quarterly, whatever you feel works best for you, because something is better than nothing, and…

SG: Add it, you already calendar time to schedule your social media posting, correct? Yes, business owners, shake your head.

RP: Yes, every morning.

SG: You’re already calendaring time to do that, so just add this into that existing calendar time. It’s not gonna take a lot of time and information, but you’ve already got a calendar in, so just add this as a one more task, maybe you do this task before you create the content for the week that you’re gonna schedule out.

RP: Yeah, might as well get the insights that might create some… Spur some ideas on those type of things. Alright perfect, we’re just about out of time, do you have any last minute comments?

SG: I just use it, pick a tool and do it, and look at what your competition’s doing. And even if it’s maybe not your direct competition in this area, maybe there’s somebody you know that’s in another state, another geographical area that’s doing really well that’s in your industry, you should be able to find somebody that you can look at who’s doing a really good job online that’ll help you improve what you’re doing. But don’t stress out over it, if your… Don’t make it have it ruin your week or paralyze you, don’t over analyze the data, just use it as just another tool to improve your strategy because we’re constantly trying to improve our strategies.

RP: Right. Alright perfect, that’s it for today’s episode then of Social Media Wednesday, we will be back here in front of the same computer next Wednesday, same place, same time, which is 9:45 Pacific standard time. Sarah, as always, I appreciate the time and energy that you put into the show, and I look forward to seeing you next week.

SG: Thanks, Ryan. It’s always a pleasure.

RP: Alright everybody, take care, we will see you next week.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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