Using Social Media as a Competitive Analysis Tool

Katherine Bennett - April 17, 2014

Today, lots of companies are involved in social media, wooing likes, pluses and follows all in the name of building an audience and growing their market share. But the closer brands get to their customers, the more vulnerable they become to public criticism and negative feedback.

Sometimes, companies can be so focused on growing their audience that they fail to prepare for, and properly deal with, negative feedback. This is where their competitors can swoop in and gain a competitive advantage. And this is why you should be monitoring your competitor’s social pages for opportunities.

Taking Advantage of Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is a way to gain new customers and fans if you’re thinking outside the box. There’s a saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and this is very true in social media.

If your competitor’s followers are complaining about slow turnaround time, poor customer service or lack of product/service features, and your company provides what your competitor is missing, you can quickly capitalize on these negatives by turning your competitive advantages into targeted ads.

Targeting Your Competitor’s Fans

The benefit of advertising though the social networks is all of the data they have on their users. This data enables marketers to target audiences based on demographics, interests and behaviors. In some networks, you can even target users based on who they’re following.

For best results, make sure you focus your ad on the very complaints you’re seeing on your competitor’s pages. If their followers are complaining about the lack of free shipping, and you offer free shipping, make sure that information is in your ad.

Last but not least, a word of caution. Don’t ignore your own social pages while monitoring your competitors. Make sure your social presence is being actively managed. If not, your competitors could end up capitalizing on your negative feedback.

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