Social media is ever evolving. Starting out originally as a way for the Internet savvy to stay in touch online, over the years it has grown to infiltrate nearly every aspect of our lives. Now it is a fundamental part of marketing for brands both big and small. A properly maintained social media page can actually make or break your business!
This isn’t a surprising development. Back in the early days of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was obsessed with his mission to convert his social platform into a viable business advertising tool. Today, using social media for brand engagement and awareness is so natural that we would never question its importance.
Keeping an Eye on the Other Guys
Social media isn’t only about keeping up with your customers–it is about keeping an eye on the competition. Other brands in your industry are launching their own social media campaigns every day, and they are reaping the results. You need to be aware of the progress, their campaigns, and especially their attempts to poach your business and profits.
Social pages make it easier to do this than in the past. Here are eight social analysis tools that let you analyze and learn from competitors’ social media tactics:
Facebook Page Analyzers
BuzzSumo–I can’t say enough about BuzzSumo and its list of both free and paid tools. One such feature is the Facebook Page Analysis. Use it to get a direct comparison between your Facebook page and that of your major competitors. Add a whole list of pages to analyze side by side, making it a quick and simple tool to use.
The graph shown in the “8 Free Tools To Analyze and Track Your Competition On Social Media” graphic near the top of this post is only one of the many views the BuzzSumo Facebook analysis feature provides. Another one of my favorites shows top engagement by time of day.
Use it to search for influencers by keyword, filter them by location, and then save them to lists. Find out which influencers are promoting which competitors. Spot trending stories about to go viral. Use searches by keyword to know what to create to best reach your target audience. This is by far the most popular social analysis tool used by serious content marketers.
Fanpage Karma–Don’t be fooled by the plans listed on the website, Fanpage Karma also offers a free version of its services. The free version is very basic, but it includes a few features that allow you to monitor your social media page and those of other brands.
You can monitor only one fan page at a time on the free plan; you can monitor unlimited pages with a paid subscription. From using the tool, here are some of my favorite insights:
Learn who your most engaged page supporters were over the last 30 days. Find out who spreads your competitors’ messages and brands to their followers.
Posts per day: When does a fan page usually post? What about the weekend?
Engagement per day: Which time slots work best for fans’ posts?
Ad cost: What would the cost have been to reach the same number of people with paid ads in other marketing channels as a fan page reached with its posts.
LikeAlyzer–I love this tool because it offers something a lot of tools don’t: real explanations. If your page is weak in an area, LikeAlyzer lays out exactly what that area is and how you can fix it. To compare your site to other pages, just have a fan page of a competitor’s brand analyzed.
The above graphic gives you an idea of how the tool works–showing which areas of a page are working and what needs to be worked on. The only downside is that you have to search each page separately, save the results, then manually go over them. There is no comparison feature built into the app.
Tools for Analyzing Twitter
Twitonomy–Easy to use, very detailed, and visually stunning, Twitonomy combines all the analytical data you need into one single, multi-widgeted report dashboard.
You can track both your competitors and influencers, so you always have your finger on the pulse of your industry’s social activity. Plus, you get actionable insights on everything from your followers’ interests and needs to your own growth over time.
Tweetdeck–Tweetdeck is free, and is still one of the best Twitter listening dashboards around. You can monitor a number of accounts, keywords, and locations through customized columns.
Power users tend to set up one column per major competitor to listen to fans and customers. If you add “-filter:links” to your search, you’ll listen to tweets that contain no links (these tend to be real people’s conversation).
Cyfe–This is a multipurpose marketing dashboard which is one of the most used social analysis tools. With Cyfe you can set up a separate dashboard to listen to your competitors using the following widgets and so many more:
Google Plus search
With Cyfe’s inexpensive paid version, you can add an unlimited number of widgets for multiple competitors and different search queries. Hopefully by now you’ve heard of Cyfe and set up your business or social dashboard with at least the five free widgets they provide. You can evenaggregate all your SEO data into one dashboard.
Klear–Part competitive analysis tool, part listening software, Klear is one of the more thorough of tools on this list. The app is geared to provide information on influencer marketing which is great for Twitter users in particular. Unlike many other free plans, Klear offers its primary features for you without having to upgrade.
Klear also has a nice list of free tools for you to utilize that are compatible with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Sadly, Klear has not moved on to platforms like Pinterest.
SEMRush–SEMrush recently added a Social Analysis Tools feature that allows you to compare your social media pages with the pages of your major competitors.
The best part: you can set up weekly reports to be emailed to you for you to track your progress versus your competitors’.
More Tools for Discovering Your Competitors
WhoICompete: A free tool that finds competitors that rank for two or more of your target keywords.
SiteGeek: You can easily locate additional sites your competitors own; analyze how they are using extra sites for marketing and beyond.
Followerwonk: Find Twitter users who work for your competitors; limit your search to bios and search for your competitors’ brand name.
SimilarWeb: Expand your list of competitors by finding “similar” sites to yours or your current competitors.
Are You Using Any of These Social Analysis Tools?
Do you have a social analysis tool that helps you track and analyze your competition on social media? We would love to hear about it! Let us know via a tweet to @GrowMap or comments on Facebook (just search for GrowMap) or discuss this post with us on Inbound or GrowthHackers. Send us your case studies, anecdotes, and tips and you may see them in a future post.