Competitive Research Through Social Media for Small Business

By Amie Marse, Small Business Trends:

When we think about social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, we tend to focus on customer demographics, forgetting that we have just much – if not more – to learn from our competitors’ presence on those same sites.

If you aren’t paying attention to your competition on social media, I want to help you start practicing.  The fact that so many small businesses are on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and elsewhere means that there are plenty examples out there of what’s working – and what’s not working.

Let’s look at four questions you can ask to guide your competitive research in social media:

  • Who are your competitors targeting?
  • How often are they talking?  How often are they interacting?
  • Are they peppering their conversation with valuable content or sales-y pushes?
  • In what light do they cast the competition (i.e. you)?

Targets

The first thing you want to look at is whom your competition is targeting.  Before I start working for any client, I always ask whom their target audience is.  Sometimes I’ll get the frighteningly naïve and enthusiastic answer, “Everyone!”  False.

Other times, I’ll get a more specific answer like, “Middle class, suburban, stay-at-home moms with a household income between $60,000 and $80,000.”  Okay, now we’re getting somewhere… Read more

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