Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide (2023)

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According to Sprout Social’s survey, 85% of companies rely on social data as a primary source of business insights. And with almost 4.6 million people on social media networks, they are a crucial part of your growth strategy.

It’s no longer news that there’s fierce brand competition — in every industry — roaming the web. So, how do you outcompete your brand competitors and grow your business on social media? By doing social media competitor analysis.

When you learn your competitors’ moves, you find ways to reinforce your brand strengths, improve on your shortcomings, and take advantage of opportunities. In this guide, we’ll go over what social media competitor analysis means, its benefits, the steps to take when performing this analysis, and a list of the tools you need.

What is social media competitor analysis?

Social media competitor analysis is the process of evaluating your competitors on social media to find opportunities and build strategies for brand growth. Performing this analysis allows you to identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to develop a working social marketing strategy. It also reveals relevant information about your target audience, why they’re interested in competitor brands, and how these brands do better at social media marketing.

Why is social media competitor analysis important?

Social media competitive analysis has its own advantages outside the strategy you use to examine your SEO competitors. It allows you to:

1. Understand your ideal clients better

Performing a social media competitive analysis lets you gain deeper insights into who your ideal clients are. Knowing your customer personas empowers you to get more marketing results because you understand:

  • What social media platforms your ideal clients use

  • How they consume content

  • The types of content they’re searching for

  • What pain points they need solutions for

  • What time they’re active on social media

2. Build a better social strategy

When you understand how and why your competitors are performing better than your brand, you can create a working social media strategy, or improve it if you already have one.

A social media competitor analysis challenges you to do your best because it compares your methods and results against the competition. Also, you can identify gaps to leverage for brand growth, and threats you need to deal with.

3. Create relevant content

It’s only natural that your ideal clients choose the brands whose values and content they align with. A social media competitor analysis will make you top of mind among your ideal clients.

This is because you’ll identify the types and formats of content they want to see. Also, you can take advantage of the content gaps you discover to create fresh, valuable content for your audience.

4. Better marketing and positioning

By conducting a social media competitive analysis, you can leverage your social platforms for more effective marketing. When you see what’s working for your competitors, you’ll start to use relevant, underused social media features and strategies.

(Video) How to Perform a Social Media Competitive Analysis

More so, this empowers you to come up with a positioning strategy to differentiate your brand from the competition — and become an authority in your industry.

Six competitive analysis tools for social media

Alongside your traditional analytics tools, which we’ll talk about later, you need specific social media tools to perform efficient competitor analysis on these platforms. We’ve included six options below:

1. Not Just Analytics

Not Just Analytics, formerly called Ninjalistics, is an analytic tool for Instagram and TikTok. With this social media competitive software, you can monitor the growth of competitor profiles, the hashtags they use, and their engagement rates.

All you have to do is enter your competitors’ profiles into Not Just Analytics and analyze them. For example, after analyzing Isis Brenna’s Instagram profile, marketing strategist for business coaches, here’s what Not Just Analytics displays:

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2. SocialMention

Social Mention by BrandMentions is a search engine for collecting user-generated content on social media, blogs, news, and videos.

Once you enter a competitor brand, Social Mention tracks and shows you all the conversations about them — who’s talking about them, what they’re saying, and on which platforms:

Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide (2)
Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide (3)

3. Socialbakers

Socialbakers is a social media management tool that makes it easy to monitor all your social media platforms in one place. It works best for agencies.

This tool allows you to measure and compare your content performance to improve brand growth. In addition, Socialbakers has free competitor analysis tools for Instagram and Facebook, and you can analyze up to five competitor profiles.

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4. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a suite of social media management tools for better brand marketing. It has scheduling, analytics, and competitor analysis tools for all business sizes and types.

Sprout Social's competitor analysis feature allows you to monitor your competitors' audience growth and publishing schedules.

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5. Sociality.io

Sociality is a full-service tool for social listening, scheduling, and competitor analysis.

With this social media competitor analysis tool, you can gain insights into your competitors' paid ad campaigns, social media performance metrics, and content strategy and history.

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Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide (7)

6. BigSpy

BigSpy is a free tool for analyzing your competitors’ ads on social media. This ad library holds a database of advertisements on different social networks.

BigSpy helps both small businesses and large enterprises find campaign inspiration from their competitors to create better marketing campaigns and social media strategies.

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How to do social media competitor analysis

Performing social media competitor analysis doesn’t have to be a hassle. Whether you use Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube, here are the five steps to analyze competitor businesses.

1. Figure out your brand goals and metrics

Before examining and comparing competitors’ performances, figure out what you want. It’s important to always start with the end — your brand goals — in mind.

Determine the answers to questions like:

(Video) Social Media Competitor Analysis

  • What are your goals for marketing on social media?

  • How do these fit into your overall brand goals?

  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you track to measure success?

  • Who are the ideal clients you want to reach?

2. Identify your brand competitors

It’s impossible to analyze your competitors on social media if you don’t know who they are or which social platforms they use.

Watch out for both direct and indirect competitors — that is, businesses that offer similar products or services and those that solve the same problem as you. Then, list your top five competitors.

You can find out your competitors by:

Using Moz’s free SEO competitive research tool

Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide (9)

Enter your site domain and click Analyze domain. You’ll get a list of your top competitors and keywords you can target. You can head over to their websites, find their social handles, and see what they’re doing.

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Using Google search

By using the search engine result page (SERP), you can find competitors ranking for your keywords on social media, although this can be a tasking process.

Enter your target keyword and take note of the websites, and especially social media profiles, that pop up during your search.

For example, if you enter the keyword “launch copywriter,” here’s what you’ll find on page one:

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From the screenshot above, the websites ranking are likely competitors for that keyword. However, you need to check their social profiles to see if they are also social media competitors.

For this query, there’s an Instagram profile ranking as the fifth result and the only social media profile on page one. So, if you were looking to build a strong social presence as a launch copywriter, you’d analyze this profile for their strategies.

Searching on the target social platform

If you’re looking to grow your brand visibility for a specific product or keyword on a social media platform, enter the term in the search bar of that platform and go through the accounts or hashtags that pop up to see if there are competitors you’d like to analyze.

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Screenshot from Pinterest’s search bar

Social Media Competitor Analysis: The Complete Guide (13)

Screenshot from Twitter’s search bar

3. Collect and analyze data

Data analysis and collection make up the majority of this process. To make it easier, you can choose a convenient analysis tool from the ones mentioned above to study, analyze, and compare the performance of your competitors.

(Video) How to Analyze Competitors on Social Media

And while you might have your brand KPIs, here are the important social media metrics to track during competitive analysis:

  1. Account reach/impressions

  2. Number of followers

  3. Engagement rates

  4. Social media ads insights

  5. Share of voice

  6. Estimated organic traffic to the page

  7. Quantity of keywords the competitor

Using a simple tool called Keywords Everywhere, figuring out metrics 6 and 7 can be easy.

Install the Chrome extension for this tool. Once done, type “[the social media platform] + [brand name]” in Google Search. Then, move your cursor over the metric kw(us):

For example, when you enter “Instagram.com gucci,” here’s what you get:

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This shows that Gucci’s Instagram page ranks for 312 keywords and gets up to 24,600 visits per month.

To further simplify your social media competitor analysis, here are some of the questions you should consider:

  • What is your competitors’ audience growth rate?

  • How does their content strategy look? What content type do they focus on — informational, entertaining, aspirational, or promotional? Which content formats do they use? Is it videos, texts, lives, carousels, etc.? What is their posting schedule?

  • Which posts get the highest engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares?

  • What is their engagement rate, on average?

    (Video) NoLimit Review Full Demo Tutorial - Best Social Media Strategy Marketing Competitor Analysis Tools

  • What other social media marketing types do they use, apart from organic promotions? Is it sponsored posts, collaborations, paid ads, referrals, or influencer marketing?

  • How does their hashtag strategy look? Which hashtags do they use? How many, and how often?

Now, compile everything you’ve analyzed so far into a spreadsheet. This makes it easy to track and evaluate data at a glance:

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Bonus: instead of creating a spreadsheet from scratch, you can use this social media competitor analysis template by Sprout Social.

4. Create a social media strategy

Data analysis is important when evaluating your social media competitors, but data interpretation is more necessary. Everything in your spreadsheet is only lines, figures, and charts if you don't know how to use the data collected for business intelligence.

Meagan Williamson, Pinterest marketing expert and business coach says, “When your competitors have impressive metrics, it’s essential to understand what they are doing well to build a better social media strategy. Also, their weaknesses (that is, what they aren’t doing well) can be opportunities for your brand growth. Build a data-driven strategy that allows you to look at what’s working and what’s not, and how you can take advantage of these insights to accomplish your business goals.”

With this spreadsheet information, create a four-part SWOT analysis table for your strategy.

SWOT analysis is a well-thought overview of your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help you make informed business decisions.

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5. Keep tabs on account progress

After doing your social media competitive analysis, that’s not the end. You need to keep tabs on your profile and, of course, the competition. This allows you to:

  • Monitor brand progress

  • Notice new competition quickly

  • See if your social media strategy is working

  • Identify new growth opportunities

  • Keep your marketing plan up-to-date

It’s crucial to stay on top of both industry and social media trends.

Stick to a routine to regularly analyze your social media competitors — whether that’s monthly, quarterly, mid-yearly, or annually. Also, ensure that you update your competitor research spreadsheet to identify new opportunities or threats.

Wrap up

Social media competitive analysis is vital to your brand growth, as it allows you to build a solid social presence, customer trust, and brand credibility.

(Video) Social Media Strategy: Competitors Analysis

By mastering the steps above, you can conduct this analysis for any of your social media profiles. Figure out your brand goals and turn analyzed, organized metrics into context-rich insights to improve your social media strategy.

FAQs

What is social media competition analysis? ›

Social media competitor analysis is the process of evaluating your competitors on social media to find opportunities and build strategies for brand growth. Performing this analysis allows you to identify your competitors' strengths and weaknesses to develop a working social marketing strategy.

How do you complete a competitor analysis? ›

How to Do a Competitor Analysis in 9 Steps
  1. Identify your competitors. ...
  2. Perform a competitor SWOT analysis. ...
  3. Examine your competitors' websites and customer experiences. ...
  4. Determine your competitors' market positioning. ...
  5. Look at your competitors' pricing and current offers.
21 Jan 2018

What should a competitor analysis include? ›

A competitive analysis should examine your competitors' features, market share, pricing, marketing, differentiators, strengths, weaknesses, geography, culture and customer reviews. This article is for new and established small business owners who want to analyze their competition to improve their products or services.

How do you write a competitor analysis template? ›

How to use the competitive analysis template
  1. Complete your competitor profile. ...
  2. Discover your competitive advantage. ...
  3. Compare your target markets and market share. ...
  4. Compare your product offerings. ...
  5. Dig into your marketing strategies. ...
  6. Conduct a SWOT analysis.

What should a social media analysis include? ›

Followers, impressions, engagement, clicks/traffic, and mentions are important metrics to analyze while conducting a social media audit. For your first audit, track the relevant data and add it to your spreadsheet. This will be the starting point.

How do I do a competitor analysis on Facebook? ›

Steps to Conduct Facebook Competitor Analysis for Your Brand
  1. Step 1- Identify your Facebook competitors. ...
  2. Step 2- Know what you intend to discover from competitor analysis. ...
  3. Step 3- Start collecting data for metrics that are important to your research. ...
  4. Step 4- Get insights into your Facebook competitors' audience.

How do I find competitors on social media ads? ›

Visit Your Competitor's LinkedIn Page

Head over to LinkedIn and search for your competitor's page. Once you arrive, in the main menu, click on Posts. You'll then have the ability to select ads from the various types of content that page has shared on the platform.

Why is it important to do competitor analysis? ›

The purpose of a competitor analysis is to understand your competitors' strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own and to find a gap in the market. A competitor analysis is important because: It will help you recognise how you can enhance your own business strategy.

How do you write a competitive analysis essay? ›

To write a good competitive analysis, you must: Be objective.
...
A competitive analysis covers five key topics:
  1. Your company's competitors.
  2. Competitor product summaries.
  3. Competitor strengths and weaknesses.
  4. The strategies used by each competitor to achieve their objectives.
  5. The market outlook.

Which of the following is the first step in a competitor analysis? ›

The first step in a competitor analysis is to determine who the competition is. This involves determining the current potential competitors within a market. At this stage, the analyst should also determine if the competitor is direct or indirect.

How do you write a competitor analysis for a small business? ›

How to conduct your competitive analysis
  1. Identify your competitors. ...
  2. Examine your competitors' websites and customer experience. ...
  3. Identify your competitor's market positioning. ...
  4. Review their pricing. ...
  5. Read their reviews. ...
  6. Review social media. ...
  7. Observe how they promote their marketing content.
18 May 2021

Who are your competitors example? ›

These are businesses offering similar (or identical) products or services in the same market. They also vye for the same customer base. Some famous examples of direct competitors include Apple versus Android, Pepsi versus Coca-Cola, and Netflix versus Hulu.

What makes a good competitor? ›

Important Factors of A Good Marketing Competitor Analysis

Unique value proposition. Funding. Revenue. Target audience / customers.

What is a competitive analysis chart? ›

It's a competitive analysis framework that lists your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and is helpful in shaping your overall marketing strategy as well. SWOT leans into your competitors' strengths and compares them to your business to define areas of improvement.

How is competitor analysis used in digital marketing? ›

  1. Identify Competitors. First, decide which competitors you want to analyze. ...
  2. Investigate Competitors' Social Media Ads Strategy. ...
  3. Benchmark Competitors' Google Ads. ...
  4. SEO Tools to Track Competitors' Organic Performance. ...
  5. Evaluate Competitors' Content Marketing. ...
  6. Map Out Challenges and Opportunities With a SWOT Analysis.
13 Jan 2021

Why is analyzing social media important? ›

Analyzing social media data can provide insights into product strategy, the customer journey, and brand reputation online. It is not just about the numbers, but rather what's driving those numbers.

Why social media analysis is important? ›

Social media analytics allows brands to learn what their audience cares about and what influences their purchasing decisions. These insights allow marketing departments to craft more personalized and relevant experiences.

Should you follow competitors on social media? ›

As a general rule, it is advisable not to interact with competitors over social media, especially not sharing their content. The rationale behind it is pretty simple – it has the potential to increase their reach, web clicks and their follower numbers.

How do I find my competitors target audience on Facebook? ›

To use this targeting option, go to the ad set level of your Facebook ad campaign and scroll down to the Detailed Targeting section. Click the Edit button and type a competitor into the search bar.

How do you find competitors data? ›

Here are six steps to getting started on competitive research:
  1. Identify main competitors. ...
  2. Analyze competitors' online presence. ...
  3. Gather information. ...
  4. Track your findings. ...
  5. Check online reviews. ...
  6. Identify areas for improvement. ...
  7. Tools for competitive research.
25 Feb 2019

What is Instagram competitive advantage? ›

One of the biggest reasons Instagram is winning over brands is that it has ad savvy and ad technology. A lot of that comes from parent company Facebook, which operates one of the largest digital advertising businesses in the world.

How do you measure competitors performance? ›

Competitor Research: 7 Key Metrics to Measure (with Tools)
  1. Monitor Competitors' Rankings.
  2. Monitor Competitors' Social Media Mentions.
  3. Monitor Competitors' Backlinks.
  4. Monitor Competitors' On-Page Changes.
  5. Monitor Competitors' Unhappy Clients.
  6. Monitor Their Customers' Questions.
  7. Monitor Competitors' PPC Advertising.
30 Sept 2021

How do I do a competitor analysis on Facebook? ›

Steps to Conduct Facebook Competitor Analysis for Your Brand
  1. Step 1- Identify your Facebook competitors. ...
  2. Step 2- Know what you intend to discover from competitor analysis. ...
  3. Step 3- Start collecting data for metrics that are important to your research. ...
  4. Step 4- Get insights into your Facebook competitors' audience.

How do I use LinkedIn competitors analysis? ›

LinkedIn inbuilt competitor analysis tool

Note: You'll need admin access to your company page. Step 1: Go to “Analytics.” Step 2: Click on “Competitors.” Step 3: LinkedIn shows a suggested list of competitors that you can modify.

How do you analyze the competitors in the FBS industry? ›

Analyzing competitors' marketing models. Evaluating various factors impacting product prices and comparing the client's pricing strategy with competitors through a pricing strategy engagement. Comparing client's product offerings with competitors using a competitive benchmarking analysis.

How do I find my competitors target audience on Facebook? ›

To use this targeting option, go to the ad set level of your Facebook ad campaign and scroll down to the Detailed Targeting section. Click the Edit button and type a competitor into the search bar.

How do you find competitors data? ›

Here are six steps to getting started on competitive research:
  1. Identify main competitors. ...
  2. Analyze competitors' online presence. ...
  3. Gather information. ...
  4. Track your findings. ...
  5. Check online reviews. ...
  6. Identify areas for improvement. ...
  7. Tools for competitive research.
25 Feb 2019

How do you compare brands? ›

There are three essential steps in competitor analysis: identifying your competitors, analyzing their customer journey, and reviewing their marketing strategies.
  1. Identify Your Competitors. ...
  2. Analyse Your Competitors' Customer Journey. ...
  3. Review Their Marketing Strategy.
9 Jun 2021

What is Instagram competitive advantage? ›

One of the biggest reasons Instagram is winning over brands is that it has ad savvy and ad technology. A lot of that comes from parent company Facebook, which operates one of the largest digital advertising businesses in the world.

Who is LinkedIn biggest competitor? ›

Let's explore some of the best social networking platforms that will help you get ahead in your career game.
  • Top 10 LinkedIn Competitors and Alternatives. Facebook Groups. Bark. Opportunity. Xing. Meetup. Slack. Reddit. Indeed.com. Twitter Threads. Jobcase.
  • The Takeaway.

Which LinkedIn analytics tool is the best and why? ›

Shield is one of the best LinkedIn analytics tools that offers you all the needed data to keep track of your LinkedIn performance. The important thing to keep in mind is that it offers only own profile analytics and it doesn't provide you with data for business pages.

Should I connect with competitors on LinkedIn? ›

Connecting with your competitors is a great way to gain greater understanding of your target market. Once you connect with a competitor you will be able to see all the people they are connected to. Some of your competitor's connections will be clients, some will be prospects, and some will provide no value whatsoever.

What are the benefits of competitor analysis in developing a marketing plan? ›

3 Benefits of Frequent Competitive Analysis
  • Evaluate the viability of new products and services. ...
  • Rate the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. ...
  • Identify unserved or underserved gaps. ...
  • Getting the most value from your competitor analysis.
5 Jul 2019

Which of the following is the first step in a competitor analysis? ›

The first step in a competitor analysis is to determine who the competition is. This involves determining the current potential competitors within a market. At this stage, the analyst should also determine if the competitor is direct or indirect.

What are the factors to consider in identifying potential competitors? ›

How to Identify Direct Competitors
  • Market Research. Take a look at the market for your product and evaluate which other companies are selling a product that would compete with yours. ...
  • Solicit Customer Feedback. ...
  • Check Online Communities on Social Media or Community Forums.
22 Feb 2018

Videos

1. The Top Social Media Competitor Analysis Tools & How to Use Them
(Social Media Worldwide)
2. Teach me how to do a competitive analysis on social media
(Socialinsider)
3. Socialinsider - Social Media Competitors Analysis and Reporting Tool
(AppSumo)
4. Competitive Analysis - Social Media Strategy
(Rivalfox)
5. How to analyze your social media competitors
(Metricool)
6. Social Media Competitor Analysis using Sociota
(Sociota)
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