Social Media Sunday School: Why Stalking Your Competitors is Good for Business

Here is this week’s Social Media Sunday School article by Megan Hargroder of Week 4 (Our Social Tribune).  More information on Megan and what she does here.

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Why Social Stalking Your Competitors is Good for Business

Admit it: at some point, you’ve used the internet to stalk someone – whether it was a recent ex, someone you were interested in, or a celebrity you admired. 

Someone you might not have properly stalked yet: your competitors. 

Why should you?

Because if you’re looking to gain an edge in your industry, you’ve got to know what you’re up against – and social media is the most public and truthful way to figure out what they’re doing and how well it’s going.

How can you do this without feeling creepy? (Or getting caught?)

Like a ninja.  

WATCH THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE

The easiest, most obvious place to start. 

But let’s go beyond just stumbling over to their Facebook page and taking a peek.

Facebook Insights (that dashboard where you view your own page analytics) has a feature called “Pages to Watch,” where you can add up to 100 other fan pages that you’d like to track and get comparison data to help you adapt your own tactics.
Here’s a tutorial on how to set that up.

Pro Tip: BE COOL. You don’t want to COPY your competitors, you want to learn from their successes and failutres. If your competitor just ran a photo sharing contest, don’t immediately run a photo sharing contest, or your methods will be transparent.  

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

Ever wonder what makes certain websites rank higher in a google search than others? That’s called SEO, and you want yours to be better than your competitor’s. 

SEO is pretty complex, and dependent upon a number of factors – BUT – knowledge is power.

Check out this free SEO Website Comparison tool to find out how your site ranks against your competitor, and what you can do to gain the edge!

STEAL THEIR TWITTER FOLLOWERS

Some people call it stealing, I call it low-hanging fruit.

Here’s the thing: your twitter followers are public. 

That means your competitor’s are too.

So let’s say that I’m a new local coffee shop looking to attract young professionals who work from coffee shops. 

The first thing I’m going to do is check my competitor’s Twitter account, see who’s following them locally (specifically those who seem like influencers), and I’m going to FOLLOW THOSE PEOPLE.

But I won’t stop there. 

I’m going to further gain an edge by ENGAGING those people in clever conversations. 

At that point, they will be like:
“Who is this person talking to me? Oh, it’s a coffee shop…Oh they have lightening speed wifi and a fancy espresso machine…maybe I should check it out!”
 

Shazam. New Customers. 

xoxo

Megan