Learn Social Media Optimization From the Competition
Any solid SEO plan needs a social media component, but getting started with social media can be overwhelming. There are new platforms springing up every day, and businesses are constantly finding new ways to use them. If you’re just getting started, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Here are some ways you can get off to a quick start by piggy-backing on knowledge your competitors have already learned.
1.What social media platforms are important in your industry?
Make a list of the social media platforms that your competitors are using. You will see a trend. If all your competitors have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest, for example, then you’ll want to make sure you are set up there first, leaving Google+, Instagram, and the rest for later.
While identifying their accounts, follow them all. This will help you later. You’ll also want to note who has the most likes or followers, to determine which competitors have the broadest social media reach.
2. How often do they post or engage with their fans?
Track the number of times they post daily and weekly, and record when they post. Some companies – particularly large national or multi-national ones – have spent a lot of time and money determining the optimum times to post. If you study the trends, you can determine if there is a common theme.
3. What types of content does their target audience find most engaging?
It’s recommended that you mix text status updates, images, and videos – check your competitors to see what’s working for them, as well as the type of content they are posting. What are they talking about, and which posts are “liked” most often by their fans? This can help you determine a content strategy.
4. How do they interact with their customers?
Some posts are created to drive engagement – asking questions, posting surveys, promotional offers, and contests are all designed to have customers interact with the business, generating leads and sales. Are they using social media for customer service? If you examine what your competitors are doing, you’ll be able to start creating effective campaigns right from the start, broadening your customer base and deepening customer loyalty.
5. Create a target audience
You can run a Facebook ad promoting your page to the fans of your competitors’ pages. This targeted campaign will convert well and be less expensive than advertising your page to an unfiltered group on Facebook. You’ll be leveraging the work your competitors have done in building their fan base.
6. Listen to conversations on Twitter
Create a private Twitter list of competitors’ official Twitter accounts, the private accounts of key people who work for competitors, and industry watchdogs. You’ll need to follow them first, but then you can set up a private list that no one but you will see. They will not know they are on your “list.” You can filter this list for key words, trends, and business news you can act on.
7. Which platforms are they using paid advertising on – and what types of ads are they running?
If a competitor is spending their marketing budget on social media, you may want to follow suit. Facebook and Pinterest are beginning to let customers purchase products directly from the ads on their site, for example. If your competitors are selling this way, you could be left behind if you are not doing the same.