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How to Learn From and Overtake Competitors with Social Media Marketing

Hand draw social network on black board using chalk

One approach to becoming successful in your social media marketing campaign is to check out what the competition is doing. Even beyond just knowing their tricks so you can do better, they are working within the same field as you so you can just straight out learn from them when you’re starting out. Here are a few ways to get up to speed by shadowing your competitors and then finally overtake them.

Check YouTube Tags for Competitors

If you see a video on YouTube that’s marketing the same product or service as you and it’s wildly profitable, then it’s often a good idea to ask yourself exactly why that is. Obviously it’s important to look at the video itself, but there are undoubtedly many millions of YouTube videos out there that all have merit but that no one sees. For your purposes, the big thing to look at is the tags.

These used to be readily available, but in order to find it now you have to do a little extra work to locate them. You can do the whole view page source thing by right clicking on any video page and selecting ‘view source.’ Then, hit “Control F” on your keyboard or else activate your computer’s ‘find’ feature however that works. Then, you can just type in “keywords” in order to find the tags for the YouTube video to see what got them so many hits. Make sure you right-click somewhere else on the page and not on the actual video screen area or you won’t see the source option.

If you don’t like being the slightest bit technical, you can also install a chrome extension. This will let you see tags for a YouTube video much more easily. This way, you don’t have to do a lot of messing around on each video to find the tags.

Choose the Social Channel Based on What’s Best Per Topic

One place you can actually overtake competitors is if they aren’t marketing on the channel best suited for the topic. There are many different factors to look through for determining which site is the best for your needs. For one thing, you need to decide how important size is for you.

For example, Facebook has over a billion active users on a monthly basis. This goes all the way down to 40 million on Pinterest with a lot of variation in the middle such as 540 million on Google+ and 255 million on Twitter.

There are multiple tools online that allow you to create social channel matrix infographics that show which service is the most popular for that particular topic in terms of hits, shares, likes or any other rubric.

Get Alerts from Competitors to Watch Them at Work

You can set up alerts through Google to see what competitors are doing. All you have to do is sign into Google through the Google Alerts page to start out. Then, in the textbox on the top of the page in purple, right under where it says “Alerts,” you just type in whatever you want to get alerts about. This could be simply the name of your competitor to start with, for example. After you type in what you want, hit the little text underneath that says “Show Options.”

From here, you can decide how often you want to get alerts. The options here are “at most once a day,” “as it happens,” or “at most once a week.” You can also choose your sources from “Automatic” to something specific like “news” “videos” or “discussions.” This gives you a lot of latitude when it comes to monitoring the competition. Google Alerts also even lets you specify language, region, how many results to get, and where you want the emails delivered.

It’s best to select “only the best results” in the “how many” category unless you want to get deluged with emails. When you have everything the way you want it, you can hit the blue “Create Alert” button to make it happen.

Don’t forget to scroll down in the “Alert Preview” area to check to see what sorts of alerts you’d be getting before finally pulling the trigger, however. Once you get alerts coming in, you can compare what you see successful competitors doing with what you’re doing in order to learn from them and even catch up.

Be sure to check for:

 

  • Tags and Keywords-It’s worth asking yourself whether you could up your keyword game compared to competitors, and Google Alerts can be a useful way to do this. Check to see what keywords each of their posts are using and which are the most successful. You can eve compare this versus your own posts on a day to day basis to see whether you’re improving relative to what you consider to be a successful blog in your field.
  • Topic Choice-The exact topic your competitors use on each post will be of interest to your media marketing approach as well. You can then choose similar topics to write about in order to try to emulate their success.
  • Social Media Outlet-It’s not like statistics about which social media channels are the best for a topic will always necessarily apply in your particular situation, so monitoring competitors for what they post in which channel is also often useful to get a sense for where their success comes from.

Generally speaking, it’ll be those who do their homework that end up on top. As long as you make it your own, you can emulate and figure out how competitors are doing what they do in order to get to where you want to be in your marketing efforts.

Mike Templeman

About Mike Templeman

Mike Templeman is the CEO and Founder of Foxtail Marketing. He is passionate about tech, marketing and startups. When not tapping away at his keyboard, he can be found spending time with his wife and kids. He is also Canadian... or more importantly, he is Canadian.

Foxtail Marketing is a digital marketing firm that provides content marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation services for small and mid-market companies.

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