We’ve talked about why you should monitor your competitor’s marketing, and how to set up a monitoring dashboard to do so. But really, all that data you’re collecting on competitors is worthless if you don’t know what to do with it.

Smart data needs to lead to smart decisions.

And that means doing more than just hoarding competitor mentions in your dashboard. You need to sit down, dig in, and get analytical.

Monitoring your competitors isn’t enough – you need to sit down and analyze the data.

Whether that’s once a week, once a month, or once a quarter is up to you. But it deep dives need to be done regularly. That is, if you want to improve your brand. Today we’re talking about conducting a social media competitive analysis.

Need more help with competitive analysis? Learn how monitoring helps with our full guide.

What you’ll learn from social analysis

By sitting down and dedicating time to look at the data your social media monitoring dashboard has been bringing in, you’ll be able to know exactly where your social media strategy stands, compared to your competitors.

From that, you can tell:

  • Which brands in your industry hold the highest share of voice on social media
  • What people are talking about in conversations about your industry and competitors
  • What your industry is talking about to start the most buzz
  • Which influencers are talking about your brand and competitors

Which trends and insights to look for

So, how will this help you build your social media strategy anyway?

You’ll see where your brand stands in relation to your industry, who the influencers of your niche are, which competitors are succeeding on social, and how they’re doing so.

  • See where your brand stands: by looking at how often competitors are mentioned, the sentiment of what’s said, and other insights, you’ll be able to benchmark your brand’s market share. This will help measure the success of your social media strategy over time.
  • Identify industry influencers: look at the important advocates talking about other companies in your industry to research influencers to work with on future social media and marketing campaigns.
  • Measure your competitors’ success: see if a certain social campaign gave your competitor a big boost in engagement and mentions.

How to conduct social media competitive analysis in 5 minutes

Now, once you have alerts set up to monitor competitors in Mention, creating a competitive analysis report will take about 5 minutes, tops. You’ll want to have separate alerts set up for each competitor.

To create individual social media reports:

  1. Head to the alert you’d like to analyze, and go to ‘Statistics & Exports.’
  2. Select the time period you want to look at, and any advanced filters you’d like to use, using the drop-down menus across the top of the statistics portal.
  3. Through the main report, see the daily trends for the competitor’s mention activity, sentiment analysis, top sources and location, etc. You can also see what other keywords are being used in conversations about your competitor.
    mention-topic-cloud
  4. Download your report as a PDF, if you need to. This is where you can also export mentions to an Excel file, CSV, PDF, or TSV.
  5. Switch over to the ‘Twitter Influencers’ to find the most influential members of the competitor’s community. Click through to look at the conversations the mentions came from.
    mention-twitter-influencer-dashboard
  6. Export the influencer list, along with important data about their social footprint, to an Excel file or CSV.

To create a comparison report:

  1. In your Mention dashboard, click on the chart icon in the top left to head to your analytics portal.
  2. Use the ‘Alerts’ drop-down menu to select the alerts to include (which competitors you’re comparing).
    mention-social-media-analysis
  3. Select the time period you’d like to look at. You can use one of the given options or enter a custom date range.
  4. If you want to filter your report by a certain source, sentiment, etc., select the appropriate filters.
  5. View activity trends for all brands in one graph, sentiment analysis, top sources and locations, and peak activity hours.
    social-media-competitive-report
  6. Export the data or mentions if you’d like to save it all for later.

Tips for your social media analysis

Once you’ve created your reports and it’s time to dig into the data, here are some ideas on how to use it:

  • Look for large spikes in social media activity for your competitors. Then go through the mentions to pinpoint why more people were talking about them than usual. Is it a successful strategy you could adapt?
  • Pick out influencers talking about your competitors with negative or neutral sentiment. They’re less likely to be hardcore fans and might be more open to working with the brand’s competitors.
  • Use the topic clouds to look at what else is being discussed in these conversations. Are there good opportunities for you to jump in or start your own?

Mission: accomplished

Over the past month, we’ve walked you through the process of becoming the ultimate marketing spy through smart monitoring. And your training is complete. You now have what you need to build and execute a competitor listening strategy.

Download our full guide to building your competitor monitoring plan:

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Head of Content @Mention

Brittany Berger is the Content & PR Manager at Mention, where she reads a lot and writes even more. She likes her media social and her Netflix non-stop. Connect with her on Twitter at @bberg1010.