Social engagement is the involvement, participation, or activity across social channels. The activity would include social posts, comments, etc. Participation varies to a degree, but all if not most companies participate in some form of social interaction. However, not all companies do social well. There are, of course, companies and brands across B2B, B2C, and industries that provide fantastic examples of how to incorporate competitive intelligence into their social strategy to increase engagement.
Interested in testing CI insights to capture more market share? This article is designed to be action-based. We’ve compiled competitive tactics to implement to increase engagement:
Create & expand the types of content shared
Insight: One of your competitors is sharing a lot of content on their social channels – more than you believe would be possible to create on their own.
Action: How much content are you creating and sharing? If you’re creating significantly less content, then your competitor and unable to produce more without compromising the quality of your content, consider the type of content they are sharing. Is the competition sharing net new content, republishing content, posting pictures of the team, highlighting a cause that aligns with the company mission? A popular way to increase engagement is through syndicating or share thought leadership articles from publications that resonate with your target audience. As customers and prospects what they think.
Find opportunities to expand what you’re currently doing without extending too many resources. If your competition is republishing content, examine how and why they are doing it. There’s a good chance the messaging, content, graphics, or calls to actions have been updated or changed. It’s also possible that through A/B tests, your competition was able to figure out the kinds of content that resonate the most with their target audience.
Test times, dates, & platforms
Insight: Your competition is posting things at what seems like random times and dates.
Action: Most social hosting, or marketing automation platforms provide some posting recommendation. For HubSpot, they allow you to customize but give you three options, for platforms like Hootsuite, they give you intervals that work best with your existing post engagement. Depending on the audience and the type of content engagement rates can differ. Monitoring when and where the competition is posting. Are they posting conversational pieces early in the morning? Or are they only having discussions on one platform and posting routine content updates on another?
Be prepared to shift your current schedule, without doing damage to what your audience expects to be published. When something is posted, it is as important as what kind of content. Understand the cycles of content consumption. You can start by identifying if the engaged audience is the right fit for your product, or if the company is already your direct competitor.
Explore partnerships & new markets
Insight: The competition is posting a lot, but it’s not their content, nor are they publishing their posts.
Action: Who is posting the content. Social posts might not be straight from the company’s social. Get to know who the champions are and if they’re customers, partners, thought leaders, or something else. If they do have those promoters, can you partner with them as well? Engaging with the same thought leaders is crucial to getting your message out there. It could also help you identify partners and new social channels for distribution. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube are not the only social channels. There are forums, blogs, messaging apps that serve as social channels, and depending on the audience, and they might be the ones that produce higher engagement. Expand your thinking outside of the traditional way or setup.
Engage your employees to increase social selling
Insights: Your competitors are getting more shares and/or likes across their posts.
Action: Ask why the competition is getting more activity. Identify if this is a new engagement trend or an existing one. If it’s new, understand where the activity is originating. Sales and marketing teams are some of the best assets for getting content out in the channels. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s State of Sales report, 90% of top-performing salespeople use social media as a part of their strategy.
If you’re watching your competition and automating at least a portion of the insights collection, you’ll have much more time to understand the why. When you have clues as to how your competition is approaching their social strategy, you’ll also have ideas about what they’re missing, or even better, what they can’t provide that you can.
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