It is difficult to underestimate the importance of social networks in terms of business. They generate leads, convert them into customers, and actually bring additional profit. Add to these, billions of users populating them and you will get good reasoning to think of the presence in social networks. However, just to launch a community or advertising campaign is not enough. To track your result, you should use social media monitoring software.
In this article, we will talk about social media analysis in general, as well as tools intended to help you in efficiency tracking.
Why is social network analysis important?
If take a look at the research conducted by CMO Survey, it becomes understood that companies tend to spend more on marketing for social media.
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Forecasts show that spendings on marketing in social media will rise from the current 10.5% of total marketing budget up to 18.5% in the next 5 years. Respectively, hundreds of social media marketing services are in use among e-commerce and other companies of different size.
Social media spending forecast (Source: CMO Survey)
As you see, companies over the world already understand the importance of social networks for brand development and increasing sales. Almost 100% of all prominent U.S. businesses adopted the social media marketing strategy. However, only 11% of marketing executives claim they are able to prove the impact of social media marketing on company's revenue. Even though social media monitoring tools make it possible.
For justifying the budget allocated for marketing in social networks, marketers have to prove that the launched campaign meets the company's expectations, while the invested money are paying off. That's called the ROI rate or return on investment in other words.
Studies show that those marketers who relate metrics to results of the business are more likely to reach the set profit goals if compared to the ones who don't. That's why social media data analysis leads to balanced decisions in your social network strategy. Besides, it allows to optimize your expenses by appraising and adjusting the marketing campaign.
Social media competitor analysis
The first step you may take even before launching the company's page on social networks is to analyze your competitors' for defining the benchmarks of the industry. This way, you will have an understanding of their achievements. For instance, you can define the average audience size, number of posts per month, shares per post etc.
Let's consider some steps contributing to successful social media competitor analysis.
Discover your competitors
Be your product a mobile app or an e-commerce store, before competing with anybody on the market you should find out who your opponents are. For some companies, it can be as easy as pie, while with others you may be faced with certain challenges. In any case, you should pay due attention to this step since awareness is a power which puts you in an advantageous position.
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Here are several tips on how to do a social media analysis of your competitors:
Remember that your main free social media analytics tool is Google. The most efficient way to benefit from this search engine is to use keywords or phrases. For instance, 'food delivery NYC', 'best used cars in Miami', 'coffee shops in Manhattan' etc.
If your company works worldwide and you seeking for something more global -- use general terms like 'best printing service', 'award-winning design agency' and so on.
Keep an eye on your audience
To discover more about your opponents, you may conduct the social media presence analysis of competitors. Browse their pages in other words. For instance, referring to their pages on Instagram, you can easily learn what brands they follow and single out ones that are similar to your business.
Choose your opponents
As soon as the batch of competitors is selected, you need to choose 3-5 rivals to compete with. Why exactly this much? Because the number of competitors above this can overload you with information and you won't know what to do with all that data. In turn, the lesser number leads to lack of awareness.
Learn about frequency of posting
It is not a secret that your competitors are most likely to be present on several social networks at once, so do you. Monitor their posting activity and make some notes. Probably, there is a need to post more regularly by using social media management tools or make them more informative. That's a great way to decide on the frequency of posting on your company's social networks.
Measure their engagement rate
The number of likes, tweets, comments, shares is extremely important thing. All these metrics report about how much your competitors succeeded in their social presence.
Conduct a social media SWOT analysis
SWOT is an acronym that means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. That's a keystone for any prosperous business strategy.
S -- Strengths
Define what your competitors are really good at with the help of social media profile analysis. Maybe, they have found a great way to combine the content they publish with the promotion of services or non-standard way of using different features.
W -- Weaknesses
There are definitely some weak sides. Too intrusive brand advertising, poor content, low-quality media materials etc. Whatever it is --do not repeat their mistakes.
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O -- Opportunities
After you are done with social media presence analysis of your competitors, try to single out their strong and weak sides. Think about the peak they could achieve. Maybe they should improve their time of response on Facebook or do something else.
T -- Threats
Is there anything that could go wrong? Think it through, since every theoretical threat can turn into the reality and harm your business. So, make a plan on how to handle these threats.
Finally, such a small social media analysis will help you to define the most efficient channels of reaching your target audience. For example, brands connected with higher education have the enormous audience on Twitter, while Instagram is the most engaging network for their customers. By the way, Instagram brings the biggest audience and engagement rate for the retail industry.
Engagement rate by industry and social media platform (Source: Smart Insights)
Best social media analytics and management tools
Ok, we have already considered how to analyze social media data of your competitors and why you should use social networks in your business. It is high time to take a look at some useful tools allowing to effectively cope with analytics.
Pricing: $99 - $699 monthly
That's a social media analytics software that can be used for competitive analysis. The service has a bunch of features allowing you to measure the shares that your competitors' content gets. It is a really precious resource when it comes to time-saving when gathering a certain kind of information. Except for these, BuzzSumo has a variety of other useful features aboard.
Best social media analytics tools: BuzzSumo interface
Pricing: $19 - $499 monthly
The Hootsuite social media management software brings you not only the exceptional dashboard for social media management but another opportunity for competitive analysis. It is capable of monitoring the Twitter activity of your opponents and looking for both keywords and hashtags in a real-time mode.
Best social media management tools: Hootsuite interface
Pricing: Depends on a plan
It is a powerful social media reporting tool that works across all the main platforms and providing it's customers with the accurate data deprived of spam and duplicates. The product gives the information concerning different markets, including gender and hobbies. Another plus is that it is able to monitor the reputation of your brand in a real-time based on positive or negative messages users post about you.
Best social media analytics tools: Brandwatch insight information
Pricing: $165 - $999+ monthly
This social media tracking software is able to measure the impact of brands and trends on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, Keyhole is capable for a real-time monitoring of hashtags, keywords & phrases, as well as campaign metrics. So, by using this service you can keep an eye on high activity periods, reach, impressions and so on.
Best social media analytics tools: Keyhole interface
Pricing: $49 - $299 monthly
AgoraPulse social media reporting software intended to track the engagement analytics around such networks as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Except for basic metrics, this service traces those users who often share your company's content, as well as notifies you about mentionings of your profiles or pages.
Besides, the platform keeps an eye on the management stats of your community (e.g. response rate in your Facebook community). The combination of this data will help you to guide your efforts in the right direction.
A pleasant bonus is that this service is translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and French and supports the export into PowerPoint.
Best social media analytics tools: AgoraPulse interface
- Rival IQ
Pricing: $299 - $799 monthly
Rival IQ is one more service where you can conduct the social media data analysis of your competitors. It can be used to see how rival brands act themselves within the main social platforms on the web. The service reports about the increase or decrease in audience based on weekly, monthly or annual footing. This way, you get the access to archival data allowing you comparing the brands' growth stats to some events or business cycles. So, you can observe when your competitors expand their bases.
Best social media analytics tools: Rival IQ interface
Pricing: $49 - $99 monthly
Edgar is another representative of social media scheduling tools that automates your postings. The service is able to store the content that was collected in a library based on different categories. You can create as many categories as you wish and name them in accordance with their roles (e.g. tips, case study, for blog and so on).
The main feature of Edgar is that as soon as you create a schedule based on any category, the service launches the endless queue intended to automatically repost the content taken from this category if there are no updates or changes.
However, Edgar has also the built-in tracking for engagement stats. That fact may contribute a lot to optimizing your scheduling depending on the content that brings the most interaction, as well as the effective time of posting.
Best social media management tools: Edgar categories
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