Using social media marketing as a way to market your brand, products or services is something you should know about already but have you ever thought about using it to gather information on your competitors?
Before we go any further we are not talking here about industrial espionage and stealing secrets from your competitors. Instead, we are looking at social media as a legitimate means to see what other businesses in your niche, sector or industry are doing publicly and using that information to improve what you do in your business.
The first thing to realise is that the social media pages and profiles of most businesses are in the public domain anyway. This means anyone, including you, is able to see what they post, and read any of the updates, quotes and comments that they make. Most people seeing them will just take the post at face value, but for you, they can contain golden nuggets of information.
Your first step is to make a list of those companies and organisations that are either direct competitors to you or who operate within your niche, even if what they market or sell isn’t directly in opposition to you. You should then take the time to determine what steps you need to take to see what these companies and organisations are posting on the most popular social media sites. This could include setting up profiles and then following the company’s page or group.
For example, on Facebook, you may need to request to join their group page for updates, or on Twitter, it might simply be a case of finding a company’s profile and following it. Every social media site has its own way that you can follow someone, so do whatever it requires on each particular site.