Competition. It’s what makes the world go ‘round. Without competition, you wouldn’t have many of the large companies we see today. Or a space program. Or the internet.
Healthy competition makes a better business owner, even if they fail.
The question posed to me this week was –
How do I keep a watch on my competition’s online activities?
Aside from sending a spy to work for them, there are several ways you can keep up with what your competition is doing online and in the process, learn more about your business.
1. Follow them everywhere.
I’m not talking about stalking, but like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter or even circle them on Google Plus. If you follow their posts, you’ll likely see what they are planning and if you’re smart enough, figure out their strategy.
2. Add them to your Facebook “Pages to Watch.”
This is a neat little feature Facebook brought out a year or so ago. You can have your page list your competition’s page as a “Page to Watch.” The page will get a notification, but luckily, they will never know it’s you. Once you add them, you can see how their like are increasing (or decreasing), how their engagement levels are and even see their top posts.
3. Social Mentions
You can sign up for a really cool site, mention.com and have an alert anytime your competition is mentioned on the social web. They have free and paid plans. You can actually create an alert for more than just your competition – create you one yourself while you’re there.
4. Google Alerts
Love them or hate them, Google Alerts are a great way to keep up with how you and/or your competition is being mentioned online. You can receive daily notifications or weekly ones and it will tell you everywhere your (or your competition’s) name popped up online.
Once you are keeping an eye on your competition, start taking a look at your business.
Here’s what you can learn –
- Are you effectively using CTAs (Calls-to-Action)? Is your competition using them and if so, what results do you see?
- Are you posting content that resonates with your community or are you being too sales-y?
- Is there something you are having more success with than your competition?
- Do you see a continual increase in engagement and community?
I could go on and on, but you get the point. See what your competition is or isn’t doing will show you a lot about your business by how you are conducting your own.
So, share with me – what ways do you keep watch on your competition?
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