How To Compare Your Social Media Presence With Your Competitors

How To Compare Your Social Media Presence With Your Competitors The only way to know exactly where you are positioned in the marketplace is to compare yourself with your immediate competitors.

Online, the case is the same. In fact, if what you’re trying to compare is your social media presence, it might even be easier because there is data that’s public and available to you.

I will explain to you how to get started and for that we’ll be using an example in which we’ll compare 3 blogs. In order to get out of the social media circle a little bit, we’ll use blogs in the Career/HR/Working Environment segment which is also a competitive one.

There are a couple of things I want you to consider before we dive into our exercise. First, I’m not suggesting that a business that has a higher reach online or a better mention sentiment is more profitable, they are two separate things. Now, an exercise like this will open your eyes on how much stronger your competitors are or if they are stronger only in certain areas.

It can also reveal that you’re kicking everybody’s ass (hopefully…).

Exercise

So the 3 blogs we are comparing today are Punk Rock HR, Rehaul by Lance Haul and Work Awesome. Just to make it clear, this info is available online, I’m not discussing private information.

punkrockhr vs. workawesome vs. rehaul

It doesn’t even matter if they are exactly the same or not, just focus on the exercise and the steps we need to take so you can duplicate this at home..

Mentions

SocialMention is a free tool that allows you to search for any term and it gives you a few digits that you can use in order to start comparing with your competitors. Some of the definitions on the data they deliver are:

  • Strength: measures how much the brand is likely to be discussed.
  • Sentiment: is the ratio of positive to negative mentions
  • Passion: if individuals are mentioning your brand repeatedly.
  • Reach: is the unique authors divided by the numbers of mentions.

We can argue all day about how these digits are created or how accurate they are, forget that, we’re trying to get started on getting an idea of our presence against our competitors. Personally, I think something like “Sentiment” cannot be completely automated.

So we’re grabbing the data for our 3 competitors and so we can visualize it, we drop it on a spreadsheet.

Strength

It’s important that you know how they get these numbers, Strength is the number of brand mentions during the last 24 hours divided by the possible total mentions. Also, these digits change rather quickly, it might just happen that WorkAwesome just published a new post and it’s getting a lot of action and then you’ll see PunkRockHR getting all the love in a few days.

SocialMention - Compare Social Strength

Passion

It means that people mention your brand repeatedly. As you can see, it really doesn’t matter how big your network is because you could have a higher impact with a smaller group of hardcore fans.

SocialMention - Compare Social Passion

Reach

SocialMention considers this a measurement of Influence. It’s the unique authors divided by the number of mentions.

SocialMention - Compare Social Reach

Sentiment

I think it’s good to get this data but only as a start. Sentiment should be something that you monitor closely and apply your own criteria. The other thing is that all those neutral mentions might be simple retweets and, last time I checked, they’re pretty positive for most folks. Just because it’s not followed by a “Yeey!” doesn’t mean it’s not positive… so make your own rules!

SocialMention - Compare Social Sentiment

The good thing about SocialMention is that you can find these mentions and see exactly what is being consider positive or negative.

Pageviews

The easiest way to compare some basic traffic stats against other sites is Compete. A more robust set of metrics is also available on their paid service.

Compete.com - Compare Pageviews

Content Engagement

PostRank has this new tool to compare Social Web Engagement. This looks very much like Compete but it’s based on its blog engagement system. You should get familiar with this as it’s slowly becoming a standard among bloggers.

In my opinion, engagement is the most important aspect of blogging, even more than traffic. It has been proven that blogs with significant smaller followers can perform equally or even better than those with insane amounts of traffic.

Engagement is pretty much telling you if you are connecting with the right crowd or not. If people are not commenting on sharing your content, it is possible that there is nothing wrong with your content but you have missed your target.

PostRank - Compare Engagement

Network Size

As I always say, network size is important for some people and for others is not. The reason I include it in this example is because it adds value, for example in this case it’s pretty obvious that WorkAwesome has half the followers on Twitter but much higher visits and content engagement (according to Compete and PostRank). That kind of information is relevant to your objectives.

Compare Network Size - Twitter

Search

Let’s go crazy and compare the 3 sites for best performing search terms, that’s kind of important. Again on a simple spreadsheet so you can also track over time. This is a great way to decide if you are willing to compete for the same keywords or if you rather find alternatives.

Best Perfoming Search Terms

What Else?

It really depends on what your needs are and what’s relevant to you. Add Facebook Likes, Klout Scores or Alexa Rankings, be creative but don’t go crazy and lose sight of the ultimate objectives. Playing with stuff is highly addictive.

Your Turn Now…

Do you compare yourself to your competitors? or maybe you think it’s a waste of time… What tools do you use to do so? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section.

  • Super-interesting stats, Francisco,
    and I don't even know these sites.
    I will definitely check out PunkRock HR, but I never compare myself. It distract too much from your own brand. Instead of worrying what your competition does, make your stuff so awesome that you don't have to worry about competition in the first place.
    Personality begins when comparison ends 😉

  • It's very useful post. thank you so much.

  • It's definitely not a waste of time (unless you're comparing a personal hobby blog, I guess). I think there's a lot to learn by studying your competitors, and you've given some great info on how to begin.

    Thanks!

  • Hey Mars, good to see you here!

    I definitely dig what your saying, your focus should be on your creativity. I always try to tell everyone that these are tools or tricks that are useful for certain things (specially in business) but the heart of your business, your blogging, your social media or whatever you do is not found on analysis, reports or pretty charts.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  • Well, thank you Derek, appreciate your words!

  • This is a great post because all brands should not just be monitoring how they are being talked about online, but also what is being said about competitors so they can stay ahead of the game.
    Our Heartbeat tool has a function so that companies can compare where, how often and the sentiment being used about them compared to their competitors and I would invite you take a look at it.

    Cheers,

    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • Awesome information! Thank you

  • Glad you liked it Kazia.

  • Keeping tabs on the competition has never been easier with so many tools available. These days, we only need to sift through endless apps and know exactly what set of metrics will help us grow our businesses. It's important to pay attention to what our customers want. If we understand how to translate those demands into services and products that truly address consumer needs, then we'll get a higher chance of winning over other similar brands. The numbers and graphs, all the insights and analytics, are there to make our lives easier. However, in the end, it's still knowing how to appropriate all this technology into our bringing innovative and relevant products in the market that matters.

  • Well said Jose, thanks for the comment. Tools are just tools and looking at data on pretty charts does nothing, they are there to help us adjust strategies and keep pushing creativity.

    Just visited your blog, very nice! http://www.valueprop.com/blog/

  • Great blog post mate,
    this is a lot to take in by just reading it once. Going to print this for future references. Thanks! keep up the great work with your blog mate

  • Useful post Francisco … there are a couple of tools there I didn't know about.

  • Wil

    This is all very good information. I was sent here from Bizchickblog. I am glad that I read your blog. Thanks.

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  • Is there a way to track/see what keywords my competitors are bidding on? Perfectible I would like to enter a competitor's URL and see a list of keywords they are bidding on.

  • Mike Vardy

    Thanks for the WorkAwesome mention, Francisco!

  • Mag

    This is all very good and interesting information. I can not wait to see how mine checks out.

  • Great tool to check our presence in social media…
    This will improve our performance in social media well
    BTW check this tool also
    http://twitter.labnol.org/analytics/

  • The widget can be integrated into your website, and constantly updates search data according to specified parameters.

  • Well How To Compare Your Social Media Presence With Your Competitors..?

  • Very Nice,the details of social media is explained thorougly.

  • This social media or whatever you do is not found on analysis, reports or pretty charts.

  • This social media or whatever you do is not found on analysis, reports or pretty charts.

  • This is a great way to decide if you are willing to compete for the same keywords or if you rather find alternatives.

  •  It might even be easier because there is data that’s public and available to you.

  • I will explain to you how to get started and for that we’ll be using
    an example in which we’ll compare 3 blogs. In order to get out of the
    social media circle a little bit, we’ll use blogs in the
    Career/HR/Working Environment segment which is also a competitive one.

  • Anna B.

    Keep tabs on the competition and improve your social media presence!