Business development · 6 November 2019

How can competitive brand analysis benefit your business?

How competitive brand analysis can benefit your business

Your competitive advantage is what sets your business apart from the competition. It highlights the benefits a customer receives when they do business with you. It could be your products, service, reputation or even your location, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on your social media presence, specifically Facebook.

Many business owners wander blindly into social media, thinking it is simply a process of posting to their Facebook page on a daily basis, crossing their fingers that someone will see and “like” their posts. But most of you will know this simply isn’t the case. Did you know that you can use your competitors’ social media presence to grow, boost and shape your own social media marketing strategy? Well, yes you can, and it doesn’t take anything more than a little time.

Competitor analysis on Facebook

When it comes to developing a reliable digital strategy for your brand, an assessment of what your competitors are doing on social media is essential. It goes without saying that Facebook remains the goldmine for marketers to extract audience data and derive valuable insights from that data.

Conducting a competitive brand analysis on Facebook is a process that involves identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your product or service.

Our aim is to share with you how you can monitor your competitors based on their activity on Facebook, and understand which key metrics deliver useful insights about your competitors’ social media strategy and your target audience. 

To begin with, let’s explain why you should do competitor analysis on Facebook. Monitoring your competitors is probably even more critical than just researching them. Carefully monitoring your competitors’ next steps and campaigns can save time and grow your business.

How can competitive brand analysis benefit your business
For marketers, Facebook remains a goldmine from which to extract audience data and glean valuable insights.

Using your findings, it’s easy to see which type of content your audience is most likely to engage with, encourages the most link clicks, app downloads, likes, etc. Knowing exactly what makes your customers engage with your content is essential and social media has made this information a lot easier to access. Choose the top three to five competitors against which to benchmark your efforts and gather information, including how often they post on Facebook and what their metrics look like.

So, now that you know why you should do competitor analysis on Facebook, what are the metrics you should track for your brand performance?

1. Page growth

Growth rate is the average weekly increase in the number of followers in a given time period. Although some consider it a vanity metric, it shows you how well your content can reach audiences on Facebook, and it helps you create custom audiences for ads campaigns. The median growth rate for a Facebook business page is currently reported as 0.64% per week. This means that a page with 1,000 followers will gain about 25 new connections per month

2. Engagement

Engagement is one of the most critical Facebook metrics you can track for your brand, and you should know that it will fluctuate a lot. You can monitor your engagement rate consistently, even daily, while creating benchmarks for your industry and learn how to drive conversations on social media.

3. Reach

Reach is the number of people that see your content on Facebook. This can be measured using both paid and organic efforts. It measures beyond your own audience as it also includes the number of people who have seen your content via an audience member using the “like” and “share” button options. So encouraging your audience to share is beneficial to your overall numbers. You can see an overview of your reach by going to your page insights and, if you want more details, you can simply click on the reach tab.

4. Average engagement rate per post

You can calculate engagement rate by totalling the engagement (likes, comments, shares etc.) across all your or some of your posts on your Facebook business page, then dividing by the total number of followers and dividing that by the number of posts to get the per-post average. Facebook engagement matters because it can help boost your News Feed placement based on the Facebook algorithm and extend organic reach.

You can take this a step further and create full profiles of all your competitors that go beyond selling points. Here you can bring together all of the information you’ve uncovered in an ordered and useful manner. The ultimate aim is to put all the research to good use, utilise it for your marketing strategy, new product or service provision and customer research.

Carrying out a strong competitive brand analysis takes a lot of work, but the rewards are huge. It removes blind spots, helps you improve and is essential for excelling in your industry. Make sure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Laura McLoughlin is a digital PR based in Belfast. Her previous roles include as editor for a teen pop website in the UK and as a journalist. She currently works with Omnia.

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