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Does social listening help in gathering competitive intelligence?

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

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According to Forbes, 90% of businesses report that their industry has become more competitive in the last three years and there has been an increase in competition by 16%. In addition to this, social media has become a large player in social commerce. Nearly 400,000 social posts are published per minute on social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, with an average of 2 billion social users sharing content daily across all social media channels.

This creates a massive opportunity for businesses to tap into the social conversation, identify social signals about their companies, and gain critical competitive insights. To keep up with the increasing social data volume and manage this high volume of social data, it’s necessary to have social listening technology in place. This helps companies identify the important trends and themes happening around their brand, their competitors, and social media best practices. In turn, social insights give companies the ability to make social data-driven business decisions quickly and easily.

In this blog post, we’ll outline three ways to use social listening for competitive intelligence:

  1. Identifying social trends
  2. Monitoring competitor social accounts
  3. Finding social signals about your company

Identifying Social Trends

With social data being shared across social channels at an unprecedented rate, social trends are now breaking faster than ever before. On average, it only takes 2-3 days for social media trends to go viral. Knowing social trends in advance and how they impact your social strategy can determine the success of your social business. Social listening for competitive intelligence allows you to stay one step ahead and pinpoint social trends by monitoring social content, social influencers, social sentiment, and general social chatter around specific topics.

Identifying social trends can help social media marketers understand the interests, concerns, and social concerns of their target audience. It can also allow you to create social content that’s more relevant, engaging, and high-performing for your audiences.

Monitoring Competitor Social Accounts

Monitoring your competitors on social media can give you a better understanding of how they’re engaging with their customers and social audiences and, in turn, what social strategies you may need to consider adopting for your own social business.

businesses can monitor the social accounts of their competitors and social influencers to gather social insights on the types of social content they’re creating, what social topics are important to them, which social audiences they engage with most often, and where social opportunities exist. In addition to this competitive social analysis, you can also monitor social channels for your competitor’s ads as well as their business name on social profiles.

Finding Social Signals About Your Company

Similarly, marketers gather social signals about their own social presence and brand online. This allows marketers to stay on top of trends in social engagement, learn more about which social content resonates best with audiences, and find social opportunities to amplify social presence and social reach.

Social signals about your company include social influencer sentiment (positive vs. negative), social media trends around your brand, community growth and activity, and the rate of social amplification around specific social content. Gathering social signals like these helps businesses make more informed social business decisions on their social strategy.

Social listening is the act of monitoring social conversation to identify comments, questions, issues or opportunities that may be relevant to your social business. With a robust social listening tool, you should be able to monitor keywords and hashtags relevant to your industry as well as social influencer social accounts and competitor social channels. Gathering social insights from competitor social account activity can be great for discovering potential new target customers and more.

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