In the first part of this article, the process of creating a successful social media approach focused mostly on an introspective look at your business and how you can leverage what you have to connect with the community of people looking who can benefit from what you offer. While it may be easy to define your product or service when discussing it internally, it can be somewhat tricky to create a clear and precise vision that the average consumer will connect with. The reason for this is that when you work on something every day, your perception of that particular subject transforms to the point where you no longer focus on the fundamentals. It is critical to understand the viewpoint of the average consumer when defining your company message so that in connects with everybody, not just industry insiders.
A great place to start to help you understand your own company is to define and understand your competitors. Let’s face it, if you don’t know what your competition is up to, you won’t be able to make intelligent decisions that will help you keep the customers you do have, let alone gain new ones. This concept is known as competitive intelligence. Below I have outlined a few steps to understand your competition and help define your own social media approach for your company.
Before you start analyzing your competition, you need to identify who you are actually competing against. This requires at least some understanding of your own company’s goals, products or services. Take what you know about your own company and start a Google search using keywords that define your own business. From here you should have access to company blogs, websites and social media accounts where you can gain valuable insights about your industry.
Once you have identified your competition and start going through their social media campaigns you should try to identify their strategy. Most company’s social media accounts contain a wealth of information that will help you identify their approach. Whenever possible, be sure to observe customer feedback about your competitors. This will help you understand if their strategy is working, if they are having any issues that you may not have addressed.
Once you have spent some time analyzing your competition, you can begin to formulate how you should differentiate and position yourself within your market segment and understand your own social media strategy from the perspective of your audience.