You’ve heard it before, “keep an eye on the competition.” There’s a good chance you view your competition as the enemy. And since they might be stealing business from you, that’s not an unreasonable opinion to have. But did you know your competitors can actually make you better at what you do?
There’s a lot to learn from monitoring your competition, especially on social media. These 5 strategies will help you use your competitors to your advantage.
Find Out What Their Customers Want
When you visit your competitors’ social media pages, you’re bound to see all the posts you’d expect. You’ll find promos for new services and products, polls, videos, and images. But if you take the time to look past what content they’re promoting, you’ll quickly learn what their customers think about their products.
The easiest way to find out what needs your competition isn’t fulfilling for their customers is to look at comments and reviews. Once you find out, see if you can think of a way to provide the solution they want.
If you see frequent complaints about slow customer support response, you can make sure you showcase how friendly and quick your support team is. While you won’t be able to fix the immediate problem that they’re having with your competition, you can show them that you have a real solution to something that’s frustrating them. And if you’re offering a solution to their problems, there’s a good chance they’ll give you their business in the future.
Find Their Weakness
Every brand has their strengths and weaknesses. Do some digging and figure out what you do better than them. Once you know what your competitor’s weak spot is, you can expose it and make sure others know that your brand is superior. If you can position yourself as being great at something they’re lacking, customers won’t be able to ignore it.
Wendy’s wasn’t afraid to call-out McDonald’s on Twitter for using frozen beef in their cheeseburgers. They took the opportunity to remind their followers that Wendy’s is superior because their meat is always fresh, no matter what sandwich is ordered.
Find a Source of Inspiration
Social media marketing demands that you have new content to post each and every day. That’s a difficult task, especially when you feel like you’ve exhausted all your creative options.
If you’re stuck for new ideas, it might be a good time to check out what your competition is posting. Of course, you won’t want to copy them outright, but you can definitely get inspiration for your own content from what they’ve already created. Is there a hot topic you missed that they covered? Take the opportunity to put your own spin on it.
One-Up Their Customer Service Team
Customer service is huge – especially now when people expect immediate resolutions to their issues. Take a look at how your competition is responding to customer comments. Are they slow to respond, or somewhat unfriendly?
A great customer service team will set your brand apart from the rest. Even if they can’t solve the problem right then and there, a team that’s quick to react with a positive attitude will show customers that you care about their experience. Take the time to thank anyone that compliments you and reassure unhappy customers that you’re willing to work with them to resolve any issues they might have. If you’re doing customer service better than your competition, you’re sure to win over new customers.
Schmidt’s Naturals has a friendly customer service team that’s quick to reply to customer questions on social media, setting them apart from much bigger companies.
Set Yourself Apart
You never want to be too similar to your competition. Take a look at how your competitors are positioning themselves and find a way to stand out. Great products and services are the cornerstones of your company, but that won’t do you much good if you blend in with everyone else and become forgettable.
Take Pepsi and Coca-Cola as an example. Both companies offer very similar products, but each one positions themselves differently and has their own distinct identity that’s impossible to mix-up.
With the right strategies, your competitors can become a helpful resource that will allow you to grow and strengthen your own brand. While you’ll always have competition to contend with, a little bit of research can go a long way in your journey to stand out from the crowd.