Wednesday June 2, 2021 By David Quintanilla
How to Do a Competitive Analysis on Social Media (Tools and Templates)

How are you going to keep forward of the competitors and win on social media? Begin with a social media aggressive evaluation.

It’s going to let you know the way you stack up in opposition to others in your business, and floor new alternatives and potential threats.

This information will train you find out how to conduct your personal aggressive evaluation for social media. We’ll additionally checklist the finest social media aggressive evaluation instruments and offer you a free template that can assist you get began.

What is social media competitive analysis?

A competitive analysis is an analysis of your competition to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how those strengths and weaknesses compare to your own.

It’s a process of benchmarking your own results against the heavy-hitters in your industry, so you can identify opportunities for growth as well as strategies that aren’t performing as well as they should.

A social media competitive analysis, specifically, will help you:

  • Identify who your competitors are on social media
  • Know which social platforms they’re on
  • Know how they’re using those platforms
  • Understand how well their social strategy is working
  • Benchmark your social results against the competition
  • Identify social threats to your business
  • Find gaps in your own social media marketing strategy

Why do a competitor analysis on social media?

Learning about your competitors is not the only reason to do a competitor analysis on social media. It will also give you insights into your own business and your audience (which likely overlaps with your competitors’ audiences).

Here are some surprising insights a social media competitive analysis can give you:

Finally, a social media aggressive evaluation will provide you with as a lot as you set into it. You might select to do a one-off social media competitor report or rent somebody in your crew whose sole job it’s to maintain monitor of your rivals. Most companies do one thing in-between: a quarterly or month-to-month report.

No matter you stage of research you select, the insights will likely be invaluable.

The right way to do a aggressive evaluation on social media: a 4-step course of

We’ve damaged the method of conducting a aggressive evaluation on social media into 4 steps that may work for any model.

Earlier than your begin, obtain this free social media aggressive evaluation template to maintain monitor of your efforts.

Step 1. Determine who your competitors are

Identify your competitive keywords

You probably already know some of the keywords your business is trying to rank for in the search engines. For example, if you work for a Manhattan-based hotel, you’re likely focused on keyword such as “New York hotels,” and “best places to stay in Manhattan.”

But if your property is a boutique hotel with evening wine tastings and local art, you’re not necessarily competing directly with the Holiday Inn. Having a thorough understanding of your keyword inventory will help you develop a clear picture of who you’re really competing against online.

The Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a good place to determine the key phrases most related to your model. Even in the event you don’t promote with Google Adwords, this device is free to make use of.

To start out, use the device to investigate your web site. You’ll get a listing of related key phrases, together with the typical month-to-month searches and estimated stage of competitors.

Screenshot of Google Keyword Planner showing competitive keywords for New York hotels

Or, you possibly can enter your recognized goal key phrases into the device. Once more, you’ll get a listing of associated key phrases with information on search quantity and competitors. Use these associated key phrases that can assist you slender your definition of your rivals, so you possibly can be sure you’re analyzing companies which are really competing with your personal.

Verify who’s rating for these key phrases in Google

Select the highest 5 or 10 key phrases which have essentially the most relevance to your online business, and plug them into Google. You’ll quickly get a way of who your high competitors is on-line.

Pay particular consideration to the manufacturers in your business which are paying for Google advertisements to get their names above the natural search outcomes, as they’re placing their cash the place their advertising ambitions are. Even when they don’t have nice natural search rankings (but), it’s value testing how they’re acting on social media.

Screenshot of Google search results for "boutique hotel manhattan"

Click on by means of to the web sites of any manufacturers that seem like potential rivals. Most companies hyperlink to their social channels within the header or the footer of their web site. Enter the hyperlinks to their social profiles in your aggressive evaluation spreadsheet.

Verify who seems in social searches for these key phrases

The manufacturers that rank to your key phrases in Google should not essentially the identical ones that rank nicely inside the social networks themselves. Since it is a social media aggressive evaluation, you’ll want to see who comes up tops in social search outcomes, too.

For instance, head to Fb and enter your key phrase within the search field. Then click on on Pages within the high menu.

Screenshot of Facebook search results for "boutique hotel manhattan"

For extra tips about looking the varied social networks, take a look at our submit on the best ways to research online.

Discover out what comparable manufacturers your viewers follows

Fb Viewers Insights and Twitter Analytics may give you some good insights into which different manufacturers your viewers follows on these social networks. If these manufacturers are much like yours, it’s value contemplating them as potential rivals.

To seek out which manufacturers your viewers follows on Fb:

  • Open Facebook Audience Insights
  • Use the left column to enter the demographics of your target audience OR scroll all the way down to Pages within the left column and enter your present Fb Web page underneath Individuals Linked to
  • Within the high menu, click on Web page Likes

Need to dive deeper? We’ve acquired a complete submit with extra tips about how to use Facebook Audience insights for customer research.

Screenshot of Facebook's Audience Insights dashboard

You might discover that not one of the Pages recognized are related to your business, but when they’re, add them to your rivals checklist.

On Twitter, fairly than checking in your complete viewers, you possibly can examine to see who your high followers are related to.

  • Open Twitter Analytics.
  • Scroll down to every of your Prime Followers for the final a number of months
  • Click on View profile for every Prime Follower
  • Click on Following on their profile to see the complete checklist of accounts they’re following, or click on Tweets & replies to see which accounts they work together with

"Top Follower" view in Twitter analytics

Select as much as 5 rivals to deal with

By now you’ve acquired an enormous checklist of potential rivals — way over you can moderately embody in an intensive aggressive evaluation. It’s time to slender down your checklist to the highest three to 5 manufacturers who you might be most intently competing with on social media. Select the manufacturers which have the closest match to your goal area of interest.


Step 2. Collect intel

Now that who your competitors is, you’ll want to study what they’re as much as on social media.

Click on by means of to the social networks of every of the manufacturers you’ve recognized as high rivals. As talked about above, you possibly can often discover these hyperlinks within the header or footer of their web site. In your social media aggressive evaluation template, make be aware of the next:

  • What social networks are they on?
  • How giant is their following and how briskly is it rising?
  • Who’re their high followers?
  • How usually do they submit?
  • What’s their engagement charge?
  • What’s their social share of voice?
  • What hashtags do they use most frequently?
  • What number of hashtags do they use?

You will discover a lot of this data simply by clicking round your competitors’s social profiles. For extra streamlined information gathering, take a look at the instruments talked about beneath.

Don’t overlook to trace all of this stuff to your personal social channels as nicely. This can assist you to along with your evaluation within the subsequent step.

Step 3. Do a SWOT evaluation

Now that you simply’ve gathered all that information, it’s time to investigate it in a method that helps you perceive the place you stand in comparison with the competitors. As a part of this evaluation, you’ll additionally search for potential methods to enhance your technique, and potential hazards to be careful for alongside the best way.

A SWOT evaluation is a good device that can assist you assume clearly about all of this data. In a SWOT evaluation, you are taking a tough take a look at your online business and the competitors to determine:

  • S – Strengths
  • W – Weaknesses
  • O – Alternatives
  • T – Threats

The necessary factor to know is that strengths and weaknesses contain components inside to your model. Principally, these are belongings you’re doing proper, and areas the place you can stand to enhance.

Alternatives and threats are based mostly on exterior components: issues occurring in your aggressive setting that you simply want to concentrate on.

Chart showing a SWOT analysis template

Listed here are some objects to checklist in every quadrant of the SWOT template.


Listing metrics for which your numbers are greater than the competitors.


Listing metrics for which your numbers are lagging behind the competitors. These are areas you’ll need to deal with bettering by means of testing and tweaks to your social media strategy.

Remember the fact that you can have each strengths and weaknesses for every social community. For instance, possibly your Fb follower depend is greater than your rivals, however they’ve higher follower progress. Or possibly you’ve fewer Instagram followers however greater engagement.

Get fairly particular right here, as a result of these distinctions will assist you to determine your alternatives and threats.


Now you could see at a look the place you stand in comparison with the competitors, you possibly can determine potential alternatives to reap the benefits of.

These alternatives is perhaps areas the place you assume you can enhance in comparison with your competitors based mostly on data you’ve already gathered, or they might be based mostly on anticipated or latest adjustments within the social media world.

For instance, in the event you take note of the Hootsuite Weekly Rundown on Instagram, you’ll know that byte simply launched a new video platform that’s primarily a successor to Vine. Contemplating the strengths and weaknesses you’ve recognized, might this current a possible alternative to your model to outshine the competitors?


Like alternatives, threats come from outdoors your group. To get a eager sense of upcoming threats, take a great take a look at numbers associated to progress, or something that signifies change over time.

For instance, a competitor that’s small however has a excessive follower progress charge would possibly current a much bigger menace that a big competitor with stagnant progress.

That is one other space the place you’ll want to keep watch over the broader business for upcoming adjustments that might have an effect on your place in comparison with your rivals. The Hootsuite State of Digital Reports are an ideal supply of business data to contemplate.

Step 4. Incorporate the most recent information with social media monitoring

You’ll must revisit your social media aggressive evaluation repeatedly to maintain it present. Make this an everyday a part of your quarterly or annual reporting and evaluation. Which means you’ll want a relentless provide of up-to-date data.

Placing a stable social media monitoring strategy in place will equip you with that real-time information to include in your subsequent evaluation. That is an particularly helpful technique for figuring out potential alternatives and threats.

We’ll go over some instruments you should utilize for social media monitoring beneath. Principally, it’s all about being conscious of social conversations involving your model, your rivals, and your business.

Document any necessary data or occasions you uncover by means of social media monitoring within the Notes column of your aggressive evaluation template, and incorporate them into your revised alternatives and threats throughout your subsequent evaluation.

7 high social media competitor evaluation instruments

In step 2, we talked about find out how to collect intelligence straight from the social networks. Listed here are a number of the finest social media aggressive evaluation instruments that can assist you get began.


Buzzsumo helps you discover your rivals’ most shared content material. This can assist you brainstorm each alternatives (like new sorts of content material or subjects to discover) and threats (areas the place the competitors is changing into dominant).

Hootsuite Streams

Hootsuite Streams is a robust device that lets you monitor key phrases, rivals, and hashtags throughout each social community—all from one easy-to-use dashboard. The only use case? Add all of your rivals accounts to 1 Stream and examine on it everytime you need. However you are able to do far more than that. Try it for free today.

This video explains find out how to use Hootsuite Streams to maintain monitor of your competitors.


Okay, you’ve accomplished all of your spying. Now you’re prepared to investigate — and possibly even create a social media competitor report.

Brandwatch presents some highly effective aggressive evaluation instruments. One of the crucial necessary is its easy-to-understand graphic exhibiting your model’s social share of voice.

Social share of voice is a measure of how a lot folks speak about your model on-line in comparison with how a lot they speak about your rivals. This is likely one of the metrics it is best to monitor in your social media aggressive evaluation template.

Screenshot of social share of voice view in Brandwatch

Brandwatch integrates with Hootsuite. Right here’s a video exhibiting how the 2 functions work collectively to offer key aggressive evaluation data.


Able to transcend social media aggressive evaluation? Synapview is an app that permits you to monitor rivals and hashtags on Reddit and blogs too.

Synapview social media competitve analysis in the Hootsuite dashboard


Mentionlytics is a social media monitoring device that can be nice for doing a social media aggressive evaluation. You possibly can uncover every thing that’s being stated about your model, your rivals, or any key phrase on Twitter, Instagram, Fb, Youtube, Pinterest and all internet sources (information, blogs, and so on.).

Plus, it has a useful “sentiment evaluation” function, so you possibly can see not solely what is being stated about your rivals however how it’s being stated.

social media competitor analysis with Mentionlytics dashboard

PS: Mentionlytics integrates with Hootsuite so you possibly can see every thing it pulls in your Streams.


Talkwalker is primarily often known as a social listening device with an enormous library of insights – aggressive or in any other case – of over 150 million sources, together with blogs, boards, movies, information, evaluations, and social networks.

Use it if you wish to spy in your rivals past simply social media, and if you wish to hold tabs on what your entire business is saying on the whole. It’s nice for top stage overviews in addition to detailed analyses.

social media competitive analysis with Talkwalker insights in the Hootsuite dashboard

Social media aggressive evaluation template

You might create your personal spreadsheet to maintain monitor of all the knowledge you collect throughout your social media aggressive evaluation.

However in the event you’d fairly get straight to work gathering information and placing it to make use of, obtain our free social media aggressive evaluation template and simply begin plugging within the data you gather. There’s a tab to your SWOT evaluation, too.

social media competitive analysis template preview

Use Hootsuite to crush the competition on social media. From a single dashboard you can manage all your profiles, track competitors and relevant conversations, improve performance, and much more. Try it free today.

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