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How to Perform a Social Media Competitor Analysis in 2024 [+Free Template]

Some people wonder why bother conducting social media competitor analysis. However, most social media managers would reply: Why

Some people wonder why bother conducting social media competitor analysis. However, most social media managers would reply: Why wouldn’t you?

Analyzing your competitors’ social media performance lets you stay on top of trends. Additionally, it’s the fastest way to understand how your brand stacks up against top competitors.

In this article, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on analyzing competitors on social media. In detail, you’ll get the what, why, and how of competitive analysis on social media. We also include the best competitor analysis tools and a social media competitive analysis template.

So, stick around for more and keep reading!

What is a Social Media Competitive Analysis?

A social media competitive analysis investigates competitor performance on social media platforms. You look at what competitors posted and extract deeper insights into their performance.

In reality, it’s not different from a regular competitor analysis. It includes the same processes, such as researching competitor products and strategies. However, in social media, you’re not looking at product reviews. You focus on direct and indirect competitors’ top posts!

Businesses analyze competitors to know who they’re up against. This means discovering who leads their industry, tracking their data, and analyzing their social presence.

Furthermore, this strategic process focuses on measurable results. Social media competitor analysis points to what’s working and what doesn’t for them. You can use that information to improve your own social media strategy.

Competitive analytics are an integral part of social media marketing and a limitless source of benefits. We’re looking at some of them in the following section.

Why is Social Media Competitor Analysis Necessary?

Analyzing competitors on social media offers many benefits. We mentioned some of them in the prior sections, such as identifying top competitors. However, in this section, we’re offering more details on 3 top-priority benefits.

So, why do you need to start monitoring and analyzing your competitors?

To Benchmark Against Your Competition

How do you measure your online performance? 

Sure, you start by comparing your current data to previous ones. But is seeing your progress based on your own results enough? No.

The second step is to focus on competitive benchmarking. By examining competitors, you understand where you stand in industry leadership. So, you need to monitor competitor data and benchmark your own against them.

On social media, this involves tracking metrics like follower growth, content reach, and engagement rates. Comparing KPIs and social media growth data helps you see the bigger picture.

To Optimize Your Social Media Strategy 

No matter how much you work on your content strategies, they’ll always need improvement. Social media optimization (SMO) is a collection of techniques that evaluate and enhance your game.

You can use inspiration from your top-performing rivals to know where to focus your SMO. Monitor competitors and identify which social media platforms, posting frequencies, and content types work best.

For example, competitors may reach larger audiences at certain times of the day. Then, you can adjust your posting schedule accordingly. Analyze competitors’ hashtags, keywords, and promotional methods to know the best approach for you.

To Improve Your Engagement with New Content Ideas

Sometimes social media managers struggle to create new, fun, and fresh content. Competitive analytics help by throwing new perspectives and ideas into the mix.

Seeing what content performs well for your competitors sparks ideas for your own posts. Identify trends and topics your target audience likes and create engaging content that sticks out.

Let’s say your competitors post video tutorials and interactive polls to boost social media engagement. If these work, you should consider including similar content in your strategy.

However, you don’t have to copy content ideas to produce original content. Instead, you can use competitive analytics to identify industry gaps. Capitalize on content gaps by creating what your online community needs.

So, now you know why to do it. Are you curious about how to start analyzing your competitors on social media? The answer is in the next section!

How to Do a Social Media Competitor Analysis in 5 Simple Steps

Let’s dive into specific tactics for analyzing your competitors on social media. Remember that most businesses use social media monitoring tools to simplify the process. So, let’s look at 5 simple steps:

Infographic of 5 steps to do a social media competitor analysis

1. Find Your Competitors on Social Media 

You can’t benchmark against competitors before you identify who you’re comparing yourself to. First, gather a list of the social media accounts of your already established competitors.

Now, it’s time to search for brands you weren’t aware of. Start by googling your industry and checking businesses that come up. Then look them up on social media and find their official accounts.

You can also find competitors directly on social media platforms. Visit each platform and type industry keywords and hashtags. Which brands appear in the results the most? These are your top competitors for each social media platform.

Tired of doing research manually? Resort to advanced social listening tools, like Mentionlytics, and get results immediately. In detail, Mentionlytics tracks industry keywords and identifies top posts and mentioners.

After creating a list of your top competitors, conduct a social media audit.

2. Create a Social Media Competitor Analysis Report 

Once you’ve identified competitors, the next step is creating a social media competitor analysis report. Use a spreadsheet to write essential KPIs and compare data to competitors.

Tired of creating a competitor report from scratch? We wanted to assist you, so we made a downloadable spreadsheet. You can edit the file and just add your data.

However, most marketing teams don’t have the time and energy to create their own spreadsheet. That’s why they turn to competitive analytics tools that offer ready-to-use reports.

Mentionlytics is a leader in social media reports. You can use the platform to get access to existing reports. For example, the Share of Voice report offers valuable insights into competitor comparison. You can also build your own reports.

3. Check Your Competitors Platform by Platform 

Next, gather information for your report by analyzing each platform your competitors use. You can get most numbers from free account analytics, like LinkedIn Analytics.

Start tracking metrics like follower count, post frequency, engagement rates, and content types. Don’t forget to constantly update your data, add new players, and consider combining metrics.

Don’t forget to include cross-network comparisons and data totals. For example, check your TikTok reach and your total social media reach. Compare both to competitors and do that for all metrics.

In reality, this process can be a lot to handle.

Mentionlytics helps with organizing these large volumes of data into clean visuals. Users have the option to play with features and focus on different aspects each time to extract actionable insights.

4. Analyze Competitors’ Data and Strategies

Pay attention to this section because this is the most important step! What’s the use of looking at numbers if you can’t extract strategic knowledge from them? So, the next step is to look deeper into competitor data.

In short, do a SWOT analysis of your competitors. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Examine where your competitors excel and where they fall short.

Which strategies work? Look at their reach, engagement, and follower growth. Which strategies didn’t perform that well? Low numbers may indicate that some trends are not for you to jump into.

Interpreting numbers and vague graphs isn’t easy. Mentionlytics’s Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA) can help by turning data into insights. It also simplifies large volumes of data and offers personalized advice for growth.

5. Inform Your Social Media Plan 

This is the final step of your social media strategy. It might seem simple, but it’s essential. You’re now ready to use all your competitor insights for your benefit.

After gaining knowledge from your competitors’ performance and your benchmarking process, update your strategy. Inform your social media plan with new insights and content ideas.

Start testing your top insights. Participate in trends your competitors excelled at and look at your reach and engagement rates. Make sure you’re not too hard on yourself if you don’t succeed immediately.

Don’t forget that social media marketing requires constant monitoring; Track your performance, competitors, and industry. Remember that you must always adjust your plans to the constantly updating game.

3 Winning Tools for Competitor Analysis on Social Media

As we mentioned above, everything will be easier using a social media tool. Most brands already do it anyway. We wanted to keep the guide short and sweet.

So, here are the 3 best social media competitor analysis tools:

Mentionlytics 

How to do competitive benchmarking with Mentionlytics

Mentionlytics is an all-in-one social media monitoring solution for businesses of all sizes. Offering plans for every budget, the app monitors your brand, competitors, and industry news across the entire web. You can even discover brand mentions on social media platforms, like TikTok, Instagram, and Reddit.

Mentionlytics offers intelligent competitive analytics, like Share of Voice. This metric shows how many people mention you compared to other industry brands.

You can use filters, like reach or engagement, to rank top industry posts and mentioners. This will allow you to be the first to discover influencers discussing industry-related topics.

But what sets this tool apart from other options is its AI sentiment analysis. This feature allows you to analyze sentiment in every language and compare it to competitor results.

Additionally, the app now offers emotion analysis that classifies your mentions into 4 emotions. These are joy, anger, sadness, and fear. Emotion analytics can help you understand how the audience feels for you and your competitors.

Pricing starts at $69 per month.

Try Mentionlytics for FREE

Hootsuite 

Social media competitor analysis with Hootsuite Streams

Source: G2

Hootsuite is a leader in social media management, offering top scheduling and publishing features. But it doesn’t stop there. Instead, it provides users with engagement tools, inbox monitoring, and social media analytics.

Hootsuite Streams monitors and analyzes keywords, hashtags, and competitors. Users can create a Stream and track competitor metrics. They can also use the same Stream to add their branded keywords. Then, they can compare their results to competitor data.

Pricing starts at €99 per month.

Sprout Social 

Social media competitor analysis with Sprout Social's keyword cloud

Source: Sprout Social

Sprout Social is another social media management solution that makes customers happy. The platform’s focus lies on publishing, engagement, and analytics. So, it’s a great option for social media competitive analysis.

Sprout’s Competitive Analysis Listening tool shows you a side-by-side benchmarking comparison of competitor metrics.

It also offers a clean Word Cloud graphic that simplifies keyword tracking. As you can see above, keywords are in different colors, based on which competitors use them.

Pricing starts at $249 per seat/month.

Start Your Social Media Competitor Analysis for Free

You’re now ready to put what you learned into practice. Interested in a free social media competitor analysis? Sign up for a free trial with Mentionlytics and start monitoring your competitors right now!

Nicolas Braoulias

About Nicolas Braoulias

Passionate about social media and communication, Nicolas is a junior content writer at Mentionlytics. His interests include writing & editing, pop culture, and graphic design.