The way to Run a Social Media Competitor Evaluation in 4 Steps



Wish to know how one can keep one step forward of your rivals and succeed at social media advertising?

A social media aggressive evaluation, that’s how!

A aggressive evaluation reveals you ways sturdy your model’s social media technique is in comparison with that of your rivals. It additionally helps you uncover new social media alternatives and potential threats to your online business.

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On this information, we’ll present you easy methods to conduct a social media competitor evaluation, step-by-step. We’ll additionally provide the greatest instruments and a free template that can assist you get began.

What’s a social media aggressive evaluation?

A social media aggressive evaluation is the method of analyzing your competitors’s social media exercise to grasp their strengths and weaknesses, and the way you stack up.

By researching and evaluating your rivals’ social media methods, you’ll be able to uncover invaluable insights in your audience, and determine what they like — and what they don’t like.

A social media aggressive evaluation will even assist you determine:

  • Who your rivals are on social media
  • Which social media platforms they use
  • How they craft content material for his or her social networks
  • How a lot engagement their content material will get
  • How your social media advertising efforts examine to your rivals’
  • The gaps in your social media advertising technique
  • Potential threats to your model on social media

Why do you have to do a competitor evaluation on social media?

As we already talked about, a aggressive evaluation on social media can provide you loads of insights into your viewers (which probably overlaps along with your rivals’ audiences).

These insights can information your social media advertising technique. They embrace:

  • Concepts for the greatest occasions to share content material on social media (as a result of it’s probably that your audiences are on-line at comparable occasions)
  • Social media advertising techniques that work effectively (and those who don’t) on your rivals’ audiences
  • Distinctive content material and tone of voice inspirations for what could resonate along with your viewers
  • New market developments and subjects
  • The ache factors of your audience
  • Niches or alternatives that different manufacturers in your trade aren’t benefiting from but

In all, sleuthing in your competitors’s social media exercise will show you how to higher perceive the market and set the appropriate goals on your model’s social presence.

However it’s a must to put within the work to get probably the most you’ll be able to out of it. You possibly can put collectively a single social media aggressive report (for instance, in case you’re simply beginning out on social) or rent somebody to trace your rivals’ actions on social platforms regularly.

For a lot of companies, the candy spot is a month-to-month or quarterly evaluation. However no matter cadence you select, the insights you’ll get shall be priceless.

The way to do a aggressive evaluation on social media in 4 steps

To make the social media competitor evaluation course of simple, we’ve damaged it down into 4 easy steps that can work for any enterprise.

Earlier than you get began, seize a duplicate of this social media aggressive evaluation template our pals over at Hootsuite put collectively. It’s free, and it’ll show you how to preserve monitor of your work.

Step 1: Establish your rivals

It’s not possible to research your rivals on social media in case you don’t even know who they’re and which social platforms they use. Right here’s easy methods to discover them:

Discover your aggressive key phrases

Even earlier than you begin, you most likely have an thought of the key phrases you need your online business to rank for in search engines like google and yahoo.

As an example, in case you work in an inside design studio in Boston, you’ll probably wish to rank for key phrases like “style shops in Boston” and “Boston clothes shops”. But when your retailer sells inexpensive clothes, then you already know that shops like Hermés and Gucci should not your direct rivals.

Understanding your precedence key phrases will show you how to acknowledge who your on-line rivals actually are.

A terrific place to begin to establish goal key phrases on your model is Google Adverts Key phrase Planner. This free device can analyze your web site and provide you with an inventory of related key phrases with their common search quantity and competitors stage.

For instance, listed here are among the key phrases that Key phrase Planner discovered for AdEspresso:

Google Ad Keyword Planner

Should you already know your goal key phrases, simply enter them into the device to get associated key phrases. You need to use these associated key phrases to slim down your checklist of potential rivals, so that you simply’ll analyze companies which can be actually competing towards yours.

Test who’s rating for these key phrases in Google search

The simplest method to discover your rivals is thru Google.

Select 5 to 10 key phrases which can be most related to your model and sort them into Google. Look by way of the search engine outcomes pages (SERPs) to determine the companies that rank excessive for these key phrases.

Pay shut consideration to companies that pay for Google Adverts to look on the high of natural search outcomes, as a result of they’re investing cash to realize their advertising targets. Even when these companies don’t rank excessive on SERPs but, it is best to try their efficiency on social media.

Local SEO search results on Google Maps

Go to the web sites of the manufacturers that appear like potential rivals. Most manufacturers put hyperlinks to their social media channels within the header or footer of their web sites.

Social media links on website

Enter these hyperlinks into your aggressive evaluation spreadsheet as that’s what you’ll be analyzing subsequent.

Test who seems in social searches on your high key phrases

Simply because sure manufacturers rank excessive on your key phrases on search engines like google and yahoo doesn’t imply that they rank effectively for those self same key phrases in social networks.

Because you’re conducting a social media competitor evaluation, you wish to concentrate on rivals that rank effectively in social search outcomes.

As an example, to seek out rivals on Fb, enter your key phrase into the search field and click on on Pages within the left column.

Facebook Page search results

To study extra about easy methods to search by way of completely different social networks, try Hootsuite’s submit on the greatest tricks to do social media analysis.

Discover out what manufacturers just like yours your viewers likes

One other method to discover rivals is to test for comparable manufacturers your viewers follows on social networks. Fb Viewers Insights and Twitter Analytics are good for getting these insights.

For instance, in case you’re wanting by way of Twitter, you don’t must test your complete viewers. As an alternative, you’ll be able to test the manufacturers your high followers are linked to. Right here’s how to do this:

  • Open Twitter Analytics
  • Scroll down to seek out your High Followers for the final a number of months
  • Click on View Profile for every of those High Followers
  • On their profile, click on Following to see the complete checklist of the accounts they observe
  • You can too click on Tweets & replies to see the accounts they work together with

Twitter top follower analytics

Everytime you see an analogous model that your viewers interacts with, add them to your checklist of rivals.

Select as much as 5 rivals to concentrate on

At this level, you most likely have an extended checklist of potential rivals—far more than you’ll be able to deeply analyze. So trim your checklist right down to the highest 5 manufacturers you most carefully compete with on social media.

Step 2: Collect your knowledge

As soon as you already know who your high 5 rivals are, you can begin finding out what they do on social media.

Bear in mind these social media hyperlinks you bought from the manufacturers’ web sites? Go to these profiles and word down the next in your social media competitor evaluation template.

  • Which social media platforms are your rivals lively on?
  • What number of followers have they got, and how briskly does their following develop?
  • What’s their content material technique? How effectively do they steadiness textual content, photographs and movies?
  • How usually do they share content material?
  • How a lot engagement do their posts get?
  • Which posts have the very best engagement (likes, shares, feedback, and so on.)?
  • What tone of voice do they use? Informal, conversational or formal?
  • What’s the aim of their content material? Is it entertaining, academic, promotional, or one thing else fully?
  • Do they follow affect advertising? In the event that they do, what sort of influencers do they associate with and the way a lot engagement do these campaigns get?
  • What number of hashtags do they use?
  • Which hashtags do they use most frequently?

Lookup all of this stuff by yourself channels too. This may show you how to with the evaluation in Step 3.

It may be time consuming to assemble this knowledge manually, so no disgrace in utilizing specialised social media administration instruments for some assist (try those talked about under).

Step 3. Run a SWOT evaluation

After you have all the info you want, the subsequent step is to judge it to grasp how your online business stacks up in comparison with your rivals. On this analysis, you’ll must take a deep take a look at your online business and make word of the next:

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

Your strengths and weaknesses are inner elements. To establish these, it’s a must to take a look at your online business and pinpoint the place you’re excelling and the place you’re falling brief.

Alternatives and threats, however, are exterior elements. It’s a must to critically assess your competitors to establish methods to enhance your technique and pin down the potential issues you would possibly encounter.

A great SWOT evaluation entails extra than simply what number of occasions you submit in every week or the variety of likes your posts get. It’s a deep examination of your model’s total social media advertising technique.

Chart showing a SWOT analysis template

Supply: Hootsuite


Strengths describe the place your model does very effectively — or higher than most your rivals.

To establish your strengths, test in case you:

  • Write your posts in your model voice
  • Make your branding clear throughout all of your social channels
  • Use graphics that mirror your model colours
  • Have an engaged neighborhood on social media
  • Have posts which have gone viral (and attempt to establish what made them go viral)
  • Have extra followers than your rivals, and so on.


When you’ve given your self a pat on the again for all of the belongings you’re doing effectively, it’s time to establish weaknesses that cease your online business from reaching its full potential on social media.

To establish them, take a look at areas the place your online business is lagging behind rivals. These are the facets you wish to enhance on by way of A/B testing and making modifications to your social media technique.

Ask (and reply) questions like:

  • What social platforms do your audience spend time on: Fb, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or someplace else? Are you ignoring any essential platform? Or are you utilizing platforms that aren’t helpful to your online business?
  • Are you posting frequently? Or has your schedule been inconsistent?
  • What metrics may you enhance upon? Impressions? Engagement?
  • Are your rivals doing higher than you on any particular social platforms? What are they doing in a different way?

Whereas asking your self these questions, perceive which you can have each strengths and weaknesses for every social platform. As an example, your Instagram follower depend may be increased than your rivals, however they may have higher engagement than you.

That’s why it’s essential to be particular. Distinguishing between these metrics will show you how to establish alternatives for and threats to your online business.


Now that you already know the place you fall brief in comparison with your rivals, begin searching for alternatives you’ll be able to make the most of.

These alternatives may be areas you wish to enhance based mostly on the info you’ve collected, or they are often based mostly on modifications within the on-line world (e.g. platforms introducing new sorts of content material).

As an example, as, TikTok is blowing up, and plenty of manufacturers and creators are leaping on the chance and dealing the platform into their social methods.

Listed below are some issues it is best to take note of:


Identical to alternatives, threats are exterior elements. To establish social threats to your online business, take a look at what may negatively influence your social efficiency over time.

Right here a couple of potential threats:

  • Rivals who’re new to your area of interest and rising rapidly
  • Modifications to social developments which will have an effect on your online business’ visibility
  • Prospects that say destructive issues about your model

In some instances, you would possibly discover that some threats exist already. As an example, a competitor that has few posts on Fb however has a excessive engagement charge may be a much bigger risk than a competitor with many Fb posts however low engagement.

That’s why it’s essential to watch the trade for impending modifications that may trigger your rivals to outshine your model.

Step 4: Maintain your evaluation updated with social media monitoring

To maintain your social media aggressive evaluation updated, it’s essential to frequently add new details about market developments and any new competitors. You must do that frequently, as a part of your quarterly or annual studies.

Crafting an efficient social media monitoring technique will show you how to get real-time data to combine in your subsequent aggressive evaluation.

It helps you monitor conversations about your model and your rivals and reply to the engagement you obtain on social platforms, blogs, web sites, boards, overview websites, and different digital channels. This may help you simply establish potential alternatives and keep away from making errors.

Write down any essential knowledge you uncover by way of social media monitoring within the Notes column of your aggressive evaluation template. Subsequent time you do a overview, embrace that data into your alternatives or threats.

5 high social media competitor evaluation instruments

In Step 2, we defined easy methods to collect knowledge in your rivals straight from social media platforms. Nonetheless, doing it manually may be fairly tedious.

To streamline your social media aggressive evaluation, use these specialised instruments.

Hootsuite Streams

With Hootsuite Streams, you’ll be able to monitor key phrases, hashtags, and rivals throughout all social networks. All it’s a must to do is add all of your rivals’ social accounts to at least one Stream and sleuth on them everytime you need.

Whereas this device is nice for conserving monitor of your rivals, it could actually achieve this way more than that. This video reveals you easy methods to use Hootsuite Streams to enhance your social media technique.

Attempt the device totally free right here.


It’s no use spying in your competitors in case you’re not going to research and report the data you acquire.

That’s what Brandwatch is right here for. This device lets you analyze your model’s social share of voice (SOV).

SOV refers to what number of conversations folks have about your online business on-line in comparison with the conversations they’ve about your rivals. The extra folks discuss you, the higher authority and visibility you could have amongst social media customers and potential clients.

SOV is without doubt one of the most essential metrics to trace, and Brandwatch presents this data within the type of simple to learn graphs.

Brandwatch competitive analysis tool

Supply: Brandwatch

Brandwatch integrates with Hootsuite, too. This video reveals you ways each instruments work collectively that can assist you acquire and analyze essential aggressive data.


Synapview is an software that permits you to robotically uncover your rivals’ social media accounts so you’ll be able to monitor them.

With this device, you’ll be able to monitor your rivals, hashtags and key phrases throughout a number of social networks, together with Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, and blogs.

Synapview Hootsuite integraton

Supply: Synapview


Mentionlytics is a strong social media monitoring device that permits you to monitor each dialog about your online business, your rivals or key phrases on social platforms like Fb, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and so on. and different internet sources, together with blogs, information, boards, and so on.

With this distinctive protection, you’ll be able to at all times know what persons are saying about your model. Actually, Mentionlytics has a “sentiment evaluation” function that helps you see what and how persons are having these conversations.

Mentionlytics competitive analysis tool

Picture supply: Mentionlytics

Mentionlytics additionally integrates with Hootsuite, so you’ll be able to observe enterprise conversations and schedule posts from the identical workspace.


Talkwalker is a social listening device that has an enormous library of insights with greater than 150 million sources, together with social networks, boards, blogs, information, movies, and evaluations. This implies which you can preserve monitor of your rivals and trade developments past simply social media.

Talkwalker has a “virality map” function that offers you particulars about completely different developments around the globe in an effort to enhance your advertising campaigns The actual-time analytics and reporting additionally reveals you ways your online business or content material are acting on social platforms.

Get a free social media aggressive evaluation template

All the data you collect throughout your social media competitor evaluation needs to be stored and tracked in a sheet or report you’ll be able to share with different stakeholders in your online business.

You possibly can create your individual spreadsheet to do that, however in case you’d relatively transfer quick and dive proper into accumulating insights, analyzing knowledge and implementing your findings, obtain the free social media competitor evaluation template made by Hootsuite.

This template has all the mandatory columns so you’ll be able to simply begin plugging within the knowledge you acquire. What’s extra, it has a tab on your S.W.O.T evaluation, too, so you’ll be able to monitor your strengths, weaknesses, alternatives and threats simply.

Get the template right here.

Hootsuite social media competitor analysis template



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