Keeping track of what the competition is doing and saying on social media is one of best ways to gather timely competitive intelligence information. But if you’re collecting that information manually, it can also be a tedious, time-consuming process that literally never ends. Taking a methodical approach to your social media tracking efforts will help ensure that your time and resources are being used wisely.
You can’t keep track of everything. Depending on your industry space, there may be dozens of other companies vying for your customers’ attention on social media, but it would take an inordinate amount of time to keep up with them all. That’s why it’s important to be realistic about the scope and limitations of your competitive intelligence resources. Start by making a list of all your known competitors, keeping in mind the time it will take to check their social media output each day. If your focus is too broad, you risk becoming overwhelmed and falling behind, which can lead to outdated or missed information. On the other hand, if it’s too tight, you may be overlooking up-and-coming competitors.
Once you’ve narrowed down the companies you want to track, take some time to investigate their social media output. What platforms do they use? How often do they update? What types of content do they post?
The answers to these questions may push you to re-evaluate which companies you track, since companies with a higher volume of social media output will require more time and energy to review. On the other hand, if you find that some of your competitors update infrequently, you may find that you have time to track some additional low-output companies. Make informed adjustments before you get started to ensure you’re making the most out of all the time and resources you’re investing.
With the information you’ve gathered, create a schedule that lays out how often you’ll check each competitor’s social media accounts. Daily monitoring is, of course, the gold standard, since it ensures that you’ll receive the timeliest information, but it’s not always feasible. If you don’t have the resources for daily info collection, weekly can be almost as effective. A less frequent biweekly or monthly schedule will still catch major news, but information is likely to be outdated and stale. And beware of backlog—if you’re not checking in regularly, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of posts that build up, and your competitive intelligence users may not be able to absorb a month’s worth of information in one go.
If you're interested in learning about how CI Radar can automate your social media tracking process to save you time and effort, contact us today for a free demonstration!