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So you have taken up the task of running your business’s social media accounts and have realized it isn’t as easy as you thought. You are constantly trying new strategies and new tactics to keep your ideas fresh, but they still aren’t working. To improve your tactics, there is no better place to start than with a little competitor research.

Facebook Insights

Facebook itself is one of the main places that you need to start this competitor research. You may know of a couple other businesses in town, but there are others that aren’t so simple to find. When I take on a new client, the first place I like to look is Facebook Insights.

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Along with all of the other great analytics that it gives you for free, Facebook Insights also has valuable information about your competition. Information such as how their engagement went last week and how many posts they made. You can dive deeper into this in the ‘posts’ section of Facebook Insights to find out which of your competitor’s posts performed the best and start getting a deeper analysis of your competition.

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Facebook Search

Another very simple way to find competition on Facebook is through the search bar. Use keywords that customers would use if they were looking for a company like yours. For example, if your company works in landscaping, type in “landscaping nearby.” The results are similar to what you would get in a Google search. From here it is a little hard work researching and auditing your competitions’ Facebook pages.

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Targeting Your Competitors

Facebook advertising is so important for your business. If you aren’t using it, then you should start researching how you could use it. With some detailed targeting, you can start making ads directed towards your competitors’ customers. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible for all Facebook pages and no one seems to know the exact science behind it. I’ve noticed that if your competition has at least 10,000 page likes then you can usually target their fans. Below is an example of how you can do this if you are trying to target fans of Southwest Airlines.

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After Facebook, Instagram has become my favorite platform to use for social media. Not only can you use it at as a place to build relationships and find influencers in your industry, but Instagram is also a great place to draw inspiration for creative content. Whether you are a fan of them or not, #hashtags can help you research how others are talking about and creating content in your community.

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In the example above I stuck with #landscaping, which actually I found out is a great industry to promote through Instagram. Right away you can see the creative content that people are using to promote their landscaping. For your business, Instagram instantly becomes a portfolio to show off your work. Take before and after photos, create a time-lapse, take beautiful pictures when the sun is setting, the possibilities are endless. 

Google Search

Google has the most powerful search engine on the planet, so why not use it to your advantage. Just like your customer would search for the closest deli near them, do a Google search with keywords that your customers would use to start researching your competition. Most companies have the icons of the social media platforms that they use at the bottom of their website. While you are there look at  how the competition is presenting themselves on their website and compare how your website looks to theirs.

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Not every social platform will be right for your company, so it will be important to do your competitor research to find out what other businesses in your industry are implementing. If you are unsure of what tactics to employ, Roundpeg is a content marketing company and we would love to help you start your digital marketing plan. 

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