As a small business, should you follow your competitors on social media?

The answer is yes, you should! There are many reasons as to why following your competitors on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook could be beneficial to your brand. Following your competitors on social media provides excellent inspiration for content as well as keeps you updated on what’s going on in your industry, thus giving you a more clear image of who your target audience is.

Following Your Competitors Is Great For Inspiration

Following your competitors on social media allows you to see what other brands that are similar to yours are creating for content. While you never want to directly copy content from them, seeing what a competitor posts provides inspiration and can show you what works and what doesn’t work for that specific forum. For instance, single out the posts that have the most engagement, and you’ll know that type of content will also work for your brand.

Using Social Media Helps You To Stay In The Know

It’s always a good idea to keep up with what competing businesses are doing for their brands on social media. By checking up on their social media, you can see when they are promoting new products or services, or what their current deals/sales are. This ensures that you’re staying up to date with current market trends and helps you stay competitive.  By analyzing what your competitors are posting you can then create content that’s slightly different and that sets you apart from the competition. 

Identifying your audience

Identifying your audience is extremely important in creating a successful marketing strategy. Checking in on your competitors’ social media allows you to see what type of followers they attract. It also gives you a clear direction on who your main customer base is. 

Let’s discuss how to identify your target audience : 

  1. Identify your product or service from the customer’s point of view.
  2. Identify the ideal customer for what you sell. (i.e. stay at home mom, frequent travelers, pet owners, etc.)
  3. What benefit does your product provide (i.e. does your product make them feel a certain way? Does your product fulfill a need? Does your product provide a service?)
  4. Where is your customer located and where do they hang out ? (i.e. bars, coffee shops, yoga studios, libraries, etc.)

Once you’ve identified your target audience by utilizing the four steps above, you’re then ready to create content marketing specifically for your target audience.

In conclusion, it’s definitely beneficial to follow your competing businesses on social media. While you don’t have to check-in on them daily, it’s a good idea to occasionally check-in and see their activity. Once a week is ideal.  At the end of the day, following your competitors good for gathering inspiration for content creation, and helps you stay current with your industries market trends as well as helps you identify and market to your target audience.