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How to conduct a social media competitive analysis?

Welcome to the year 2020 - when surprising anyone on social media is almost impossible. This makes brands face the challenge of being attractive and competitive, and it makes the role of competitive analysis more crucial than ever before. What should you know about it and what steps you should take to conduct it right? 

What is social media competitive analysis?

Long story short - it is the analysis of a social media macro-environment with a special focus on competitors’ social media presence. Nowadays, it is not just a choice for brands striving for success on social media if they want to be successful - they simply need to know how to analyze competitors and need to pay great attention to it. Every mistake can cost a lot, and a complex social media competitive analysis will pay off quickly. 

What should you do to analyze social media competitors? 

Research first

You cannot just be guessing about your competitors’ steps on social media - you need to be fully aware of what they are doing, where they are active and how they interact with their followers. Without these pieces of information, it will be hard to conduct any research, let alone a good investigation. You have to identify your competitors first and get to know them better, following their footprints on social media, trying to untangle their social media strategy and recognizing their strengths and weaknesses. Monitoring social media competitors does not happen overnight, so you should definitely allow some extra weeks for doing it properly. Do not rush this process, otherwise, you can do yourself more harm than good. 

Metrics for the win

While you should take a deep look into your social media competitive analysis, you should also identify a few metrics to focus on. The number of followers may not be measurable or particularly relevant - some of your competitors may have bought some followers or acquired them in the past, or the quality of followers might be really low. It is better to look at statistics like engagement, engagement rate, reactions and reach. Of course, very often your access will be severely limited… but not with tools. 

Use tools

Yes, you definitely should use tools as part of your strategy! With NapoleonCat, instead of trying to scrap some manual findings, you can track public online profiles hassle-free. What is more, this social media competitive analysis tool not only delivers data for you to analyse, but it also helps you generate a fully customizable report with a chosen set of social media competitors. You can read more about planning competitive analysis here:

Check your strategy

You definitely need some time to analyze the results in order to consider your social media competitor analysis to be completed. To be fair, it is never going to be fully finished - you will definitely have more competitors while you are growing, and your current competitors may be changing their tactics and approach along the way too. You need to refresh your social media competitive analysis from time to time. With the current conclusions, you can make some simple modifications to your strategy. Adjust your tone of voice or visuals used on social media, for example. Huge changes do not happen immediately, so give it some time. 


Social media competitive analysis sounds really terrifying for many social media marketers. Although it requires some time and effort to make it right, it is definitely worth doing. Your strategy can finally start working, and you may visibly improve your performance. What is more, you can know what your competitors are doing in terms of social media, such that it’s possible to either become inspired or to avoid their mistakes. Do not copy-paste them though, as it can be easily recognized by your target group and therefore damage your reputation. With the right set of social media tools, it is quicker and easier to prepare an analysis that will help your brand spread its wings on social media. It’s high time for you to do it!

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