Competitor Research Through Facebook

Facebook is one of the top social networks for businesses, and another one where you can find out a lot of information about your competitors’ strategy and fan interaction.

Finding Your Competitors

Again, just like with Twitter, you can find your known competitors’ Facebook fan page links on their website or simply through a Google search. But if your competitor isn’t using Facebook fan pages, you can use the Browse All Pages directory on Facebook to find companies in your industry that are using the search or the category types listed, such as products, services, restaurants and more.

Strategy

There are lots of strategic elements that can be determined by viewing a competitor’s Facebook fan page. To get a full view of what they’re doing, you may have to Like their page with your personal profile.

Once you’ve become a fan, you’ll be able to see all sections (formerly tabs) of their profile. You’ll be able to find out if they’re using their Facebook page as lead generation through gathering email addresses, feeding other social media accounts or blog posts through their page, eliciting customer reviews, creating amazing landing pages or using premium applications from Involver or North Social.

The main strategy you’ll want to check out is how they use their wall for fan interaction. Do they post their latest offers, videos, blog posts, news, photos or other items? Why is this valuable? Because not only will you see their activity, but you’ll also see how it goes over with their customers.

Fan Activity

Unlike Twitter where you have to do a special search for a competitor’s replies to their @username, you can see fan response (or lack thereof) directly on each item of your competitor’s wall. This is a great way to gauge what fans in your industry like the most, from discounts to random status updates, simply by seeing the number of Likes an update receives and reading through the various comments.

Toyota Wall

The image above shows the popularity of an update on your competitor’s Facebook fan page wall.

One particular thing to note is that it’s not always updates from the official fan page that get interaction. In the above example on Toyota’s fan page, it’s a fan posting on their wall that got other fans’ attention—a key reason to make sure that your page shows both your updates and those from fans.

Favorite Pages

Facebook fan page owners can add other fan pages as their favorites.

FB Favs

This is a key area to check out, as it may lead you to find more competitors’ fan pages, revealing more of their ultimate Facebook strategy.

So let me ask. Do you research your competitors through Facebook? Other forms of social media? If not, why not? Have you thought about trying it? If you do, have you gleaned any great results?

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Post originally by Kristi Hines of Social Media Examiner

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About andrewodom

Social Media Manager at Delta Career Education Corp.
This entry was posted in Must Read articles. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Competitor Research Through Facebook

  1. Jennie says:

    Totally didn’t think to do this, but it makes perfect sense. I also think it is a good idea to look outside of for-profit colleges and see what traditional colleges are doing on their pages. I think both sectors have a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other and this might be a cool way to do it.
    I do have a question. Drew you said, “a key reason to make sure that your page shows both your updates and those from fans.” How do you get this to happen? On the Raleigh page you can see fan posts only if you change the page display from “Just Miller-Motte College -Raleigh, NC” to MMC – Raleigh, NC + others”. Is there a way to change the page to list the “others” comments as default?? Just curious.

    • andrewodom says:

      Thank you for adding to the conversation Jennie. Unfortunately there is no way to change that default. I wrote it as more of a reminder that when checking the Fan page we need to be sure to click on the ” + Others.” Tedious, I know!

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