Hi! We’re on part three of Mushroom Soufflé’s ‘Transform’ series, designed to help you get the most out of your social media activity. Whether you’re a complete novice or a savvy, regular user of social media for business, this series will help you successfully navigate the ever growing and oft confusing digital world of social media.
Here’s a quick reminder of my TRANSFORM system:
T = Think
R = Relationships
A = Analyse
N = Need A Plan
S = Set It Up
F = Fresh, Fun information
O = Organisation
R = Roll It Out
M = Measure and Review
But if you don’t have the time to spend on social media business development, read on to find out what should be done so that you can outsource it. Then simply call or email us to ask for some magical Mushroom Soufflé social media support! Much simpler.
A – analyse what your competitors are doing on social media
What does the word ‘analyse’ make you think about? For me, it conjures scary images of spreadsheets, figures, calculations, data. Scary to me, anyway! Some of you probably love a good spreadsheet with its clever charts and pivot tables, conditional formatting and data validation. Thrilling… not! But for the rest of us, relax! Because today, ‘Analyse’ means ‘Research’. Yes – good, old fashioned detective work. Or, to put it another way, Market Research.
When you decide to buy a new computer system or car, you do your research. Right? “Yes, Sarah,” I hear you chant. Because you know that you’re about to spend a shed load of money, so you need to know that it suits your needs. That the car has the engine size to suit your annual car tax budget, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, or whatever. Or that the computer has the right networking capacity, CRM applications and the necessary storage space for your business. Or whatever!
Put your detective’s hat on
The same is true for social media – you need to research and analyse what’s going on out there to make sure you start your social media journey on the right track. Or, to put it another way, it’s time to have a bit of fun stalking and doing private investigator work! Dark glasses and binoculars ready? Time to see what the competition is up to. Personally, I love checking out what others are doing…
Start off by looking at your competitors’ websites to see what links they have to which social media platforms. (On this note – I’m always surprised at how many companies do not have their social media links on their websites, so you may have to go searching on the individual platforms or do Google searches). Make a note of what they are using. Click through and see what they’re up to.
You don’t necessarily have to be surreptitious about all this, but that probably depends on your business sector. On the other hand, if they’re using social media then it’s highly likely that you can be up front about them seeing you watching them and finding out what they’re up to. Just as they will want to watch you, and follow you back!
Follow your competition on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and whatever other social media platforms they use. After all, it’s not just about competing; when you’re all following each other, you’re bound to find many useful opportunities to collaborate. So knowing what they’re up to can be beneficial to both your businesses.
See what kind of information they’re sharing and decide whether you can do that too, but with your own twist, personality, and expertise. A bit like checking out your neighbour’s new conservatory and then building an even bigger, better one… For instance, the competition may be sharing new product information, new services, offering tips and advice, giving discount codes, or simply sharing information from other sources. Whatever your competitors are doing, look at it, plot their information on a spreadsheet perhaps (okay, I admit it, I am a secret spreadsheet geek), and figure out how you can improve on their information.
See what works for them and what doesn’t. You can learn a lot from studying your competitors and seeing how engaged their customers and followers are. You can also learn how you don’t want to come across, some companies are still convinced the hard sell is the way to go. Don’t underestimate how valuable analysing the competition is. Get to it, but most of all, enjoy it!
However much fun you’re having, though, try not to spend too long stalking your competitors. It can be hard to drag yourself away from social media, and someone has to do the real work! Whether that’s you or someone else in your business is up to you. And if you know that analysing your competitors on social media will take up too much of your valuable time, then outsource it. Simple!
TRANSFORM, Part 4, will focus on Need – needing a plan, needing to create a strong social media strategy, and what methods and tools to use if you want to do it yourself. But if you can’t wait for that and need to get your social media marketing working right now, please drop us an to firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07958 463689. Mushroom Soufflé will be delighted to show you how magical social media can be – used consistently and concisely, it really can transform your business!