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How’s the competition doing? Create reports on your competitors

By   |   March 20th, 2017   |   Reading time: 5 minutes Digital Journalism

How are your competitors engaging their followers on social media? Here’s how to get hourly, semi-daily, or daily competitive reports right to your email. 

Why should you bother keeping an eye on the competition? Wiretapping jokes aside, there are some real benefits to knowing what your competitors are up to and how they’re performing.

A competitive analysis is key to understanding your own advantages and disadvantages with your target audience. You can get an understanding of your competitors’ current and future plans, which can help you to develop strategies that can create future competitive advantages.

So how can we do this? While being a spy might not be within our reach (or morally sound), there are still ways for us to get an edge on the competition.

Rather than suss this out ourselves, we can get a little help from NewsWhip Spike. Why dig around every week on your competitors’ social media channels when we can surface what their followers are engaging with in seconds?

Your Custom Storytelling Leaderboards

With so much content out there, how do you distinguish yourself from the rest? No matter what your niche is, there are likely others in your space.

How do you see which of your competitors are driving the most social media buzz and for which stories? How do your own stories compare?

With NewsWhip Spike, we can create a panel of several publishers. For this, let’s look at female-focused news sites. We put Jezebel, HelloGiggles, Refinery29, the Mary Sue, Bustle, Womanista, PopSugar, and The Frisky in a Spike panel.

women publishers Spike Facebook NewsWhip

Great! We can see a female parody of the viral BBC interview is the top story right now. But maybe we don’t always have time to dig into the data. We’re busy with things to do if we’re going to be the most epic lady publisher out there. 

Instead, we can set up a report to send us the big picture. Going into the alerts settings for this panel, we can configure a digest to be sent to our emails, on a timed basis of 30 minutes up to 24 hours. Here we’ve set this panel to send a digest of the competitive set every six hours.

competitive set analysis social media digest

We can indicate what time we want those digests to be sent, how many stories should be included, and whether it should be sent on weekdays only.

Owned Media

Creating content for your social distribution channels is vital for engaging with and growing your audience. We can explore how your competition is owning their native channels.

We can again look at these publishers’ Pages on Facebook, and create a report for them. If you’re just focusing on a certain vertical, like wellness or parenting, you can focus on those specific Pages. Our three-year report on social analytics spoke to how readers are hungry for reliable sources on their specific niche interests. 

We can get even more granular and just focus on a certain format, like video, or a metric, like comments. 

Spike native video lady sites

Here we looked at the most-commented native videos from our publishers’ Facebook Pages. Since what’s hot on social changes fast, we might want to add an alert. Alerts can send us real-time updates when a competitor’s content is over-performing. We can get those alerts to our email, or to Slack.

Spike alerts lady sites

There we go. Now if one of those publishers posts something that starts to get an edge on our audience, we’ll know right away.

What if you’re an agency or company and want to see how your brand is performing against others? We can do that too.

Let’s pretend that we’re a super edgy, super delicious frozen treat brand that this particular NewsWhipper might just be obsessed with. How can we see which ice cream brands command the most attention on social media in real-time?

With Instagram so big right now for brand awareness, let’s look there. We can see in the past 24 hours, Ben & Jerry’s has had the most popular post by a big margin, but new brands like Arctic Zero and Halo Top Creamery aren’t far behind. For this panel, we might want to do a daily digest of what was hottest (or coolest, rather) in ice cream news. 

Instagram ice cream brands

Again, we can also set our key metrics. Since different kinds of content drive likes vs. comments, it could be revealing to set up two separate panels and digests to compare the content trends driving those metrics.

Earned Media

For brands in particular, tracking mentions is an important part of the overall picture. We can set up a panel in Spike of the names of these brands to track any earned press.

We can also look beyond the headline and keywords, into the full text of content. This makes sure we don’t miss a single mention. 

ice cream earned media

Looking at the top stories mentioning ice cream brands in the past week, we can see a few important things. Which brands are the ones getting mentioned and why? The top two have to do with new products and events, while the third is a nostalgia story from Ben & Jerry’s own website.

Paying attention to the publishers who create the top engaging stories is also important. These can be sites and authors to reach to with new stories about your brand. We can also take a pulse on other, unrelated press that brands in your space are getting. In today’s hyper-political climate, brands can incur politically-charged mentions that don’t link to their products or services.

Make Your Life Easier

With the fast changing world of social media, staying ahead of the game is challenging enough. Having a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape, custom-made and delivered to your email as you sit fit, can make a difference.

You don’t need to be an international spy of mystery to get the edge on your competitors. We have our own 007 here, and it’s name is Spike. NewsWhip Spike.

Get to stories before your competitors with NewsWhip Spike

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