How Your Competitors Can Help Drive Your Social Media

How Your Competitors Can Help Drive Your Social Media

Are you looking to go above and beyond in social, but aren’t exactly sure where to start? Maybe, you keep seeing awesome content being shared from one of your competitors. Well, believe it or not, this is a great place to start! Knowing what works (and what doesn’t) for you competitors and benchmarking can help you improve your own social media and digital marketing. Heres a great list I’ve put together to help “spy” on those in your industry.

By looking at your competitors you can find out: 

  • What’s their top shared content
  • General themes or regularly used topics that get the most engagement
  • What social media platforms work best
  • How they successfully market their products or services
  • Finding the right vibe to attract your tribe

With this awesome information you can:

  • Share popular content: Don’t waste time sharing content that won’t see a return. Share content that people are already engaging with
  • Produce similar engaging content: If something is getting your competitors a hefty amount of shares it shows people are interested in this kind of content
  • See what products do the best: Do many of competitors have awesome products or services that you have yet to implement?
  • Use platforms that have the most engagement: Utilize this information, it shows where your audience is hanging out. Jump on the platform (if you aren’t already) and start to really push it!
  • See what media gets the most engagement: Is it video, photos, text, links? Is one type of media dominating, it may be time to put some of that content into your marketing


BuzzSumo is an awesome app that lets you see the most shared content for any domain or topic. This is a great tool that will let you see your competitors top shared posts. For example, lets say you want to look at career experts, all you would have to do is search someone in the field like Liz Ryan and you can see all her top shared posts on each platform. Likewise, if you want to see the top shared content for a certain topic you can also do this. For example, if you search “career tips” (be sure to put your search term in quotations) and you’ll be able to search the top posts that contain these keywords. With this information you will be can analyze what’s been working for someone and use these strategies into your content and social media.

Other great tools in this app to use are:

  • “View shares”, with this you can see who shared a particular link on Twitter (great for building your community)
  • “View backlinks”, with this you can see f they link to a website or specific article (awesome for searching for guest blogging opportunities)
  • If you search for a topic, you can also see competitors with this in their bios and competitors who often tweet or share links related to the topic. These could be great people to outreach!

Buzzsumo Competitor Research



SpyFU is a great online tool that… well… lets you spy on you competitors! This tool lets you search for any domain and every place they show up on Google, including every keyword they’ve bought on Adwords,  and every organic rank in the last NINE years!

With this information you can:

  • Improve your search rank by modelling your strategies after your competitors
  • Find relevant keywords that will help you gain more targeted customers
  • Track keywords that you could rank for
  • Increase your organic website traffic

For example, here is Mashable’s social media page. This is just an overview, but there is lots of great and detailed information throughout this search, like top used keywords and their top competitors. You can also conduct a search based on a keyword. It will tell you the popularity, average cost per click, and even related profitable keywords.

Mashable via SpyFU


NewsletterMonitor allows you to look at the market trends and monitor your competitors email marketing strategy. You can also look at their frequency and common day of posting. With this information you can look closely at their strategies, which you can implement on your own email marketing. You can also search by product or keyword and discover new people in your industry.

A newsletter is so extremely valuable to your business, with a much higher conversion rate than any other channel and is sadly overlooked. This is a great tool to help build your list and also research different offers and products being offered.


I’ve talked about TweetDeck time and time again because it’s a great productivity tool. If you have yet to grab TweetDeck, today is the day! Although Tweetdeck is great for monitoring your Twitter activity, it’s also the perfect tool for monitoring competitors. 

I spoke a little while ago about creating Twitter lists to monitor competitors using Tweetdeck. I love the ability to get realtime alerts from Tweetdeck to monitor the activity of others.

Some examples of content you can monitor include:

  • Check out their latest content
  • Watch for conversations between customers or influencers (that you may also want to leverage)
  • Look out for cross-pollination of other networks (are they using Instagram or Vine, for example?)



LikeAlyzer measures and helps analyze the effectiveness of a Facebook Page. It lets you do some awesome things, like monitor, compare and evaluate the activity on the page. This is a great tool to gain some insight on your competitors Facebook page, to see what is working really well and what still needs some help. In fact this app will provide you with information and even an explanation of issues and tips on how fix them!

This is a great place to analyze your Facebook and compare it to your competitors. Look at whats not working for you, and how your competitors are doing it. As well,  implement their strategies that are doing awesome!  Not to mention that this app is free! So what are you waiting for, get your competitor intel on.

Likealyzer for Facebook


Twitonomy is a great tool to find relevant hashtags that your competitors are using. With this tool you can see their most used hashtags (among lots of other great features).For example, Twitonomy shows me that my top used hashtags include: #Appoftheday, #Biztip, #periscope. Once you pick some hashtags that stand out to you, it is important to check their reach and engagement. You want to make sure that each hashtag is actually useful! To do this plug it into RiteTag and will show you this relevancy. Just by changing one letter, for example #Biztips vs. #Biztip can offer you better results. Still confused about hashtags? Here is an awesome podcast I did that can help you!

If I search #BizTip in RiteTag it will show me:

  • That it has a long life that can be used to be seen over time.
  • That it has a fair bit amount of exposure and is not overused.
  • Has some exposure with links and images
  • Could have more Retweets a day.

RiteTag hashtag research

Compared to #BizTips, which shows me: 

  • This hashtag has a long life.
  • It has a lot of exposure, which could cause my tweet to be lost.
  • Has more unique tweets than #biztip
  • Has no tweets with images or links.

RiteTag hashtag research


Facebook offers a great tool you can use to monitor your competitors. To access this feature, navigate to your Facebook page Insights there is a option called “Pages to Watch”. Don’t worry, no one will ever know you are watching their page! It provides some awesome information such as their number of posts by the page, fan interactions and a leader board showing top 5 posts across all your watched pages. When the page name is clicked, you can see their top posts from the past week, helping you to understand what type of content is receiving the most engagement.

Facebook pages to watch

How will you use competitor research to your advantage? I’d love to know in the comments below.