Nowadays, it is a company’s ability to track, monitor, and engage on various social media platforms which will
help determine success. You need to use both measurable and written marketing analysis to be informed
about key areas of your competition. Visualizing Porter’s five-forces model for analyzing industry profitability as
discussed in this module, focus on the following points:
Platforms:Have a look to see if your competition only uses the social media standbys of Facebook and Twitter,
or if they use other slightly more niche social media platforms. For example: LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest,
Reddit, Instagram, and others. Also, see if they engage more often or more effectively on one platform in
Frequency:How often do your competitors share posts? What kinds of posts (videos, images, text only)? What
time of day are they posting?
Following:You want to look at the overall number of followers for your top competitors, and it’s not a bad idea to
check back over time, to give you more insight into your competitor’s strategy, how well it works, and if their
audience is growing. You can use the tools Tweepi (Links to an external site.) and Follower Wonk (Links to an
external site.) to analyze your competitors on Twitter in more depth. (Note for BUS 460: do not pay to sign up
for these tools).
Content: Notice if your competitors are promoting their own content offers and articles or if they are giving
equal play to other content creators that are in the industry. Also see if they are aiming content to the
personalities of buyers or if they are sharing items that don’t really fit their profile; this will help better position
your own content to be as relevant as possible for your user base.
Response time:How are your competitors responding to customer questions or concerns on social media?
Quick responses are important to consumers, so a company that halts responding after 5pm isn’t in the best
position. Aim to provide better customer service than your competitors on social. (credit to Julie Petersen
(Links to an external site.) from her article 10 Ways to find out what your competitors are doing.
https://articles.bplans.com/10-ways-to-find-out-what-your-competitors-are-doing/ (Links to an external site.))
For this exercise you have been assigned the task of reporting back to the manager what the competition is
doing. Although a fictitious scenario, this does takes place in the real world and a great exercise to conduct
since it can all be done online! Choose the industry you have a passion about (i.e. fashion, sports, hospitality,
entertainment, food, beverage, etc.) and select a few of the competitors in that industry. If you are actually
working in the industry you have an invested interest in, then you can use the perspective from the actual
company or organization where you work.
To reiterate the concept of Cost Leadership, by Michael Porter, in this module, this strategy describes a way to
establish the competitive advantage. Cost leadership, in basic terms, is the lowest cost of operation in the
industry. Because of the lower costs, companies are able to charge a lower price for its products and still make
an adequate profit. While this can be highly successful, cost leadership may be strenuous to employ.
Researching competitors in your industry may be easier than you think. For instance, you can read their online
material, or even buy their products and services to compare them with your own. Overall, you should analyze
what they may do better than you. Questions you can ask yourself about the competition:
What is the price range of their product or service?
Are their products of a high quality? Provide an example.
Should the company differentiate its products or services on something other than cost, such as service or
How is their customer service (highly regarded or less than satisfactory? You can usually see this as well from
feedback or posts online.
Is their marketing material more engaging?
Should the company focus on a niche with a less sought-after segment of the market that could be profitable,
or compete with the major competitors for the biggest and most sought after market share?
Remember, what goes online stays online, and a response to posts on social media should positively reflect
the mission and values of the company. See what you can find about your competitor’s responses where
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