uberVU’s conversation maps give you an inside look into what people are talking about in the social web in real time. By showing the most-talked about topics in relation to your brand or products, your conversation map can be an extremely helpful tool in your marketing plan. But sometimes it’s not your conversation map that’s most important—it’s your competitor’s.

Here are 4 Ways to Use Your Competitor’s Conversation Map:

1. Find Real-Time Marketing Opportunities

After announcing plans for its new Xbox One, Microsoft faced a huge backlash for its new controversial policies on connectivity and game sharing. The gaming community took to the social web to express its displeasure—evident on the conversation map for Xbox. Phrases like “games,” “console,” “live” all came from mentions related to the policies. Not great news for Microsoft, but excellent news for its main competitor, Sony.

The news gets even better for Sony with several mentions of its brand also appearing on the Xbox map—”PS4,” “PS3,” “Sony,” and “PlayStation.” As outraged Xbox fans considered switching over to the Sony PlayStation, the brand saw a great opportunity for some real-time marketing, and released a video demonstrating its game sharing policy. The video addressed the gamers’ concerns and it was a huge success—it has over 13 million views to date

Game on. The Xbox map highlights a real-time marketing opportunity for Sony.

2. Find Out What Consumers are Excited About

One of the most powerful insights your competitor’s conversation map can provide is what topics are popular with their (and your target) audience. Don’t assume that since you provide similar services or products your maps will align. There can be drastic differences that can help shape your marketing strategy.

Track both your map and your competitor’s conversation map over time. Are you noticing any consistent differences? Are they stirring conversations around a certain topic that you’re not? If W Hotel looked at its competitor Westin Hotel’s map, they’d see a big missed opportunity. Both hotels are known for their comfortable beds and bedding—so much so that both brands sell them online. But only one hotel’s map reflects this. On the Westin map you’ll see “you can buy Westin.” The topic consistently trends for the brand since it makes an effort to highlight it in its social efforts. We’ve yet to see the topic trend for the W Hotel. We wonder who’s selling more bedding?
Both hotels sell bedding, but only one is making it known in social.

3. Shape up Your Social

Fact: People in social media love to talk about what they like in social media. Use your competitor’s conversation map to find out what’s working for them in social. In the Lowe’s map, one of the most-talked about topics is “Vine.” Lowe’s has been utilizing the video-sharing app for awhile now and its efforts continue to resonate with its audience. This is extremely beneficial to a competitor like The Home Depot. What is working for your competitor in social? Why is the audience responding? Could you provide something similar, but better? Let your competitor’s conversation map serve some social inspiration. The Home Depot did—it posted its first Vine video four days ago.

Get inspired. The Lowe’s map shows success that can be replicated.

4. Measure Effectiveness of Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating an image or identity about your brand in the minds of your target audience. You present your brand one way, but does the social web see it differently? Dunkin’ Donuts has recently re-positioned itself as a beverage company, in an attempt to challenge its main competitor, Starbucks. If Dunkin’ Donuts wanted to see if the new positioning was resonating, all it would have to do is compare conversation maps. Most of the terms on the Dunkin’ Donuts map are food-related with only two beverage-related phrases—”coffee” and “iced coffee”—appearing. In contrast, Starbucks map is loaded with these phrases. By comparing its map with its competitor’s, Dunkin’ Donuts can see the new brand messages might need to be tweaked if it wants to be known for more than food.

Dunkin’ Donuts: top-of-mind when it comes to breakfast foods.

Starbucks still winning the beverage battle.

Find Your Competitive Edge

Curious to see what’s on your top competitors’ maps? We’d be happy to show you what’s being discussed about your competition in social.