I have been doing a little research on the use of social media for competitive intelligence. I have done this type of exercise in the past but thought I’d be a little different this time and actually make a blog post out of the sites I came across that I found to be useful in some way.

These are 30 blog posts that I found that talk about competitive analysis using social media. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

School Your Competition: 3 Tips to Simplify Competitive Analysis

“Analyzing your competition means working with a lot of data, but if you know what metrics to focus on and which questions to answer, you’ll be able to quickly put your brand’s performance in perspective and start learning from your competitors. Competitive analysis can be crucial for brands invested in social media, but it’s often overlooked. So much time is spent planning content, crafting copy, and measuring brand performance that analyzing competitors doesn’t always seem feasible.”

How to Conduct a Social Media Competitive Analysis

“As marketers, we are now living in a world where social media is fully integrated in our brand strategy and communication plan. We’re all using social and have a presence on the various social sites; it’s now time to start really analyzing what type of social communication is effective and what’s not. Because of its low cost, many times brands jump into social media without setting tactical goals or developing a strategic plan. This can be extremely harmful as social media is at its core, one of the most effective media vehicles to influence and engage with your customers. It’s also a valuable source of information for brands as it’s a low cost way of getting product feedback and customer input. One of the best ways to help develop a social media strategy for your brand is to assess what your competitors are doing. In this post, I’m going to share some of the tactics and processes we use here at SwellPath when performing social media competitive analyses for our clients. ”

How to Research Your Competitor’s Social Media Strategy

One area that many businesses struggle with in online marketing is coming up with a social media strategy. Everything from creating social profiles to social content strategy can be daunting. Fortunately, your business doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Chances are, you can gain a good understanding simply by reviewing your competitor’s strategy. In this post, we’re going to look at how you can scope out your competitors and apply their best strategies to your social media campaign

3 Things You Need to Know about Big Data 

Big data analytics is exciting to many organizations and for good reason. The ability to analyze big data provides unique opportunities for organizations in terms of the kind of analysis they can do. For example, instead of being limited to sampling large data sets, organizations can utilize much more granular and complete data to do analysis. This may lead to patterns that they hadn’t seen before. Additionally, the ability to analyze data in real time in order to gain real time insights can be a competitive differentiator for an organization. However, analyzing big data does have its own set of issues. Here are three related to data integrity, data quality, and the nuances of analysis worth thinking about. ”

Social business intelligence assessing the competition (Presentation Transcript)

“here is an amazing amount of information on your competitors in the social web waiting to be unlocked Differentiating your brand and your organisation presumes you know what your competition is doing Creating a smart strategy for customer engagement means knowing what your competition is doing Competitive analysis can help you understand what works and what does not.”

This Week On Twitter: Social Media Demographics, Social Personalities, Twitter Competitor Analysis

Need a little weekend reading? We’ve compiled our top ten Twitter stories of the week, which includes a look at the latest social media user demographics, a study which suggests 12 different types of social media personality (which one are you?), how to do a competitor analysis on Twitter (for free), a visual that asks if your business is monitoring what matters on social media and the state of B2B social media 2013.

” In the social media fitness centre, are you fitter or fatter than your competitors? “

In the digital age, marketeers have the power to measure their performance more effectively than ever before. Well defined and measured KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are the key to measuring your performance in your own marketplace. Did you know that you can look at your competitors KPI’s and compare them against your own? Here are 3 ways you can gauge your social media fitness against the competition using freely available data.

” 8 Facebook Competitive Analysis Tools, An Epic Guide”

“A Facebook business page has become an essential component for most digital marketing campaigns. But what do you know about your competitors on Facebook? Perhaps you have scanned their page, taken notice of how many fans they have or even ‘liked’ their page so you could be updated on their status. The information available on your competitors is astounding and the following tools can help make that information actionable.These platforms will save hours in producing competitive analysis reports.”

How to Compare Your Facebook Page With the Competition

“Summary There are various ways to improve performance of your Facebook Page and one of them is to track against your Facebook competitors. These are just a selection of tools to give you ideas on what you should be tracking. They can help you to better understand what your competitors are doing on Facebook and how this is working for them. You can then use this information to review your own Facebook Page marketing and identify the changes you need to make to improve your Facebook marketing results.”

The Value of Website Competitive Analysis

“Understanding your competition can help your business in many ways. A relatively easy method for learning more about your competition is to scour their websites. But what do you get out of investing time in website competitive analysis? Is it really worth it? Does it really help you improve your business and make more money? The answers are yes, yes and yes. In fact, the following are just a few of the many benefits of website competitive analysis:”

Top SEO Competitive Analysis Techniques

“Most business owners will agree that analyzing your competition is an important part of the SEO process. Unfortunately, this is often one of those “all talk no action” type scenarios. We all know that analyzing the competition is important, but actually making the time and doing so isn’t so easy. You can periodically check out your competitors’ websites and see the kinds of content they’re posting and comments they’re getting, but there are many more advanced ways to really dig deep and investigate your competitors’ data that will help you in producing better SEO results. ”

Semantic web – Trend or a future standard?

“The semantic web (or Web 3.0 as it is also being called) is being hailed as the next big development of the internet – it almost certainly is the next big thing, and it’s here already. The previous article, “Are we there yet? Why we need the semantic Web” focused on the meaning of the semantic web, the benefits of incorporating semantic data and the potential challenges that come with implementing it. To recap, the semantic web allows better use of knowledge and helps us all deliver better websites that improve the customer experience, regardless of whether your customer is business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or between consumers – peer-to-peer (P2P). An important element of the semantic web is that it not only allows good content to be better presented to users on the site but also allows better reuse of data between sites and/or applications”

Key Factors to Effective Competitive Analysis as a Small Business

“Competitive analysis can be good for both your organic and paid PPC strategies, and it is an extremely effective way to make your SEO strategy that much more versatile and successful – right from the start. You can apply all that you found out to your own Internet marketing campaign, and have a much more constructive grounding to jump off of if you do. Businesses both large and small in all sorts of different markets are taking advantage of all that competitive analysis has to offer because, believe it or not, espionage does have its benefits – and if your competitors are already spying on you (or will be), why not join the game or even beat them to the punch?”

Competitive Market Analysis on a Shoestring Budget

“No matter how much you think you know about your competition, no matter how much experience you have in your chosen field, without a clear understanding of the market for your business you might as well be driving blind. Big companies spend thousands of dollars to conduct competitive market analysis , but fortunately for those of you on a tight budget, you can do quite a bit of this yourself, without spending much at all. Competitive market analysis is important at every step of your business’s development. Whether you’re trying to choose a business, write a business plan, or grow your business, research is absolutely vital to making informed decisions. ”

On… The importance of Competitive Analysis when planning a new online business

Take honest and accurate results. Grade your competitors using a score sheet and pay particular attention to the areas in which they let themselves down , and the areas in which they excel. This analysis provides you with an accurate baseline. If you are going to win market share, you will need to offer the same or better on every count. Customers are inadvertently conducting competitive analysis every time they engage with a website, and they flock to the businesses that offer the best service.

How are brands using Twitter for paid social media marketing?

An infographic has shed a little more light on how some brands are using microblogging service Twitter as part of their paid social media marketing activity. Using metrics such as engagements, followers, new followers, hashtags, impressions and tweets, the infographic paints a positive view of the impact Twitter has for brands that have experienced successful activity.

How people spend time online

“Ever wondered how many people are online, where they hang out and what they do? Well, this ‘How people spend their time online infographic’ by go-gulf takes a shot at cutting through the statistics. Jammed pack of statistics there’s plenty to choose from, maybe too many to pick out, but interesting nonetheless. It highlights the equivalent of 30% of the world’s population is online spending time across search engines, social networks and more, that’s a lot people. And, it’s growing. ”

Competitive Intelligence: 5 things you can learn about your competition through social media

“How often do you keep up with your competition? Once a year? Quarterly? Most businesses track their rivals through trade publications, reports from the sales force and/or observing marketing tactics like ads, billboards, radio and television commercials or online campaigns. The problem with these tactics is it really isn’t competitive intelligence. It’s old news. Businesses are reluctant to share any relevant news with trade publications any more. Why should they give away their secrets to the competition? By the time your sales force shares information with your marketing department, it’s too late. Besides, shouldn’t your marketing department be giving your sales team information it could use on a monthly basis? You may have collected all the collateral from your rivals’ last marketing campaign, but do you know if it actually worked?”

Digital Strategies: The Art of Conducting a Competitive Analysis

Every company wants to stand out from the crowd, but if they provide similar services, information or products, how can any one organization be unique? This is where a competitive analysis comes into play. In order to have a successful presence both online and offline, an organization must be better or different than their competitors.                                                                                                 So how might one go about conducting a competitive analysis? Below I have provided some basics, but a comprehensive competitive analysis goes much further.

50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management

“To succeed in today’s connected world, you need to build a community around your company, brand, and products. Over the last decade, social media monitoring has become a primary form of business intelligence, used to identify, predict, and respond to consumer behavior. Listening to what your customers, competitors, critics, and supporters are saying about you is key to getting great results from your social media campaigns. There are countless tools out there, offering many ways to analyze, measure, display, and create reports about your engagement efforts. These 50 tools distill data in ways that are relevant to your social media marketing plan, enabling you to figure out how to succeed with your audience.”

How Competitors Fight Using Social Media

The most obvious battle to consumers for how competitors fight each other for market share is their marketing spending and gaining news media coverage. Less known are tactics such as lawsuits over IP or improper behaviour, hostile acquisitions and stock manipulations. With the increasing use of social media however, there are more subtle tactics at play. Through our competitor research into Cyberspace and social media, here are some of the more covert tactics companies are using to gain market share over their competitors.

Stealing Business Secrets Via Social Media

“Protecting your infrastructure from malware, viruses, phishing attacks and hacks. But there’s a slightly more ominous threat to corporate secrets, taken from the old school world of industrial espionage. This is about using good old fashioned human to human connections – only via social media channels. And it’s very likely your employees don’t have a clue. In the past year we’ve completed client work finding strong indicators corporate information is being leaked in this way. Here we hope to provide some insights, naturally we can share all our methodologies, nor can we share the clients we’ve worked with in this regard. General Techniques for Espionage via Social Media There are several key tactics that are used by both foreign governments and competitor companies to gain access to corporate secrets. ”

5 Types of Competitive Analysis for Social Media

Competitive analysis and benchmarking should be an important part of your social media measurement and reporting strategies. Each brand has its own strategies, goals, and execution tactics but you all are striving to reach and engage with the same consumer base. When you monitor and measure the effectiveness of campaigns run by other brands the data you gather can help drive your decision making without the expense and risk of trying them all yourself. This does not mean you should simply be a copycat brand, but understanding the competition will help you make informed decisions about your own strategy going forward and measure your own success with market context.

TC- Twitter Updates Its Ads Dashboard With More Data On Performance, Analytics And Spend

On Twitter’s route to growing revenues — forecast to be $1 billion this year – the social network has been making a lot of upgrades to its advertising services — most notably through a new advertising API. Today, it added to that with the release of a upgraded dashboard for the Twitter Ads center. The new interface provides significantly more data to make it easier for brands to measure how ads are performing on the network, in a bid to get those brands engaged and spending more on the platform.

Keeping up with the Competition: Metrics That Matter

Different metrics will matter to different people and different organizations, but one thing that should always matter is your competition. Your competitors are critical in helping you determine success for your brand by giving you a frame of reference to measure up against. Also, differentiating your brand requires you to know what your competition is doing so you can craft a strategy to do it better. And lastly, competitive analysis helps identify threats and possibly opportunities for your brand.

Social media as a source of competitive intelligence

The first step in competitive analysis is to define the competition. This definition needs to go beyond existing competitors selling the same type of solution – for instance, other companies selling game consoles. The analysis also needs to include other companies that might enter the marketplace, as well as substitute products – that is, products that have different features from yours, but that address the same need from the point of view of the customer (e.g., entertainment). Then, we also need to take into account wider forces driving change in the industry, from the supplier side (e.g., new production methods) as well as the demand side (e.g., change in consumption patterns). These various strands are captured in one of the most popular models in Strategy, Porter’s Five Forces.

” Want to Dominate Social Media Marketing?”

“Consumers are more active on social media than ever before, and not surprisingly, many marketers are struggling to keep up. It seems that, with an ever-evolving sea of data and technology, marketers don’t know where to start. Marketers are told what they need to do, but no one’s telling them WHY these tactics are important or HOW to execute a campaign around them. The WHY is just as important as the WHAT and WHERE. In order to dominate, we have to remember the basics of social media marketing and management. So let’s get back to the basics:”

Is Twitter a Customer Service or a Marketing Channel?

To build on their findings, I took a look at this same question but through a different lens.  At NetBase we are currently in beta testing with our Digital Channel Intelligence solution for Twitter.  Customers had been asking for a way to measure their effectiveness in the same two areas J.D. Power reported on.  So NetBase is gearing up to offer two key metrics as part of NetBase Digital Channel Intelligence for Twitter:

BEST PRACTICE: Competitor analysis – Know your enemy

“Marketing is an inherently competitive activity – we are here to take market share from direct or indirect competitors. Yet competitor analysis is frequently overlooked by B2B marketers. Richard Bush, MD at B2B marketing agency Base One, says, “It’s amazing how often prospective clients tell us they don’t know much about their competitors. At best, they’ll give us a list of websites; at worst they’ll say they don’t even know who their competitors are.” ”

Using SWOT for Social Media Strategy

If you have ever taken a marketing or a business class then you may remember what SWOT stands for.  SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Using a SWOT analysis is a great way to break down and analyze a particular strategy.  Today I’m going to talk about using using SWOT specifically for social media strategy(ies).