How you can use Social Meida to snoop on your competition

From 1964 to 1972 there was an old television show that was on the air called Bewitched. Besides there being two Darrens there was a character by the name of Gladys Kravitz and she was the neighborhood busybody. Gladys was always screeching at Abner about what she was seeing while peeking around the curtains. In the television show, Gladys was often portrayed as neighborhood’s snoop and was the comic relief for the show. Yet, Gladys could also be a good example for small business owners. She always had the inside information even if Abner didn’t believe her. She was, after all, the neighborhood snoop.

What is your business competition doing? Do you have any idea of what the folks in your field are planning? How are these other stores getting new customers? I am sure you watch their television commercials. Listen to that radio ad spot and I am sure you are taking notes.If you don’t, then maybe I am obsessing about my competition. Either way, you need to know how you are doing as a comparison to your competition. Here are a few ways you can use your

Twitter Following

On Twitter, you can learn lots of information on your customers but you are also able to learn lots about your competition too. There are plenty of ways to use this super weapon to gain insights into your competition and how they treat their customers.

Before you do anything with following your competition you want to create a twitter list. These lists are easy to create. They also help organize your twitter account.

To create a twitter list

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner
  2. Click on Lists in the drop down
  3. On the Right-hand Column, you will see Create New List
  4. In the pop up enter the Name you want to make this list. Good idea not to call it competition or something to that effect. Most people are notified when they are added to a new list.
  5. Give your list a good description
  6. Choose whether you want this list to be Public or Private. Public other people are able to follow the list and see who is in it and private lists are only accessible to you.

Now that you have a list created you can look up the people who you want to add.

  1. Search for the name of the person or business you want to add to your list.
  2. On their profile click on the gear icon that is on the left-hand side of the profile follow button. You can follow if you want but it is not necessary.
  3. Once the gear is clicked you will see Add or Remove from Lists
  4. Select the list you want to add the profile to and you are all set

Once the people have been added to the list, you can view that group’s tweets by clicking your profile in the top right-hand corner and choosing lists. There choose the list you want to read and you will see the lists timeline. you are able to see a timeline that is filtered to just the people you want to see.

You can also use an application like HootSuite or Tweetdeck and make the list a dedicated column. Also, you are able to do some better research into what your potential customers are having problems with by saving a search as a column. Then you are able to respond the to comments or complaints that are made. Doing so, you might just be able to snipe a customer from a slow responding competition. Which allows you to be the hero for the day in that one person’s eyes.


Facebook Snooping

Facebook doesn’t make it as easy to snoop on your competition as Twitter. Then again, Facebook is very different from twitter. One way, you are able to Follow your competition and see their posts. You can learn how they are using Facebook as a means to communicate with their community.

FBFollowFollow, If you don’t want to give your competition the extra like then you can also follow their page and still get all of their updates just without giving up on the like.

To Follow a page

  1. Go to the Facebook page of the website you want to follow.
  2. Across the top, but under the cover image, you will see the Like button and right next to it you will see the Follow button. When you click on the Follow button you will get a series of choices.
    1. You can choose See first. This will put almost every post into your page and will always place that post at the top of the page.(Note: you can only have 10 See First Follows)
    2. Or You can choose Default this will place the occasional post in your news feed if Facebook’s algorithm feels it will benefit you.
    3. Then the last option is if you are tired of seeing posts from your competition you can unfollow them.
  3. Choose how often you want the page to appear on your Newsfeed.
  4. Choose your notifications. Do you want to be notified when your competition posts something? If yes the turn it on. If no then choose All Off

Instagram Spying

If you are in a visual industry like Interior design or clothing. You are going to want to be a part of Instagram if you aren’t already. Now this one is even tougher to follow, but you can use your competition to garner new people to your Instagram page, from an occurrence that is unique to Instagram hashtag tours.

Hashtag tours

People who use Instagram will from time to time click on a hashtag. and then look at all the other pictures that show up. They will comment or like that picture. So one way you can use hashtags is to look and see what hashtags your competition is using. If there is a hashtag you can use for one of your products then, by all means, use that bad boy. Hashtags are different on Instagram. Use several relevant tags. They will help you grow faster than you could have ever thought. It is all because people like to follow the yellow brick road.

You may be wondering if this is proper to do. My answer to that is yes. You have to know what you are up against. if you don’t survey the land from time to time you will eventually find yourself out of the fight altogether. You will wonder how it could have gone south so fast. So yes follow those other people who are in your same niche.

Be yourself

Besides following and liking your competition, I would even go as far as saying comment on their posts from time to time. You might even comment as your page if you are bold enough. Just when you do so, be helpful. Don’t try to sell your services or products. Give your knowledge freely and without reservation. If your competition bans you it one shows you that they are scared of you. and that is good. Second, it makes them look like a jerk which is again good. So join the conversation as your page and help the common customer out.

So be the Gladys of your local industry watch what the competition is doing because I am sure they are doing the same about you. Do you use any of these strategies? have you found success in using them? do you have other ways you can spy on the competition? If so please comment below.

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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Using Social Media to Snoop on Your Competition
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