It doesn’t matter what industry, or niche sector your business caters to. You will have competition and there’s a high probability that that competition is already online.
But being online is only part of the process to actually making an online business work for you. To do it effectively, you need to know what works and what doesn’t work so effectively.
With thanks to Twitter being public, you can access a ton of vital information on any rival company and use that information strategically to put your business ahead of the mainstream.
How do you pull the curtains back to see what really works though?
Meet competition analysis on Twitter
Note that this function was not intended to give business owners a competitive advantage, but it does wonders at doing just that.
In Twitter, every user has the option to manage their lists of followers. That can be public or it can be private. The private list is the one that you want to be using to leverage the information to your advantage, because let’s face it – your competition are not going to be impressed when they realise they are being stalked by your company.
Keep that to yourself by creating a private list that is only visible to you and not to the public.
Who to follow on your Twitter private list
In here, you want to insert the Twitter handles of all your competitors you’re interested in, and any associated handles the company has.
Don’t stop there though because there are many businesses that have their own in-house team of writers frequently updating their blogs for them, in order to bring traffic from Twitter over to their own domain. Many more will outsource this, giving them fresh content to Tweet about.
People have a tendency to follow updated posts and land on a website when there is new content there to peruse. If you have a static website, such as an e-commerce site without engaging content on the backend of it, then you really need to think about your approach to content marketing.
Static content does not cut it anymore. Especially on Twitter, as it is a micro-blogging community. If you are not already providing fresh content on your website, in order to build your own conversations on Twitter… that is the first thing you will need to get in place.
Chances are when you set your private list up to monitor what your competition is doing, you’ll find they have a blog which they use Twitter to drive traffic to and then convert those visitors into customers, or at least capture the email address for a follow up marketing sequence, and to further assist in the relationship building process.
If they are not doing this, then the above is exactly what you can do to put your business way ahead of your competition.
Want to know how a business handles customer support?
That’s easy to find out by following the @repliesofthecompanyname. Remember to follow it in your private list.
When you see people asking questions for support or providing negative feedback that goes un-responded, you can start to see the flaws in how customer support is being handled and use that to ensure your service over delivers on what isn’t being provided elsewhere.
Of course, you do not want to use this information to slate your competition, but it is worth knowing the weaknesses they have so you can avoid the pitfalls.
Third party tools that make marketing a breeze
One thing that’s great about Twitter is that it has been around for years and as such there are tools that help businesses get the most out of the platform by using the Twitter API.
We’re talking here about identifying the key influencers that drive the conversations on your competitors Twitter account. Services such as Tweepi, and Twitter counter give you a real insight into the speed a Twitter account acquires new followers, the amount of tweets and retweets from their followers, a following count of each person and they let you really dig deep and see who the most active users are.
Now what you do with that information can make or break your efforts.
You cannot use the information to start spamming influential people on there, but instead you must use it wisely for what it is intended for.
To build relationships with the influencers
It may only take you a couple of key influencers to explode your Twitter following and to attract the ideal people you need your message to be in front of.
Take a conscientious approach to your Twitter marketing and do not use it as a sales platform.
Use it as a smart marketing channel, where you can analyse the people who make the most impact on businesses, and work to build a relationship and get your business name among the right community within Twitter.
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