While I’ve gotten used to prospective clients saying, “Do I really need social media?’ (Please note that I didn’t say that I accepted it.) I haven’t gotten used to their not even bothering to look at what their competitors are doing with social media.
I hear this a lot but I don’t hear any real excuses. (Hint, there aren’t any!)
They just don’t do it even when I point out what their competitors are doing! (For those of you who know me, I’m very professional when I bring this up. No name calling or slamming anyone into their PC screen. Honest!)
Some folks really just don’t bother to look! (If you happen to be one of these, this is your opportunity to feel guilty.)
Why don’t they look?
Sometimes, they’re afraid of what they may find.
Other times, they’re simply in denial.
Or, they believe that they’re just too busy to use social media. (Occasionally, this is simple laziness but let’s use the more polite phrasing for this story.)
These businesses are having their competitors steal a march on them and there’s no time like the present to start to catch up.
There are a few ways to begin to see what your competitors are up to with social media.
The simplest and easiest way to begin is to just perform a Google search. (Or use whatever your favorite search engine is.) You may be surprised with what you find.
The next step up for inquiring minds is to go into actual social media apps and see what’s going on.
Look at LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other app that your competition is using and see what’s going on. Do they have a blog or a website? Go find out!
The third and final step in your search for competitive advantage is to regularly follow your competitors’ social media activities.
Follow them regularly on their social media channels. Use Google Alerts to keep yourself current on their activities. Read their content and study how they use the tools.
Now, I’m not saying what they’re doing is either right or great but at least they’re doing something and will probably learn from their mistakes. (Hint, you have to make mistakes first in order to learn from them!)
Look at what your competitors may be doing and how can you do it better or differently.
Are they establishing themselves as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) by publishing content or taking part in online discussions relevant to your industry?
Do they use social media for customer interactions?
Examples are customer service, contests, surveys, and promotions.
Do they use social media as part of their e-commerce strategy?
If your competitors are doing any of these things then you’re at a disadvantage in the market place.
If they’re not doing them then you have an opportunity to exploit. But hurry! That window of opportunity is closing fast!
So what are you going to do about this?
Nothing, keep your head in the sand?
Agonize over using social media but still do nothing?
Or, decide to develop your own social media program and steal a march on your competitors yourself?
Think about it, trust me your competitors are!
That’s it for now!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
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My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.