Track competitors on social media

1. Search for your competitors and create a spreadsheet with columns for account name and social media platforms.

If you don’t already know who your competitors are, search for keywords related to your business to identify other companies offering similar products or services. Create a spreadsheet with one column for the competitors’ names, along with columns for each social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn). Fill in your spreadsheet with up to 10 direct competitors and their social media links.

2. Rank your competitors, from the most to the least similar.

Add a column for rank. Input the rank of each competitor from 1-10, with 1 being the most similar, and 10 being the least similar. Sort the spreadsheet by rank so the most relatable competitors are listed first.

3. Determine what information you will collect from your competitors' social media accounts.

For example, what information they share in their bio, the types of content they post, post frequency, tone of their posts, etc. Add columns to your spreadsheet to document this information.

4. Use a free tool like Social Blade to gather primary account information such as growth, followers, and posting patterns.

Choose a platform in the top right corner. Type the name of the competitor’s account as it shows up on the platform. Only accounts with a sizable following will show up (over 1000 followers or likes). Scroll down and enter the number of followers in your spreadsheet.

5. Compare the design, tone, and cadence of competitor posts.

Assess competitor posts across the different platforms and spot any differences in the post creation, post-delivery, and/or tone of voice. This part is subjective, as there can be minor differences such as a difference in time of posting, which provides insights into which alternative times you can post.

6. Add competitor accounts on Facebook Audience Insights to track page engagements.

Go to your Facebook page, select Insights, and scroll to the bottom of the page to view the Pages To Watch section. Click the Add Pages button and add at least five pages to follow. Facebook will send a notification to the page itself, but it will not mention which account is following them. Look at the Engagement this week and Posts this week sections and compare them to last week’s.

7. Search for competitor pages in the Facebook Ad Library and record their paid ads in your spreadsheet.

Enter the most common types of ads they are running. Enter the type of copy used for each type of ad. Consider taking screenshots of the ads and adding them to your spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can click the … icon on the ad, and then click Copy Ad Link to generate a URL that you can paste into your spreadsheet. However, this URL could expire.

8. Conduct a monthly audit of your competitors and document your findings to help you compare your progress.

Record the increase in engagement of each new account and their new followers. Take notes about the visual aspects of last week’s posts and compare them with your own posts.