Succeeding on social media can seem as elusive as winning the lottery, but it is not all about going viral. While seeing the success of brands with high engagement like Starbucks and Buzzfeed can be inspiring, you should be looking to your peers to decide what content works and what does not.
One of the great things about social media is that you have a free, easy way to track your competitors, along with what is going on in your industry and the area. With helpful insights and a watchful eye, let us show you how to rise up and take control of your social media monitoring!
Keep Up On Facebook
Every day we log in on Facebook, there seems to be a new feature for scheduling posts or running ad campaigns. Similar to Facebook, there will always be something new from your competitors: new posts, new videos, new ways to promote their property that you may not have thought of yet. It can be daunting, but we are here to explain how you can stay caught up with the latest from your competitors.
One of the easiest ways to monitor your competition on Facebook is by selecting your top competitors (at least five) and marking them as “Pages to Watch.” To do so, navigate to the ‘Insights’ tab.
Scroll to the bottom of this page, where you will see “Pages to Watch.” Click “Add Pages” and type in the names of your competitors, clicking the “+ Watch Page” button when they appear. When you are done adding all of your competitors, the bottom of the Insights Overview page should look similar to the example below.
Now that you have “Pages to Watch” set up, the next part is simple: watch those Pages! If you click on the Page name, you can see their most recent post. Listed out next to each Page are the number of Page likes and the current week’s posts published and engagement. Above “Pages to Watch” is a section titled, “Your 5 Most Recent Posts,” where you can easily compare how your latest posts are performing to your competitors (key metrics are reach and engagement).
You can compare your Page to your competitors’ using whatever metric you feel is relevant for the growth of your Page. For example, if you are looking to increase Page likes, you can compare your total Page likes to those of your competitors, along with your percentage of growth over the past week. Are you looking to increase engagement? You can measure your engagement this week against that of your Pages to Watch, then look at your engagement on Your 5 Most Recent Posts and see what is performing best. From there, you can gauge what you should be posting more, and what you should be posting less. The best part is, this is a free tool that anyone can use.
Keep Up On Twitter
Facebook’s Insights are a great way to monitor how you are performing right next to your competitors, but what about Twitter? Before getting started with your monitoring on Twitter, be sure to follow your competitors so you can see them in your Twitter feed. This is as easy as clicking the “follow” button on their Twitter profile.
Twitter offers a free tool available to any Twitter user called TweetDeck. TweetDeck gives users the opportunity to add columns that allow you to see your timeline, all scheduled tweets, your notifications, and more. As an example, you can add a column with relevant search terms for your property so you can monitor any tweets that come through that include those terms.
Once you are in TweetDeck, click the “Add Column” button. You will notice you have many options here, as shown below.
For the purpose of this blog post, we will be choosing the “search” option, which will prompt you to enter your search term. This will populate a new column in your TweetDeck, like our “Blue Magnet Interactive” search example below.
We also have a search column up in this example for #prettygreat, which is one of the hashtags that Embassy Suites has used on social to promote their brand. Not only can you add search columns to your TweetDeck to monitor your own hotel, but you can also add columns to monitor your competition! Instead of navigating to “search” in the “Add column” box, click on “User.” From here, you can type the name of any Twitter account and their tweets will show up in their own dedicated column in your TweetDeck account.
Similarly to Facebook’s Insights, this allows you to monitor what your competitors are posting about. With Twitter, you can see what hashtags they are utilizing, what accounts they are mentioning, and more. You can add as many columns as you like: search terms, users, hashtags, lists – whatever you decide is relevant for your brand. Try it yourself and see what new things you discover about your local area and what you should be posting about more often!
Keep Up On Instagram
If you are following along with the competition on both Facebook and Twitter, you should know how you can keep up on Instagram as well. Though Instagram does not offer a tool similar to the way Facebook has Business Manager and Twitter has TweetDeck, there are ways that you can keep an eye on your competition.
The first step is, much like Facebook and Twitter, follow your competitors. Beyond that, you can turn on post notifications if you truly wish to keep up with what they are posting on Instagram, since their new algorithm means that posts in your feed no longer appear chronologically, making it easy to miss posts from accounts you follow.
To turn on post notifications for a specific user, go to their profile, tap the three dots in the top left corner, and select Turn on Post Notifications” (you can turn on Story Notifications here as well). You will then be notified on your mobile device every time that account posts .
Looking at the posts your competitors are sending out on Instagram allows you to be in the know about their updates, local area events, and any specials that you may wish to emulate. You may even find inspiration from their captions, along with what hashtags they are utilizing and how they are using them. Using hashtags on your Instagram posts allows them to be seen by a wider audience and can help your following to grow each day.
We have included this fact in three of our Blue Magnet blog posts, but with good reason: posts on Instagram including at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those without.
By using hashtags, your post is catalogued so other Instagram users who use the same hashtag can find it. People who are searching for the hashtags you are using will see your content, and if they like what they see, they may decide to give you a follow.
Can You Keep Up?
With these free tools at your fingertips, you are ready to keep up with your competitors, and even outperform them once you harness the data you are monitoring properly. Actively observing your competition’s social media accounts can help your hotel stay at the top of the game in your local area and will help to ensure that you never miss a trick when it comes to keeping up. Check in once or twice a month, or as you are creating your content, so you can keep a watchful eye on how your competitors are performing and what they are posting. Are there any useful insights that you have taken away from watching what your competitors do on social media? Let us know on our social channels! Need assistance monitoring your social profiles and competitive set? We are happy to answer any questions you may have or offer guidance through the social realm!