Your brand may be awesome in your brand category, but I am sure you have some key competition out there that you’d love to have a better handle on. Nowadays with social media being the norm and most brands increasing their transparency, it has become easier to track what your competition is up to, how consumers feel about their brand, and how often consumers engage and interact with the competition.
Topsy: A convenient search tool that assists you in searching through a stream of conversations. It is able to look through people’s web pages and conversations and detect relationships, who influences who, and what people are saying about a brand (your competition) and where. It also assists to detect what content is being ReTweeted the most — thus demonstrating that this content is of value and shows what people feel towards it. This is useful to see how your competitor is influencing its target market, what the target market feels towards the content put out by the competition and how often and how they engage with the competition. Thus, allowing you to see what they are doing better than you, and how you can compete on a similar, if not higher level.
Twellow: “A directory of public Twitter accounts, with hundreds of categories and search features to help you find people who matter to you.” This is super helpful in order to see which competitors of yours are on Twitter and are using it on a regular and consistent basis and engaging with their target market as well. That way, you can see how far ahead or behind you may be in your brand category in regards to online engagement.
Wefollow: Similar to Twellow as a Twitter directory. It also has categories such as tech, news, and music as well as by follower counts. Once again, this tool is helpful for determining what your competition is doing on Twitter, if they’re on Twitter, and the engagement they have with their consumers. Do you feel like a detective yet?
Tweepi: This tool is helpful to get info on the followers of your competition. You can see details on each follower such as bio information, number of followers, number of updates, previous tweets, etc. Why is this cool? It allows you to get inside the consumer’s conversation with the competition and other people in the target market in your brand category. You can see what the target market thinks about the competition, how they’re conversing, what they like and don’t like.
Backtype: Great tool that allows you to get alerts about where and when your competitors are talking online. You can see what they are promoting, who they are engaging with, and what they’re saying to your mutual target market whether on their website, Twitter, or other social platform. All you have to do is enter the URL, topic or person to see the impact they are having and where. Free.
Website grader: Grades your website and your competition so you can compare how well they’re doing in comparison to you. Helpful to see who is linking to them, what their Google PR is and more! Free for web version and iPhone!
Feedcompare: 2 easy steps: (1): Type in the FeedBurner Feed Name Or Full FeedBurner Feed URL;
(2): Simply Press “Compare” Button ( Click and Drag to Zoom In ). Once you do this for free — you can compare your feedburner subscriber numbers with that of your competition and see how well you’re doing!
Xinu returns: Helpful to get and analyze statistics on website SEO, in order to gain insight on how well or how poor your competitors’ sites are doing in Google (and other search engines), social bookmarking sites, etc. Unbelievably helpful in order to stay on top and move beyond your competition on an online and offline level. Free.
Every brand in each brand category has to think about its competition and make sure they are staying on level, if not ahead of what the competition is doing. This isn’t always easy, but with the help of these social tools, it is slightly easier to ensure you know what your competition is doing online, how they’re engaging, where they’re engaging, and what your mutual target market is saying. It may feel like spying, but being a detective and strategizing is part of the fun and game of competing.
Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot