When it comes to social media, especially Twitter, having a great communications strategy is a must. If you’re struggling with finding your voice, look no further than your competitors for some inspiration. Conduct Twitter competitor analysis!

You’re aiming at the same audience, so picking and choosing the best bits of your competitor’s Twitter strategy can be a good way to discover which path you should take.

Since stalking your competitors Twitter profile is not the most productive way to go, in this blog, we’ll show you how you can use Mediatoolkit for it. 

But first, let us explain why you should consider doing competitor analysis in the first place.

Reasons for conducting competitor analysis

There are many benefits you can get from the competitor analysis, we listed some of them below:

  • Benchmarking: competitor analysis provides you with valuable information that you can use to find out how your brand performs in contrast to your competitors. This is important because you’ll be able to detect what you’re doing right, and what needs improvement. 
  • Content ideas: if you’re stuck in a rut with your content ideas, competitors can be a great source of inspiration. Also, you can analyze which type of content their customers like the best and implement it into your content strategy.
  • Discovering the best communication channels: it doesn’t matter how good your content is if your target audience can’t see it. Competitor analysis can show you which channels your competitors are getting the most engagement on, so you can switch your communication efforts there.
  • Product development: it’s important to be aware of your customer reviews, but it’s also important to be aware of competitors’ reviews, as well. That way you’ll be able to see what competitors’ products lack and improve your product to win their customers over.
  • Industry trends: being up-to-date with all the latest trends and news is important if you want to stand out. By monitoring what’s going on in your industry and with your competitors, you can spot trends in the making and be the first one to embrace them. 

The list could be even longer, but we think this couple of benefits are strong enough to make you reconsider doing a competitive analysis. 

Now, let’s move on to the Twitter competitor analysis and the concrete steps you can take to make it successful.

Step 1: Decide which competitors you want to analyze

Chances are you have plenty of competitors in your niche, and you don’t have to analyse them all. There are various ways you can decide on which ones to analyze. You can focus on the top brands in your niche or the ones you think are the closest to the goal you want to achieve. 

If you’re not sure who your competitors are, you can:

  • Google relevant keywords: a simple Google search with relevant keywords regarding your industry or product can provide you with an overview of your competitors.
  • Search hashtags on social media: this is quite similar to the previous point. The keywords you used in the Google search can help you find social media posts of your competitors.
  • Media monitoring tools: if you don’t want to waste time on googling or searching through social media platforms, you can automate the process with media monitoring tools. Again, you can use the same keywords to create queries and get mentions from websites, social media, and forums containing those keywords. In addition, you can go to reports and automatically see which articles or posts have the biggest reach and engagement and decide on which competitors you want to analyze further. That way you’ll be sure that you’re focusing on competitors that have a good strategy that customers engage with. 

In the next step, you’ll take the list of competitors you decided on and create queries in Mediatoolkit for further analysis.

Step 2: Create queries in Mediatoolkit

Mediaoolkit can be used for tracking everything from your brand, key people, campaigns, products, etc. Therefore, a smart thing to do is to categorize all queries in specific folders. That way you can avoid queries mixing up and valuable information getting overlooked.

That’s why it’s a good idea to create a “competitor” folder (like the one in the picture below) in which you can put all of your queries related to the competitor analysis. 

Competitors' folder in Twitter competitor analysis

If you’re new to the tool, you can learn how to create queries in the video below:

Finally, when you’re done with setting up your queries, it’s time for the most interesting part – analysis!

Step 3: Twitter competitor analysis with Mediatoolkit reports

In Mediatoolkit there are four types of reports: basic, advanced, competitor and custom.

Usually, if you wanted to analyse competitors (i.e. their mentions on every channel) you would use a competitor analysis report. However, in this case you’re only analyzing competitor’s performance on Twitter, the best way to go are custom reports

If you’re new to the tool, you can learn more about custom reports in the video below:

Custom reports allow you to add/remove charts in the report and set the parameters you want to analyze. For this blog, we created a custom Twitter competitor analysis report from scratch in which we analyzed the performance of KFC and its competitors – Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s.

Suggested read: Get the Most Out of Your Media Monitoring Analytics: Create Unique Custom Charts and Dashboards

Here are the two examples of Twitter competitor analysis:

1. Analyzing competitors’ Twitter accounts

When analyzing the competitors’ Twitter accounts, you’re focusing on what they’re posting, when, and how those posts perform in terms of reach, engagement, virality, etc. This information can help you improve your own strategy and results.

To analyze specific competitors’ Twitter accounts, you need to add their Twitter account to sources for the tool to start tracking them.

Setting up queries for Twitter competitor analysis

When you’re done setting up queries, you can move on to creating reports. Here are the charts we’ve used: 

1. Share of impressions

Share of impressions in Twitter competitor analysis

The first thing you want to look out for in Twitter competitor analysis is the share of impressions. This will give you a great insight into whether people are seeing your content.

As you can see from the graph, among the brands we picked for the analysis, McDonald’s undoubtedly has the biggest share impressions (around 80%), while KFC has less than 1%. This is a clear indication that KFC needs to step up their game and change their strategy. Here’s where the next two graphs come in handy.

2. Time of posting

Time of posting in Twitter competitor analysis

This graph shows the time of the day KFC and its competitors are posting on their Twitter profiles. As is visible from the graph, McDonald’s posting schedule is quite dense. Since they’re leading with reach and impressions, this could be an indicator for KFC to start posting more.

3. Highest interactions by hour

Highest interactions by hour in Twitter competitor analysis

The highest interactions by hour chart answer the question: “But when should we post?”. It shows the exact time of the day when competitors’ posts get the most interactions. For example, McDonald’s is getting the most interactions on Thursdays around 3 pm and Fridays at 5 pm. 

KFC now knows at what time of the day its competitors are getting most interactions and can test out whether that strategy will work for them.

4. Mentions with the highest reach among competitors

A mention chart is a great way to find out what type of individual tweets from your competitors get the biggest reach.

In this chart you can find out:

  • What type of language your competitors are using in communication with their customers (humour, professional, etc.)
  • Whether they use videos, images, etc.
  • What type of information do they provide
  • How do they reply to customers’ reviews
  • Are they retweeting other people’s tweets
  • What hashtags they’re using

Download the full report below:

2. Analyzing competitors’ Twitter mentions

By analyzing competitors’ mentions on Twitter, you’re focusing on what other people are saying about your competitors. This information is valuable because you can get an insight into what competitors’ customers want and what they’re lacking in competitors’ offers.

The type of information you can get from the Mediatoolkit report is:

  • Total number of mentions per competitor
  • Share of impressions
  • Word Cloud aka most mentioned keywords/topics
  • Sentiment
  • Top influencers (by mentions, sentiment, and reach)

Being that Mediatoolkit automatically collects mentions from various sources, make sure you select the only source you want to track is Twitter while setting up queries.

Setting up sources for Twitter competitor analysis

Let’s break down all of the charts in our report!

1. Total mentions per query

Total mentions per query in Twitter competitor analysis

This chart shows you the total number of you and competitors’ mentions in the selected period. When you click on the number in the report, you can see a list of those mentions in the pop-up window. 

Don’t be alarmed if your brand has significantly fewer mentions than competitors. Maybe your competitor is in the middle of a crisis and people are mentioning them a lot in a negative context. Maybe your competitor just released a cool new campaign and people are raving about it. You’ll find that out in the rest of your report.

2. Share of impressions

Share of impression chart shows you what percentage of the total impressions of mentions you hold. In this case, mentions about KFC are more visible than those mentioning Wendy’s, for example. In other words, posts that KFC’s customers are sharing have more visibility than the posts of other competitors’ customers.

3. Word Cloud

Word Cloud shows you words that people use the most in connection when posting about you and your competitors – in this case, KFC, Wendy’s, Burger King and McDonald’s. This chart is useful when you want to detect general topics that people are curious about.

For example, notice that one of the most mentioned words is “covid”. By clicking on that word you can see all mentions containing it. 

This is a great way to find out what questions people have about your business and COVID. Because of that, you can provide them with useful information right away. Also, if people have specific concerns about COVID and your business, you can reach out to them personally or create content that will reassure them you’re following guidelines.

4. Sentiment

The sentiment is one of the most important metrics you should pay attention to. Remember when we said that the mere number of mentions doesn’t provide you with the big picture? Well, the number of mentions with sentiment surely does. 

Sentiment shows you whether a large number of mentions is a sign of concern or celebration. As you can see from the sentiment chart. Burger King has the largest number of negative sentiment while KFC has one of the lowest. Since the negative sentiment is a reliable indicator of a potential crisis, you’ll be able to notice if your competitors did something wrong. By following the situation you can learn from their mistakes and take notes of how they’re handling the situation.

5. Influencers by number of mentions

With Mediatoolkit you can get a list of influencers that mention you or your competitors the most. By clicking on the name of the influencer you can see all the tweets they’ve posted. Also, you can go a step further and list influencers by sentiment for all competitors. 

You’ll be able to see which influencers talk about your competitors positively and negatively. You can go through their tweets and collect feedback. That way you’ll be able to discover what people like or dislike about your competitors and improve your offer. If you notice that competitors’ influencers are requesting something you already have, you can reach out to them and win them over.

6. Top influencers by reach

Influencers by reach show your and competitors influencers with the biggest reach. This is a great opportunity to discover influencers with big audiences. Some of them could be a great fit for you to collaborate with. That way you can reach new and sometimes bigger audiences and boost your brand awareness.

Download the full report below:

Step 4: Schedule Twitter competitor analysis as digests

Now that you’ve created your report(s), you can schedule to receive them as digests every day, week or month or customize the delivery in some other way that fits your needs. That way you don’t have to think about constantly checking your reports because you’ll receive them in your email. 

To schedule digests, click on the Digest button in the upper right corner of the report and set up your preferences. 

Learn more about digests in the video:

Step 4: Set up Twitter alerts

A great and easy way to constantly monitor your competitors Twitter actions is by setting up alerts. If you have different people in charge of different social media platforms, you can set up alerts to be sent only to the person in charge of Twitter.

You can choose to receive your alerts on different mediums such as email, Slack, HTTP Post, and through a mobile app, and you can also silence them when you’re on vacation or a meeting.

Learn more about alerts in the video:

To sum up

In this blog, we’ve shown you two examples of Twitter competitor analysis you can do with Mediatoolkit. However, there are other things the tool can help you analyze as well – specific competitor Twitter hashtags, competitors’ campaigns, key people, etc.

For example, one of the insights we’ve got from these two Twitter competitor analyses is that KFC’s official Twitter profile is weak on reach and impressions. On the other hand, tweets from their customers are leading among competitors in these areas. In this case, KFC should consider taking a closer look at their influencer list and involve customers in their Twitter strategy to improve those metrics.

Keeping track of competitors’ social media platforms can be a great source of new ideas, practices, and new strategies. That doesn’t mean you should blatantly copy everything your competitors are doing, but you can adopt some of their best practices.

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