How Does Your Brand Compare to the Competition?

5 Competitive Comparison Questions Social Data Can Answer

How does your brand stack up to your top competitors?

While there are many different metrics you can use to compare yourself to the competition, it isn’t always easy to understand how your brand compares where it really matters: in the eyes of the consumer.

So how can brands tap into the voice of the consumer and use analytics to compare themselves to their rivals?

Social media data provides an endless stream of details about how consumers feel about your competition’s branding, products, campaigns and more. These authentic, unsolicited conversations can help brands answer nearly every question about how they compare to the competition.

While you might already be looking at simple metrics like competitors’ Facebook likes or Twitter followers, you can gain much deeper competitive intelligence using social media analytics. The trillions of conversations on social media can serve as a window into your entire competitive landscape—providing visibility into everything from feelings about competitors’ products to emerging trends in your industry.

Unlike more traditional methods of competitive analysis, analyzing social data allows brands to understand changes to their business environment in real time. With real-time competitive intelligence, brands can capitalize on marketing, product, and advertising opportunities more quickly.

But it’s not always easy to know where to start. While there are an endless amount of questions you can answer about your competition with social, here are five basic questions to get you started:

What’s my brand’s share of voice compared to my competitors?

Share of voice tells you how much people are discussing your brand in relation to your competitors. This metric is only part of the story, as a large share of voice could be due to PR crisis or negative feedback, but it can also give you insight into your brand awareness relative to the competition.

Social data can help you visualize your brand’s share of voice in any competitive context, such as this breakdown of the conversation surrounding running shoe brands.

How do consumers feel about your competitors?

The next thing to look at after share of voice is the sentiment of the conversation about your brand and compare it volume. This allows you to see how consumers feel about your brand vs. your competition. Tracking sentiment and how it changes over time can help your brand understand how your PR and marketing efforts impact consumer perception in relation to competitors.

Social data can help you compare consumer sentiment about your competitions to add context to your share of voice. Here, Saucony has the smallest share of voice but most positive sentiment.

What are the topics associated with my competitor’s product?

For deeper context into what’s driving sentiment, you can look at the key topics in the conversation to understand what consumers are saying about your brand or products. Knowing the words and phrases consumers use to describe a competitor’s product can help you better understand where your own brand and product fit in — as well as identify opportunities for you to position yourself to capture conversation and, ultimately, market share from your competitors.

Understanding the demographics of your competitor’s audience and comparing it yours can help your brand determine where to focus efforts to increase your customer base. If you’re audience skews older, looking at ways to reach a younger demographic will help you stay competitive. Additionally looking at geography and gender can give you an even better idea of how to engage your current audience and expand it.

Social analysis can give you detailed info on who’s talking about your brand in relation to your competition. Here the chart shows that Patagonia owns the over 35 age demographic, but that North Face is the most discussed around younger demographics like 17 and under and 18-24 year olds.

How do my audience’s interests compare to my competitor’s?

Knowing what your target audience cares about is the key to keeping them engaged. But how can you understand the differences between your audience and your competitor’s? Going beyond demographics, social media analysis provides a detailed look at any audience’s interests. Looking at how your audience’s interests compare to a competitor’s can give you a stronger understanding of how to appeal to your competitor’s fans. For a deeper look at potential avenues to increase your customer base, you can look specifically at the interests for any audience you want to target.

Social analysis can help brands understand their what their competitor’s audience is interested in to compare with their own. This chart shows how the interests of the Toyota audience compare to Honda’s.

Want to learn more about competitive analysis of social data? Download our free guide, Social Media Analytics for Competitive Intelligence.

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