Sure, the word industrial espionage has an illegal (perhaps even unethical) ring to it, but it is necessary for your company to thrive and prosper.

While the average landing page conversion rate online is about 2.35 percent, the top 25 percent of all websites have a conversion rate of about 5.31 percent. Furthermore, the top 10 percent go as high as a 11.45 percent conversion rate. With this in mind, it becomes more than clear that these industry giants know something that their bottom-tier counterparts don’t. The same thing goes for one’s social media strategy – and here are a few tips on how you can learn by observing your competitors.

Demographic is More Important than Product

Instead of observing businesses that are peddling the same product you are, you need to focus on businesses that are targeting the same demographics, since they are your most direct competitors. You see, different demographics have different favorite social networks.

For instance, teens spend the most time on Snapchat, while some platforms such as Pinterest are usually favored by the female part of the population. What you need to do is check which social networks your competitors are the most active across and focus on them yourself. Naturally, you should mostly look at the top-dogs of your industry.

Analyze their Content

According to experts behind a prestigious SEO company, some websites have a consistently better conversion rate and some of these features may be the reason why. With this in mind, another thing you probably want to do is analyze the content of your competitors. For instance, you can start by looking at the keyword density, the length of posts, color palette used in the layout and the number of images per post. Aside from this, you need to look for any sign of increased engagement or follower growth.

Be Systematic

Whatever you do, make sure that you are systematic in your research. In order to build a solid social media strategy, you need a lot of specific data. For instance, you might want to make a table that consists of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. For each of these, you need to know the number of followers, the frequency of posting, the type of published content, as well as some numbers regarding follower engagement.

Furthermore, one of the most important metrics you should also follow is the original-to-sourced content ratio. Once you make a table for each of the competitors you are currently observing, you will have all you need in order to start strategizing.

Finding the Right Opportunity

Another thing you need to focus on is the time when you should actually share. Posting exactly the same type of content at the exact same time your competitors do might be quite tricky.

Nonetheless, there must be a reason why they picked that exact time to post or tweet something, which is also something you should take a closer look at. Numerous surveys show that different social networks have different optimal times of sharing. For instance, the optimal time to share on Facebook is between 1 pm and 4 pm on Wednesdays, while the best time for Twitter is Mondays to Thursdays between 9 am and 3 pm.

In Conclusion

To a layman, most of this may seem quite random, but there is a method to this madness. It isn’t by accident that some online businesses make it and others don’t. Still, you need to learn these patterns on your own. Using the right tone, the right tweet length, the right moment and even the right hashtag can make a difference between a complete success and utter failure. With this in mind, observing your competition gives you an opportunity to learn from the successes and mistakes of others.



** About the Author: Chloe Smith is a business consultant with a passion for writing.