As more and more marketers begin to take a holistic approach to their online marketing, we run into multiple instances where one form of marketing can help and benefit another. One of the first examples that comes to my mind is social media monitoring and its great impact on SEO. For the longest time SEOs have been using social media monitoring in one form or another. Whether they were setting up Google Alerts, aggressively monitoring RSS feeds from top industry blogs or nowadays, using tools to track mentions across the social web, they were always looking for opportunities.
What many marketers forget to do, however, is to look outside their own brand to find new opportunities. That's where social media monitoring for competitive analysis comes into play. The idea is that you can learn a lot from the way your competitors are interacting in the social realm, and directly apply that knowledge to your SEO campaign. Let's take a look at a few ways that we can configure our favorite social media monitoring tool to provide insight to our competitive SEO campaign.
Where are they guest blogging?
Obviously, you're going to want to take a good hard look at where your competitors are guest blogging and/or getting reviews on, because it is an opportunity for you to build the same link to your own site. Setup a custom social media monitoring search that only looks at blogs for this search.
Which forums they are participating in or being discussed?
We always seem to have these searches setup for ourselves, but quickly negate the importance of having our top competitors forum activity also monitored. This is a great way to find new communities to participate in and to occasionally setup a link or two. Use caution when you spot any negative comments about your competitors. While it may seem like a great opportunity to show off how great your product is, it may just create a reputation management for yourself.
Which blog posts had the biggest successes and failures in key social communities?
Having trouble getting your posts to go viral? Take advantage of some free consulting, courtesy of your top competitors. What type of headlines resonate best in your industry (lists, news, interviews, etc.)? What does the structure of your competitors' most popular posts look like (e.g. how many images are included?) Which posts are generating the most comments? Break down and analyze all of their top posts to try and get any insight into what made them hot. Don't forget about their flops, either. You can learn just as much from them.
Which Twitter users mention them the most?
One of the best ways to spread your link bait is through the mouths of your industry's top influencers. You're going to want to keep track of who tweeted about your competitors posts, how many retweets followed and if they were adding anything to the discussion. Identifying these influencers and creating a good relationship with them will play a major roll in how quickly your content can spread (and links can be generated).
What other ways are you using social media monitoring tools to capitalize on your competitors marketing efforts?