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Competitive Analysis for Facebook

Wouldn’t it be great if you could see your competitors’ web analytics, SEM data, or email open rates?  Unfortunately, that data is 100% private. On the other hand, social media offers a massive opportunity for competitive analysis. It all happens in the open! We just released two new dashboards for social media competitive analysis. You can build a market landscape for any industry or group of brands on Twitter and Facebook. Benchmarking against competitors provides context for performance metrics and insights about how other brands are reaching your target audience.

Case Study

For an example of the basic competitive data available, we did a Facebook analysis of 4 leading light beers – Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Keystone Light. Here’s what we found in the light beer market:

Bud Light leads the category for both Fan Page engagement (posts, comments, likes) and audience size. Bud has 50% relative market share of audience and fan interactions. However, Keystone has a notably higher engagement rate as a percentage of their total audience. Keystone appears to be keeping fans engaged at a higher rate and could leverage this dynamic to gain ground.

Looking at fan engagement over time shows that this market is a rising tide. On a weekly basis, all four brands are trending higher since the start of 2011. Bud Light appeared to have the largest spike around Super Bowl time, far surpassing the other light beers in our analysis.

Let’s peel back the onion and see what we can learn from the underlying composition of fan engagement across these pages. Immediately some differences in behavior/tactics become clear. Miller’s engagement is limited to likes and comments on page admin posts – a quick look at the page shows that they don’t allow fans to post directly on the wall. Miller is alone in this choice within the category. At the other end of the spectrum, Bud has clearly driven fans toward the wall through various promotions. In fact, much of Bud’s fan interaction comes from organic wall posts.

On the same note, Miller’s restricted wall doesn’t seemed to have elevated their per post response rates. Relatively speaking, Coors seems to drive disproportionately high comment volume. Looking at the Coors page shows more Q&A, polls, and content that is highly conducive to commenting.

Take Aways:

– Bud Light is the King of light beers on Facebook. They have a 2x lead on audience size and total engagement compared to the second place light beer. They also show a strong growth trend since the start of 2011.

– This category is growing fast in general. In order to show leadership, brands will have to demostrate break-out growth relative to the rising tide. Simple M/M or W/W internal growth rates may be misleading in this category.

– Keystone Light appears poised to grow. They have industry leading engagement rates on a percentage basis and have an attractive trendline in recent weeks. As a small player with fewer dollars going to traditional media, Keystone appears to be capitalizing on social media.

– Miller appears to be limiting their level of fan interaction (and subsequent news feed exposure). Competitors have made organic fan activity on the wall a focus. Is Miller missing an opportunity here?

All of these charts are stock in Simply Measured. This is only scratching the surface of competitive analysis for social media. If you are looking for an easy way to create reports like this for your brand/market, drop us  a line.

Adam Schoenfeld

Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.

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