How To Use Competitive Analysis To Boost Your Facebook Fan Base

This is Day 26 of the 30 Days to 3,000 Fans program. You can learn more about the program here.
If you are the average small business owner, there is a good chance that the majority of your competition isn’t doing much in the social media space. However there always is at least one person who stands out from the rest and I’m sure you can think of at least one company which accels where others aren’t even trying. For larger brands, having a social media presence (including Facebook) hasn’t been optional for at least a few years now. If you plan on succeeding at building a large presence on Facebook, you will most definitely want to invest time researching how others are succeeding.

The Keys To Success

If you want to analyze the competition, you’ll need to determine what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. To acquire this information you’ll need to do some research but first you need to define what you consider to be successful. If generating more sales is your definition of success, no amount of research you do on Facebook will provide you with answers unfortunately but I can just about guarantee you that any business which has built a sizable fan base is sitting on an opportunity to generate a lot more income. Despite not being able to track the direct impact of new fans to your competitor’s Facebook Pages, you can track a number of other variables:

  • Demographics of fan base – This takes some time to compile depending on the number of fans but is extremely valuable information. If you don’t have the time to do this, grab an assistant off oDesk to do the research for you. Ultimately what you can determine is whether or not the Facebook page administrator for each page has done an effective job at aggregating their target market. If you have thousands of fans but none of them fall within your target market, you aren’t doing a good job.
  • Frequency of updates – Are your competitors actively engaging their fans? What methods are they using to engage them? Over the past 25 days we’ve discussed a number of effective models for engaging fans. Which of those methods are your competitors using? Has increased engagement resulted in an increased number of fans? Take notes about each of their updates and the type of content they are posting. Is there any way you can improve upon what they’ve already begun testing?
  • Level of comments and likes – It’s great if your competitors are updating their fans on a regular basis but how many comments and likes are they receiving? Take a look at those updates which are receiving the most feedback and post similar updates!
  • Completeness of profile – Did your competitor fill out all of their profile information to make themselves more accessible in Facebook’s search tool? Are there empty boxes that aren’t being used and are just sitting around? If so, improving upon what your competition has done won’t be that hard. However if they’ve completed their profile and have a lot of information, see what added value your competitor has been able to provide their fans with. Is there a custom tab which includes additional information? Is there a unique offering in the content of the custom tab? If there are any subtle adjustments that you see in your competitor’s profile, try using them out in yours to see what effect that has.

Post Research Activites

Now that you’ve taken a look at your competition and have essentially ranked them on how effective they’ve been, start figuring out ways you can improve upon what they’re already doing. While I’ve provided a large number of ways to increase your new fan acquisition rate, there are plenty of methods that I’ve missed in this guide. Come up with a full list of some of the new tactics that you’ve found and start testing them out.

Daily Task

Create a list of all your competitors’ Facebook Pages and analyze them using the four factors outlined in this article. Now that you’ve determined some of the tactics that are used by the best Facebook page administrators (as described on Day 19) as well as those tactics already outlined in this guy, you will be able to see what opportunities your competition is seizing as well as missing out on.