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Social marketing has been an important business trend of the past decade. Companies generate sales from Instagram, Facebook and other platforms because when users like and share content, a large trusted network of friends and family pay attention to it, and even share the content along to their network.
Ninety-three percent (93%) of people say they trust the recommendations of family and friends when it comes to information on brands and services while only 38% trust info from advertisers, according to a 2020 survey by Kantar Media. Thus, when companies pay for traditional advertising their conversion rates can be lower compared to social media where content can be shared and viewed by a trusted network.
This dynamic incentivizes companies to monitor the best practices of other businesses, including competitors in one’s industry, when it comes to running a branded campaign on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Marketers want to see when and how often to publish; which images, videos and captures get the most likes and comments; and what types of content receive the most audience engagement. Presumably, a business earns more revenue from increased impressions, follows and subscribers.
Other key signals include reach, leads generated and sign-ups.
Tracking Competitors On Social Media
When Tony Noskov founded Snoopreport, he wanted to help individuals and businesses design and create better communication strategies. He decided to focus on an Instagram tracking tool. Noskov’s IG tracker and monthly reports enable individuals and companies to monitor user behavior and engagement. And these lead to actionable social marketing insights.
“Snoopreport works by surveilling a public account’s IG activity whether friend, spouse or business,” says Noskov. “You can see who or what a brand likes or follows on the platform. For businesses, it’s an important advantage considering that Instagram has 120 million U.S. users.”
Monitoring the competition is nothing new. In fact, 2,500 years ago Sun Tzu advocated for it. In “The Art of War” he wrote, “If you know the enemy and know thyself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
But businesses are having to shift focus to where the action is, and these days that means observing what fellow industry players are doing on social media. Trust is an important intangible currency of business. When friends and family discuss a brand on Instagram, Twitter and elsewhere, that leads to revenue. Ecommerce makes up 15.8 percent of total interactions on Instagram, according to a January 2020 report by Socialbakers.
What rivals do can range from badmouthing your brand or company, to conducting online sweepstakes and giveaways, to secretly paying off bloggers, influencers and celebrities to conduct (biased) product reviews.
By tracking these activities, decision makers can see the most effective ways to develop brand awareness, grow social following and obtain lucrative sales conversions in free-to-use platforms.
Managers can also see which types of campaigns are more cost-efficient which leads to higher ROI. Finally, businesses that conduct surveillance can avoid certain bad practices such as posting ineffective photos and captions that put audiences to sleep.
Getting Deep Insights On Social Users
“There are two important components of social monitoring,” says Noskov. “First, you must observe competitors’ operational capabilities, some of which can be revealed on Instagram. Secondly, a business should assess the efficacy of competitors’ digital marketing campaigns, which is critical for growing online revenue.”
Snoopreport’s Instagram activity tracker enables marketers to build a list of target influencers, have an informed outreach effort to journalists and bloggers, and get deep insights into an audience or demographic. Observers can see which Instagram posts, images, videos and captions give competitors the most engagement. They can also track which influencers and brands they like, follow and work with.
Answers to the following questions help decision makers to make data-driven choices on strategy, hiring and day-to-day management:
What prices are competitors charging? Do they offer discounts on IG? What types of promotions are they running?
Are rivals selling exclusive products or service offerings on Instagram? Have they initiated an affiliate program? Do they offer free shipping? Which influencers or celebrities do they hire?
Measuring Engagement And ROI
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
When increasing online sales (and/or IG conversion rates), two key performance indicators (KPIs) are customer acquisition costs and lifetime value of customers.
By knowing customer acquisition costs, a business can determine the profitability of gaining new customers, and that should drive the marketing budget. Low acquisition costs (such as by using Instagram or YouTube) make it lucrative to acquire new customers and perhaps even sell data to third parties in order to add revenue streams.
Secondly, an estimate of lifetime value of customers should inform the marketing budget, as well as tell management how lucrative an online operation is. For example, credit cards, lotteries and health products have the highest lifetime customer value because these products induce recurring, high-margin purchases.
The two said KPIs help a company calculate the ROI of customer acquisition. IG marketing can be effective in industries that rely on multimedia in marketing campaigns. Think fashion, travel and beauty products. Tracking tools help marketers optimize their campaigns.