How your competitors can help you on social media

When it comes to content inspiration, hashtag research, and

proactive engagement tactics you need look no further than your competitors. 

Huh? Let me explain.

It comes down to the old saying: “There’s no need to reinvent the wheel”. 

If you know someone in your industry who is killing it on Instagram or Facebook, it makes perfect sense to analyse what those competitors are doing/not doing. Use their efforts as inspiration for your social media strategy

I’m not saying to use the same images or to copy their captions but I am saying you can emulate their social activities.

How tracking your competitors to help you with your social media


Method one: content inspiration

I know from experience that it can become difficult to show the same product in different ways over and over again.

You get tired of posting the same photos (and your followers are probably tired of seeing them) but you’re stuck on how to do it differently. 

If you sell a similar product to someone else, you can check out their socials and see what they’re posting to instantly get ideas for your social media as well. You might also see things you don’t want to do! 

This applies to your captions too. I know it can be hard putting words to your photos so drawing some inspo from others can be very helpful.


Method two: hashtags

Confession: The first place I look when putting together custom hashtag lists for clients is… their competitors’ posts. 

Often they’re crap (and I feel like DM’ing them but don’t) but usually, they have at least a few good hashtags to give me some ideas. 

I advise against copying and pasting someone else’s entire hashtag set (often there are hashtags that are brand or location-specific). 

By researching the hashtags used by a few other accounts, you may find that you end up with a great new hashtag list for yourself super easily!


Method three: proactive engagement

Now this one might be a little controversial but I’m going to go there.

I often talk about two different types of engagement – reactive and proactive. Reactive is when you reply to comments people make on your content, while proactive is where you seek out other accounts to engage with. 

The idea of proactive engagement is to get your business in front of potential customers who may have not found you otherwise. It’s a bit like networking or doing a letterbox drop IRL. 

How do you find these accounts to proactively engage with? One way is through your competitors. Go through their lists of followers and also people who engage with their content.

You’re not stealing them, you’re merely “speaking” to them. By simply following them and liking/commenting on a few of their posts you are not stepping on any toes.

There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition

I love healthy competition and am a firm believer in the “community over competition” mantra.

I would never do anything sneaky that I wouldn’t want to be done to me, but I do believe that simple market research and using all the tools you have at your disposal is basic marketing sense. Or it is social sense? 😉 

To be crystal clear, I do not advocate the following:

  1. Using other peoples photos without their permission
  2. DM’ing people who are clearly customers or clients of your competition
  3. Copying captions or copy – use it as inspiration to write your own.

So go! Take a peek! See what goals your competitors are kicking on their socials and get inspired to kick some of your own. 

Looking to DIY your social media for your business? Check out our social media resources online to help you become a social pro faster!

Want me to do this for you? That’s a part of my Instagram Audit! My crazyily comprehensive analysis of your business’s Instagram. Go here to find out more: Instagram Audits