7 Ways to Track Your Competition With Social Media

With every business comes competition. There will always be another company that offers the same services as you do and there will always be companies that try to steal your customers; it’s all part of the game. This is why you must always be a step ahead and you can do this by constantly tracking your competitors. Not does tracking your competition help you get ahead, but you can also get some great ideas. If business is slow, sometimes it helps to see what you’re competitors are doing that you’re not and learn from them.

So how do you keep track of your competition? By using social media of course! Let’s take a look at 7 online tools that will help you monitor your competition using nothing but social media.

Topsy

Topsy is a “real-time search for the social web.” It lets you view web results, tweets, photos, and videos for any search term, thus making it perfect for spying on your competitors. You can see how many times a link was shared or tweeted and see which influential users are doing the tweeting and retweeting. You can also create email alerts or subscribe via RSS whenever there are new results for your search, which makes it easy to keep up with your competition on a daily basis.

Radian6

With too many features to count, Radian6 is the ultimate social media monitoring tool. It gives you “a complete platform to listen, measure, and engage with your customers” and is also good, of course, for spying out the competition. It includes integrated workflows, alerts, sentiments (see the good and the bad of what’s being said), and monitoring across blogs, forums, news outlets and Twitter. You can use it to view conversations (in real-time) that are going on about your competitors. Radian6 then collects these conversations and puts them into charts and graphs making it easy to analyze and get insights.

Social Mention

Social Mention is a “real-time social media search and analysis” tool that is very similar to Topsy (mentioned above). You can use it to search for your competitor’s name and see what is being said across the web. It provides metrics in regards to strength, sentiment, passion, and reach; plus you can see how many unique authors have mentioned them and how many retweets they’ve received. You can also see how many mentions per minute your competition is receiving and the last time it was mention. If needed, you can save this data as a CSV/Excel file and receive updates via email or RSS feed.

You can search through blogs, microblogs, networks, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, videos, audio, and questions. While you can search through all social sources (by default), Social Mention also gives you the option to choose your social sources manually.

Trackur

Trackur is a social media monitoring tool comparable to Radian 6 (mentioned above). It allows you to monitor keywords and export your results to Excel for further analysis. You can, of course, use it to track your competition across the web and see what positive and negative things are being said about them. Within the interface you can also save results for future follow-up or send to a coworker or client. You’re able to receive updates via email or RSS.

Addict-o-matic

Addict-o-matic is a unique social search tool that lets you “instantly create a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic.” This tool is great for summarizing your competitor’s buzz in a single location that serves kind of like a dashboard. You’ll be able to see a glimpse of all mentions of them from blogs, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, YouTube, and more; you can then click for more results from a single source if you’re interested. Your results can then be shared and bookmarked for later referencing.

Also, just like Social Mention (mentioned above), you can choose your search sources manually.

Google Alerts

There’s always good old Google alerts, which many people swear by. It’s super easy and quick to setup. All you have to do is setup an alert with your competitor’s name and then you’ll automatically receive an email (or you can subscribe via RSS) whenever there are new results mentioning them. You can get results for everything on the web or choose individually from news, blogs, real-time, video, or discussions.

Twitter Search

Finally we have Twitter Search, which is a lot more powerful than people realize. Twitter is where the majority of discussions are taking play now, so it only make sense to keep track of what’s being said about anything and anyone on Twitter.

The advanced search feature makes it one of the best tools for tracking your competitors. Just check out some of the advanced options in the images below. You can really take advantage of the attitudes area by swooping in for the steal whenever you find tweets with a negative attitude.

You can also set up and save search queries and then subscribe to them via RSS or use third party apps to receive updates by email.

Every one of these tools offers updates by email and/or RSS feed; so if you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to sign up for at least one and start tracking your competition as soon as possible! Don’t lose customers because you’re not on your job. To reiterate, you always have to be one step ahead of the competition.

This is a post by Lior Levin who works for an MA in political science faculty and also with the MA in security program in Tel Aviv university. Lior is a student and an online consultant.


55 thoughts on “7 Ways to Track Your Competition With Social Media”

  1. PPC Ian says:

    This is a really great guest post, I’m going to bookmark this one. I have not heard of may of these sites/services and I’m looking forward to checking them out, learning, and tracking my competition!

    1. Virtual Tour says:

      They are all really good sites. I’ve tried Radian6 before and really loved them.

    2. Abhik says:

      Me too heard about many of those services for the first time.

    3. Comeon Ian I am sure you heard about google reader, tweet search.

      1. SportsNub says:

        Of course, they are the most common ones.

      2. Erwin Miradi says:

        @ZK Now that’s new for me. Thanks for the info 😛

    4. Kevin Kimes says:

      I normally don’t just say “great post”, so I’ll try to do more than that. 😉

      This is a rare guest post that truly brings a lot to the table for readers. All of these tools are new to me, and look very useful. I’m bookmarking it as well and will be looking up your blog. Err, it looks like you don’t have one?

      What’s a guest post for, if not to drive traffic or build popularity? 🙂

  2. social media its an big process love to be part of it

  3. Haru says:

    thanks for sharing..i never know all of this tools 😀

    i will try it.

    1. They are really common.

  4. Raluca says:

    It is always better to be one step ahead. Imagine that you take an idea from a competitor, another idea from another competitor. You get to create a complex website/ blog/ product. It’s brilliant!

    1. That’s right, a Chinese proverb – when you sleep, it’s always someone who trains to beat you.

      1. Abhik says:

        Hmm!! Nice proverb. And, very meaningful.

        1. That’s right, never stop working with your SEO and looking at your enemies blogs or web sites.

  5. I think Google Alerts is one of the most underused tool

    1. SportsNub says:

      Yeah, I find hardly anyone from my friends using it!

    2. Google Alerts are really good for finding related keyword based blog post for commenting.

  6. Erwin Miradi says:

    Nice. I have never heard some of those tools before. I think I’ll try each one of them out. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Phil says:

    That´s something.

    I have a monitoring site like that, with a special Twitter monitoring tool.
    Completely forgot about it, untill I read this post.

    Turns out there are quite a few users. Maybe it´s time to start monetizing a bit 🙂
    Thanks John and Lior !

  8. MIchael says:

    These are some great tools. Thanks for sharing! I’ll definitely have to watch my competition a bit more with some of these tools.

  9. Virtual Tour says:

    Would love it if you posted monthly prices along with this!

  10. Great stuff. I’ve been only using Google Alerts. Until now!

    1. SportsNub says:

      Surely, it is great stuff. I also liked it!

  11. fas says:

    Awesome options. You can even use feeds through pulse for iPhone.

  12. kishore says:

    I know only Google alerts (after reading Problogger ebook) till now but after reading this post I have found some other tools. Thank you Dude.

  13. Eddie Smith says:

    Hi John, Eddie Smith here with Topsy Labs.
    Appreciate the mention and positive comments about topsy.com!
    We also make free analytics service available at analytics.topsy.com, which you may find useful to track competitive domains. Here’s an example of techcrunch and mashable: http://analytics.topsy.com/?q=techcrunch.com%2Cmashable.com
    Hope you find this useful.

  14. fazal mayar says:

    this is a great post, ive not heard of all these sites before. Tracking competition is what webmasters should do.

  15. I never thought there are a lot of them. I only use Social Mention. Better check if the others are better. 🙂

  16. Thanks for the tools; I need them in my work and in the hard competition on the first page on Google.

  17. Thanks for the tool this is the first time am hearing about this tool

  18. Abhik says:

    Awesome read!!
    Learned a lot of new things. Thanks Lior.

  19. Google Alerts are the best in my opinion after having tried them today.

  20. Renee says:

    With all of these options, plus many more, it’s clear that companies should make sure that they are tracking their social media mentions, as well as their competitors. Either that or hiring someone who will do it for them. Thanks for outlining these.

  21. Thanks a lot, man! I need these things like i need air :))

  22. Todd says:

    John,

    These are really good tips once again. I am always amazed at the thought you put into your posts. Things like Google Alerts are so useful for what you say here and link building also. You are truly ahead of many.

  23. I have tried this tool but need some guidance to use it

  24. bestbrands says:

    great list and good info on how to use these to the best effect. thanks for compiling.

    1. SportsNub says:

      Yeah, surely there are many awesome services listed there above.

  25. Boy these are some awesome tools which can be really useful if you use it perfectly and efficiently.

    1. yes you are really right @ZK

    2. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yeah they are.. But don’t you think it’s just too much to do if we have to use it all? Or am I the only lazy guy here?

      1. the thing is based on our mind

  26. Aamir says:

    some usefull tools out ther

  27. This is really great post. Thanks for share.

  28. Some best tools are mentioned here love to check it out

  29. Wow great technics ,all ways are useful indeed.

  30. As much as possible i will keep in mind those all.thanks for sharing…

  31. Competition brings out the best in every business… and the best result is quality products to the consumers.

  32. social media is the best place where we can receive lots of traffic from it

  33. Now everything is started to depend on social media as people love to spend a time on it

  34. Essays says:

    I am already using Trackur, to track SM. It is a very light tool which tells me exactly how my competitors are performing in SM.

  35. Technary says:

    Addict-o-matic is cool.

  36. who2india says:

    I currently use google alerts and works good, would try one of those from the list if I can find a better one than I use.

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