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6 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Social Selling

By thought-horizon | Apr 25, 2019

Remember when that friend grabbed a hot timeout deal that was going live at midnight sharp? You figured you’d wait until morning to go get it, but you were too late. You both thought you’d have an equal chance at the deal, but your friend stayed awake, and as soon as the deal went live, booked it.

This is just a small example but well illustrates that competition is omnipresent even in tiny aspects of our lives. Every day can seem like a slog competing over the smallest things and I am sure most of us wish we could erase competition from our lives. But what if we tell you that competition isn’t just an annoyance there for us to beat?

Like, maybe we can learn “Social Selling” from them… No, we aren’t kidding. Let us tell you how to do it.

Why learn from competitors?

First, let’s address that pink elephant in the room.  Yes, learning from competitors might hurt your ego, but then intelligence sometimes lies in being humble. So hold on to us as we explain.

Suppose you are planning to launch a fabulous product, you’ve had comprehensive market research done and invested all of your brains on planning and proposition.

But here’s a twist. One of your main competitors already launched an identical product while you were planning. Suddenly, all that work seems insignificant. You might even lose hope especially if you come to learn that both your product and your competitor’s is too early for the market.

There is a silver lining to this situation, however. Now you know exactly what not to do, and you can relish this opportunity to build something better or introduce this product a bit later and focus on other things for now.

It’s precisely the same when employing social selling in B2B sales. You don’t need to make every mistake to come victorious. After all, as Aristophanes said:

‘The wise learn many things from their enemies.’

Take some inspiration from your competitors and then tailor the best social selling strategy for you. Here are a few things your competitors can teach you about social selling.

1. The Art of Engaging with Target Audience

Are you sure you are connecting with your target audience the right way? There’s no reason to necessarily doubt it, but let’s face it: improvising is the key to success. And your competitors are blessings in disguise when it comes to this. Just go through their social profiles and apply some intelligent analysis to understand the effectiveness of their efforts to impress the target audience. Perhaps it is the right tone, or a stunning design, or maybe the consistency.

In a nutshell, you need to pay close attention to the following key attributes:

a) Networks that drive extraordinary engagement:

Do they have a great Instagram fan following? Does their LinkedIn profile stand out? Or, is it their Facebook profile that outperforms? Come what may, all you need to do is check out what drives engagement for them and you are all set to replicate it for yourself.

b) How to use the #hashtags:
After establishing their initial popularity on Twitter, hashtags are now a big part of social media. A post’s popularity and engagement relies heavily on the strategic use of hashtags. Ensure that you have a list of competitor’s hashtags driving extraordinary engagement handy before you begin to post. Moreover, analyze which hashtags drive traffic on the different social media platforms. A word of caution: Hashtags are important but don’t overdo it. “#Are #You #ready #for #the #social #selling” is more likely to annoy the audience rather than entice them. Beauty lies in simplicity.

c) Volume of content: Is your competitor posting frequent content? Is it capable of driving engagement? If so, they must have stellar ideas that work well with the audience. And undoubtedly, you need to use those for yourself too. That said, the trick here is not to match up with the competition, but to figure out better ways to define your brand while seeking inspiration from them.
It’s not just about the positives, keep up with the loopholes in their strategy. After all, you don’t want to fall into the same traps as they did. You are an expert for a reason, right?

Implement the findings with a dedicated strategy, and you have a perfect plan to beat them at their game.

2. Where to spend money on social media?

Look to your competitors to see where they are spending their social media budgets. Which platforms? What type of media? Pay special attention to posting frequency.  Then use your social selling tools to figure out what content is being boosted to understand and discover exactly where your competition is investing their budget. Based on this information, you are developing a result-oriented social selling strategy.

3. How to avoid trial and error?

No one is a born expert. We tend to apply trial and error to find out what works best and what doesn’t. However, that strategy doesn’t serve you well if you have just a few days to hit the target. That’s where the competition turns out to be a miraculous help.

With the same audience and the same products, they help you test the waters in the real market.

Let them take the lead and let them figure out what works best and what doesn’t. Once you have an idea, simply put your best foot forward and nail it from the get-go.

4. How not to annoy customers?

We can risk annoying that one boss we once had (in our dreams, perhaps), but an annoyed customer may result in failure of your social selling strategy. Remember,

Customers are like your friends; you cannot afford to annoy them and then expect a fantastic day ahead.

Everyone has a bad day and so does your competition. The art of turning their bad days into your favor can do wonders. Go through their social media profiles and monitor the customer responses and how they handle them. That will help you turn the bad days into something that can build up a great customer relationship.

Moreover, it greatly benefits you in product/ service development. For example, if a large number of customers are complaining about specific features in one product or service, you know what not to do.

5. Aiming in the dark to hit a  target (creating that perfect social media schedule)

Generating the ideal content idea that strikes a chord with customers and then drafting and publishing it takes too much effort. How about letting your competitors help you? You can probably invest time in adding your personal touch to the idea and making it even better.

Start by investigating their ideas and publishing routines. When do they receive the highest customer interaction? When are they more likely to convert? Once you are done, you have a perfect schedule ready to overshadow your competitors.

6. Content that needs repurposing to jack up your social selling index

Mistakes are a human trait. But only a pro knows how to turn someone else’s mistake to her benefit.

The task here is to begin by analyzing which content of the competition acted as a catalyst for massive engagement. Maybe it was written long ago and now is served by nothing but broken links. Once you have the data, repurpose the old content with your updated ideas and unique business value to leverage it. Simple, right?

Signing Off

Keeping your friends close is essential, but keeping your enemies closer is even better as the saying goes. While you create a great social selling strategy for your flourishing business, getting some help from your competition will do you wonders. Every business deserves that willingness to learn, doesn’t it? And for everything else, Team Thought Horizon is just a click away.  

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