Creating a Social Media Competitive Analysis Using SEMRush

SEMrush’s Social Media ToolMost people familiar with SEMrush will associate it with keyword research or competitive content analysis reports. But now with the Social Media tool, SEMrush has become a needed instrument to use if trying to create a social media competitive analysis. With this tool, you are able to track five different social networks for each competitor that includes: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus.

Social media managers, marketing assistants, and brand managers are about to save a lot of time when it comes to doing competitive research. By getting a closer look at competitor’s social audiences, audience engagement, posting activity, and much more, we can now accurately and easily track what your competition is doing. With the results you can also use these as a standard moving forward when analyzing your competitors in the future.

The 6 simple sections below gives you the tools and strategies to use that will help supercharge the social media competitive analysis that you come up with.

  1. Configuring Your Competitors:

When it comes to setting up your tool, once you add your own social channels – you are ready to start adding competitors. You are able to add up to 10 competitors to your account that hold 5 social channels for each competitor (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus). That’s a total of 50 social media accounts with one SEMrush account

All you have to do is type in the competitors name and it will automatically assign the competitor to the appropriate social channel. If it does not come up automatically – you can always do it manually by adding the link in for the social media account.

SEMrush Competitor Setup

[SEMrush Competitor Setup]


The best thing about SEMrush is that you are able to analyze the results that YOU want. If you wanted to only analyze a company’s Instagram and YouTube accounts compared to your own– just set up your accounts through the tool and then add your competitors Instagram and YouTube accounts. There are no hoops to jump through or do beforehand.

If you aren’t able to think of 10 competitors off the top of your head, you are able to take advantage of other SEMrush tools. For instance, you can use the Organic Research Competitors tool or Advertising Research Competitors reports to see which domains are most similar to yours. Below is a screenshot taken from the Organic Research Competitors section on SEMrush:

SEMrush Social Media Tool

[SEMrush Social Media Tool]

Also, since one of the features is that you are able to add and remove competitors at any time, looking at a favorite company that features a lot of creatives could be a valuable asset in gathering new ideas.

  1. Competitors with the fastest growing audience

Once you have your competitors set up – you are ready to make some helpful insights. One thing this tool allows is helping you find out which of your competitors has the fastest growing audience. Looking at the tool, it starts at the overview report, which shows audience, activity, and engagement previews for the selected competitor.  You then choose by the drop down key the competitor you’d like to analyze. This is located in the red box in the screenshot below. You are also able to select the time frame you are looking to analyze

Social Tool McDougall Interactive

[Social Tool McDougall Interactive]

After dipping your toes in the “Overview” section, if you wanted to take a deeper dive into each of the social channels, now is the time. Next to “Overview” is a list of each social media platform. Whichever one you would want to analyze is the one you would choose. For example, if you choose Facebook – This brings you to a section where you are able to analyze each competitor’s posts, audience, activity, engagement, and hashtags insights. All of these factors are things you normally would not be able to locate so quickly and accurately, but are certainly important.

At the bottom of the “Overview” page it brings you to a graph which shows you the comparison with competitors. This shows the total audience, change and growth over the course of the dates you specifically choose. With this graph, you can compare audiences on any combination of the five social networks between all your competitors in the project.

McDougall Competitors Comparison

[McDougall Competitors Comparison]

When it comes to L.L. Bean – it looks as though they have the second largest audience growth percentage at +.71%, first being Eddie Bower with +.88%.

You can also see how The North Face has almost double the audience then the competitor in second – REI.

If you wanted to look at the comparison for activity or engagement for my competition all you would have to do is click on “Activity” or “Engagement”.

  1. Finding Competitors Top-Performing Content

Next – is finding out what types of content are performing well for your competitors. You can use this information to craft your own social media creatives or even to just gather information that can be used in the future, such as websites to find articles for curated content, etc.

Social Competitors Post Comparison

[Social Competitors Post Comparison]

You are able to do this by selecting the company you’d like to analyze. In the attached screenshot you can see a red box that is horizontal across the screen.  This shows the company and dates that are going to be analyzed. Moving forward, this is where you would change the company names as well as the dates you would like analyzed.

Once chosen – You will begin to see what posts worked best for the specified social media channel.  You will receive information for the Facebook section such as Total Engagement, Engagement Rate, Reactions, Shares, and Comments.

If you wanted to analyze the company’s Twitter account you would simply click “Twitter” at the top of the screen and it will bring you to the company’s results for Twitter.

One great advantage of this report is that it allows you to take note of your competitors’ visual style and creatives of their posts. You are able to analyze if they used pictures or videos more often, if they include texts in their images, as well as if they use their own images vs. stock images.

  1. Frequency of Your Competitors Post

Checking out the frequency of how your competitor’s posts would be the next step in an insightful competitive research report.

Choosing whichever social channel you’d like to analyze as well as the dates (I would recommend at least 30 days in the past) puts you on the right track. Looking at the screenshot of the page below – you can see what the page would look like once choosing “McDougall Interactive” and “Facebook”. The different tabs such as “Posts”, “Audience” and “Activity” allow you a deeper dive into each social channel.

Social Media Activity Report

[Social Media Activity Report]

In this section, you are able to see how many total posts have been posted, their performance, engagement rate, number of posts per day, and much more. By looking at these results you can analyze whether or not your company is posting enough in comparison to your business’ competitors.

At the bottom of the page you can see the number of posts you posted within the specified dates compared to your competitors. For example, for the past week L.L. Bean had a total rate of 1.86 posts a day with an engagement per post rate of 388.23 while REI only had a post per day rate of .71, the engagement rate was much higher at 2,672.20 engagements per post.

Although L.L. Bean posted a lot more – their engagement per post was not as high as REI who only posted 5 times. The best solution would be to analyze which posts engaged the most people and lean more towards posting only that type of content.

Published Posts Competitors

[Published Posts Competitors]

You are able to locate which posts worked the best by clicking the “Posts” tab underneath the company tab. By looking at this you are able to see if it was a link, blogpost, image, etc. that was posted to garner that type of response.  Seeing the type of content that gets posted can trigger the creative part of your brain.

SEMrush Competitor Posts

[SEMrush Competitor Posts]

  1. Scheduling Email Reports

Keeping informed is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing.  Things can change on a moment’s notice which is why scheduling email reports that can be accessed on your phone is such a highlight of this tool. Scheduling these emails either weekly or monthly will keep you up to date on any changes that may occur.

In the beginning when setting up your Social Media tool campaign, the fourth step will ask if you want to schedule any of three emails (Overview, Audience, and Engagement).  Below is a brief description of each:

-The Overview email report will give you the basic metrics on your main website’s engagement and audience.

Social Basic Metrics Report

[Social Basic Metrics Report]

 

The Audience email report will list for you all of the added competitors in your project and compare the totals and growth of all of the company’s audience over the timeline of your choosing.

Social Audience Metrics Report

[Social Audience Metrics Report]

The Engagement email report shows you the totals and growth of all the added competitors in your project.

Social Engagement Metrics Report

[Social Engagement Metrics Report]

The best part? There is no limit to how many people you can send these emails to. You can have these sent weekly to your boss, your assistant, and yourself so everyone stays on the same page. Also, each email will have a green button at the bottom that links through to the actual report on SEMrush, so you can take a closer look if anything catches your eye.

Conclusion

Overall – SEMrush is a magnificent tool for social media competitive analysis. Making sure you’re getting the most out of each of your social channels is important in the sense you don’t want to be putting time towards something that isn’t working. Luckily, this tool makes it easy to find the things that are working and the things that well…aren’t.

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