Capitalize on Competition

By: Andi Barton

When it comes to your social media roadmap, strategy/planning is not only your first step towards success, but also a continuous process. Whether you are looking at short or long term goals, there will be certain end results you aspire to reach. Your brand's purpose for its social media presence could be entirely different from that of your direct competitors. But sometimes the mere sense of competition is what drives a business to success. Although it varies on the spectum of intensity, each person is naturally given a competitive gene. The question is, how can you leverage this nature of competition to bring you social media success?

If you're driven by competition or want to capitalize off its potential, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Are you most concerned about...

1. Numbers: If competing to hit numerical growth is all you're concerned about, this isn't necessarily a bad thing- as long as you are looking at the right metrics. Think quality over quantity. Its not about the number of fans and followers you grow, it’s about how you are using this network. Your level of engagement is the metric you should be looking at. On Facebook, you should be focusing on the insight "Talking About This".

Set a goal for yourself: to focus and grow your measures of interaction as much as you can. To compete with yourself and reach a higher level of "talking about this" versus actual tangible fans equals true scaled engagement.


2. Your Competitors: If your main drive is measuring up in your particular industry, make sure it's for the right reasons! Don't base the entirety of your strategy basically mimicking your competitors’ current social media activity. You need to find a differentiating factor. Know where your customers are, and tailor to new networks! If your current competitors are already well established, that doesn’t mean you cant grow or compete.

Set a goal for yourself: to become an industry leader in a newer network like Pinterest. Or find a new differentiating factor like authenticity or customer service where you can excel above your competitors.

3. Brand Reputation: If you're driven by your brand reputation and how your fans perceive you, that is easily leveraged. Make sure that your strategy across each network is consistent and strongly branded. But more importantly, tap into influencers. Compete in winning over the high level networkers. In order to amplify your reach to the right people, set goals to develop relationships with top influencers in your fan base.

Set a goal for yourself: to leverage influential people to spread positive sentiment about your brand, it will not only increase your exposure, but also your credibility.

Now let's take a moment to look at your fans. Are they competitive? Are they looking for...

1. Gaming

If your network of customers is interested in gaming, or finding ways to compete with their friends or other fans, make sure you’re providing more interactive and fun elements into your strategy! One obvious way to incorporate this could be implementing networks like Foursquare- allowing your fans to compete for mayorships, check-in points, badges etc. Tap into Facebook games- if you have the capabilities, build an interactive game and/or tabs on your Facebook page for your fans to continue to come back to.

Set a goal for yourself: find ways to integrate friendly competition, utilize gaming as a means of growing loyal fun-seeking advocates.

2. 15 seconds of fame

The simple incentive of being spotlighted is a huge competitive driving factor for engagement. When presented with the opportunity to be given mini Facebook fame, your fans will thrive on the competition to win that 15 seconds. See the images below, Oreo and Red Bull are two examples of brands who have tapped into this potential. They ask fans to get involve in their campaigns, and in turn they will be given their limelight on the page.

Set a goal for yourself: find ways to show your fans your appreciation by allowing them to soak up some brief social media fame. Go the extra step and prove it when you say “Thank You”.





3. Prizes

Are your fans driven by the competition to win prizes? When the limelight isn’t enough, contests and sweeps are the easy solution! Not only will it draw traffic to your page, but it will give your fans a reason to love you even more when they benefit directly from being such a loyal fan. You can even benefit yourself. For example, with every entry, ask for ideas, suggestions, what they’d like to see next etc. Compile research with ease!

Set a goal for yourself: you don’t need to strain yourself with weekly contests. Even occasional contests will keep your fans coming back to your page in the anticipation for what you’ll do next!

Whether you yourself are able to channel your inner competitive nature, or you are seeking to tap into growing a sense competition in your networks, use the idea of competing for end goals or prizes as a driving strategic incentive. Do not underestimate the potential to capitalize on competition!

Where have you seen success in social media due to the need to compete? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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