How to use your Competition’s Tweets Against them

Updated on | By | Under the Category Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Did you know that you can use your competition’s Twitter tweets against them? Did you know that you can turn their tweets into money? Of course this is an indirect process, you have to do many other different things in the process. Still, by taking advantage of how human nature works, you can gain a competitive advantage against your competition. The hard reality is that as Google evolves and as the internet in general matures, the name of the game is all about authority.

Authority is shorthand for many different factors that people use to make buying decisions. You have to build authority online, otherwise you are not going to be making as much money as you originally thought. Otherwise, you might just be wasting your time. That is how important authority is. The good news is that you can use your competition’s tweets to get an advantage over them in regards to this very powerful online metric. Follow the guide below to figure out how to use your competition’s tweets against them in the authority building game.

Human Nature and Twitter

The main reason why social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and others have so much traffic is that people love to brag. People like to show off. People like to talk about the new stuff they bought, new people they have met, famous people that they have come across, or whatever it is. People love to boost their ego using social networks. This is also true when it comes to business.

Online businesses love to show off content that they are particularly proud of. Even if they are not proud of the content they would still love to share it because the more people see their link on Twitter, the higher the likelihood that they will re-tweet or share that link. The more the link is shared the higher the chance that your competition will get traffic for that particular link that they are sharing. To put simply, people love to brag. Irregardless of whether they are a small Mom & Pop company or a large multinational corporation, people have egos, people have agendas and they love to share. Little do they know that this bragging and this sharing can work against them. You can use these tweets to get information that you need to build authority building content that will be better than your competition’s authority content.

What do you Gain by Knowing Stuff they Brag about?

The answer to this question has been answered in broad strokes above, but in terms of specifics you gain a lot of crucial data by tracking what your competition brags about or shares online. At the very least you can gain the following. This list of benefits is by no means exhaustive. The only limit really to the benefits that you get is your imagination. However, these are the most common benefits you get by tracking the information your competitors share online. First, you can profile their content and see which are the most successful.

Businesses like to share content that make them look good. They like to share content on Twitter and Facebook that they think will drive traffic to their website. These websites contain information that you need to build authority pages that can beat your competition. Second, you can reverse engineer their best content. Once you track all the contents they share you can then cherry pick their best content, you can figure out the content that got re-tweeted or got shared the most. Once you have this piece of information, you can then get a clear idea as to what their best content pages are. Next, you can reverse engineer their link profiles based on their best content.

Once you have a clear idea as to their most popular pages, you can then use back link building tools to detect the amount of links these pages get from the rest of the internet. This is no empty detail. This is a very important piece of information because the more third-party websites linked to your competitor’s page the higher the chance that that page is actually useful and authoritative. Authoritative pages are exactly the kinds of pages you need to reverse engineer and copy to get a competitive advantage. Also, you can reverse engineer their brand credibility based on their best content. You have to understand that online brands are a function of the over all credibility of content shared by your competition.

The more popular a piece of content may be, the higher the branding benefit that content brings to the table. By knowing your competition’s best content, you can then work to reverse engineer their brand credibility. Finally, content is the currency of the internet. In addition to reverse engineering, you can actually use the new and improved content that you built on your pages to draw more links to your website. The more targeted links you draw, the higher the likelihood you will get more traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing.

How to Find your Competition’s Twitter accounts

There are many ways to find your competition’s Twitter accounts. The most basic way is to write down all the sites that you know are competing websites. If you are clueless regarding your competitors, do not worry, there are other ways to go about this. As long as you are aware of at least one key word that is related to your target audience you can use this technique. Take that key word and go to Google adwords campaign planner and enter that key word, you will see a lot of other related key words. Write these down and filter them.

Make sure that they are all related to your target niche. Once you have this complete list of key words, you then enter these key words into Google to get a list of websites that rank for those key words. Visit all those websites, at the very least visit the first two pages or results. You can see a clear pattern as to which websites are actually competitors and which websites are unrelated. List down all the competitor websites you can find using this process. The next step would be to go to these websites and look for their Twitter account.

Most of your competitors are pretty much up to speed with social media. Still, you might come across a few clueless competitors that are not leveraging the full power of social networks. You can delete those from your list only after you have ran a search for their name on Twitter itself. Once you have done this the next and final step is to click on the blog rolls of your competing websites. You would be surprised as to how many blogs are competing against you. Many blogs have blog rolls where they list related or allied sites. Click on these blog roll links and see if they are direct or indirect competitors of yours. For those competing sites, click through to their web pages and look for their Twitter account. Alternatively, run a search for their name on Twitter.

Use All My Tweets to Load your Competition’s Twitter Accounts

All My Tweets is a free online tool that displays all the tweets made by a Twitter account. You can even set it up so that you can hide all their re-tweets and hide all their @ messages, so you can see which are their direct posts. You can see from this listing if they are sharing links to their content or any type of content. Just connect through your Twitter account and after doing so, you can enter ANY username on the whole of Twitter.

Scrape Away

Using any of the freely available scraper software out there, scrape all the tweets with links you can find using All My Tweets. This should not take too long. The key point of this is to compile a master list of all the URLs that were shared by your competition.

Use Netpeak to Filter all URLs’ Social Appeal

Now that you have a clean list of all the URLs shared by your competition, you are not done yet. You need to figure out how viral this content is. Use the free software Netpeak Checker to filter all the URLs that you have gathered. Netpeak will show how many tweets, Facebook shares and other social media signals those URLs get. Obviously you are looking for content links that get a lot of shares on social networks. Finally, you need to filter your URLs using Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a tool that shows the back links a particular URL gets. You have to feed all the individual back links that are popular on social networks that your competition has tweeted.

Make sure that you feed only content that originates from their domain. You do not want to waste precious money and time filtering content that is re-tweeted. In other words they do not own the content, they just shared somebody else’s content. You are looking for content that originates from the domain name of your competition. Once you feed these into Ahref, you will find the link profile of these URLs. You will quickly see which pieces of content get linked to a lot by third-party domains. Once you have all these data in one place, you need to do one final filter. You need to filter based on social network popularity and back link popularity. Social network popularity of course is measured in terms of Facebook shares and Twitter re-tweets.

Copy to Win, do not Copy JUST to Copy

Now that you have a list of twenty, forty or even one hundred top pieces of content from your competition, the next step is to study those content. Obviously, your competition is tweeting this content. They are obviously proud of this content. They want this content to spread. Based on the back links and social signals these pieces of content get, your competition succeeded. In other words this is winning content. Figure out why this content is so popular. Figure out the theme, figure out the graphic strategy, figure out the writing style, figure out the format, really wrap your mind around the key question of what makes a winning piece of authoritative content. You can get a lot of clues by studying the comments at the bottom of the particular blog post. Figure out the issues that people raise. Figure out the number one factor that most people say they liked about that particular piece of content.


Infographic from Marketing Wise Here

Building Better Authority Content

Once you have a rough idea of why these winning pieces of content are such winners, you should then ask yourself the following: What are the weak spots of this particular piece of content? Where do they fail to deliver? What needs improvement? The next crucial question that you need to ask yourself is: How can you fix those drawbacks or weak spots? How can you improve the content in terms of addressing any weaknesses?

Once you have a clear idea as to what you will do better with your own original authoritative content, the focus then shifts to the strong points of the content. In other words, how can you build on what your competition’s content does right. Figure out its strong points. Can you at least double the impact of your competition’s strong points? Can you come up with better graphics? Can you come up with better videos? Can you come up with a better writing style or a more in-depth but still accessible piece of authority content?

By being strategic and methodical about reverse engineering your competition’s tweets, you can effectively use social media signals to help you get the data you need to produce winning content. Make no mistake about it, winning in online sales and winning in search engine placements require authority. Authority is the currency and the concrete of the internet. Unfortunately, you can not generate authority if you have no clear idea of what kind of content builds up online authority. By using your competition’s tweets against them, you will get a clear path to producing a highly engaging content that can get your target audience to trust your brand.

About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

One Response to “How to use your Competition’s Tweets Against them”

  1. Kaloyan Banev

    It will be interesting to see the real effect of these ideas. I definitely, haven’t tried this strategy. Though my main web project doesn’t have direct competition.

    Reply

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