How to Perform a Competitive Analysis on Twitter
In parallel with creating a presence on Twitter, you should also figure out what your competitors are doing in the world of micro-blogging. Twitter makes creating a competitive analysis report fairly easy. What are your competitors doing that you can mimic (at the very least) or do better?
The first step in building a Twitter competitive analysis involves finding out who among your competition is using Twitter. You can get this information in a couple of ways, but the best way is to use a tool called Twellow.
Also known as the Twitter Yellow Pages, Twellow is a service that allows you to search for a specific name on Twitter.
When you enter a personal or company name into Twellow, try your search with and without spaces. The two searches may return different results, all of which are typically useful.
After you find the Twitter name of all your competitors, you need to determine the amount of influence each competitor has. To find this information, you can use the tool called Twitter Grader from the company HubSpot.
To use Twitter Grader to find your competition’s area of influence, follow these steps:
Open your browser and go to Twitter Grader.
The page that opens features a text box labeled Enter Your Twitter Username at the top of the page.
Type a competitor’s Twitter username in the Enter Your Twitter Username text box, and then click the Grade button.
Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, Twitter Grader may take a few minutes to finish the analysis.
A new page appears, showing the rank of the Twitter user in comparison to all 8 million+ users that have been analyzed by Twitter Grader as well as other useful information, like location, bio, followers, tweet cloud, and Twitter account suggestions.
One of the most useful pieces of information returned by the Twitter Grader analysis is the user’s grade (or score). This number is calculated by weighing elements such as the number of followers, the influence of the followers, the number of updates, the freshness of the updates, the ratio of followers versus users followed, and the number of times the user is being retweeted or cited. The rank information is based on the grade obtained by the user: A user with a higher grade will be higher in the ranking.
Another important piece of information you obtain from a Twitter Grader search is the Tweet Cloud. A Tweet Cloud is a list of generated words that a specific person uses the most, showing more frequently used words in larger font and less frequently used words in smaller font.
The Tweet Cloud gives you valuable hints as to what kind of content the user is writing about. For example, here @edeckers's main tweets include the words post, humor, and Indiana.
Because he has a pretty decent Twitter Grade (resulting in a good rank), if you were @edeckers’s competition, you'd take into account the different words he's using on Twitter to help build your content strategy so that you can compete with him in the world of Twitter. For example, borrowing from @edeckers’s Tweet Cloud, you may discover that his followers enjoy reading about local humor in Indiana.