How to Use Social Media Metrics to Pursue Competitive Intelligence - dummies

How to Use Social Media Metrics to Pursue Competitive Intelligence

By Leslie Poston

A great way to use social media metrics is in the pursuit of competitive intelligence — a term that means knowing all about what your competing business brands are up to. Gaining competitive intelligence leads to improving your business by helping you to compete on price, service, perception, attention metrics, audience, reach, and more.

Thanks to social media metrics, you can follow along with your biggest competitor’s every move and then decide when to match it, one-up it, or simply ignore it. The data is yours for the taking, if you know where to look.

Want to know who your competitors talk to most and what they talk about? You can track that information on social media. Want to keep a topic list of your competitors’ keywords? Metrics tools, such as free Google Alerts, deliver those lists right to your door. Wondering if your competitor has the massive page views and site results it’s claiming? Check them out using any one of a number of sites, tools, extensions, or plug-ins.

One of the most useful browser options for the metrics junkie is Chrome, with Firefox high in the ranking as well. By simply switching your browser from Safari or Internet Explorer or whatever came with your machine and using something different, you get access to a variety of extensions designed to do some subtle spying on other people’s website trends and tools. Toss in your Analytics knowledge and search mojo, and you get the kind of statistics and information that people used to pay hundreds of dollars a pop for.

Use a Chrome extension like W3Spy, W3Techs, BuiltWith, or Chrome SEO to take a peek under the hood of your competitors’ websites. Discover the plug-ins they use, the site rank they have, their keywords, their daily estimated dollar value based on traffic, and more with only a click or two.


Competitive intelligence also gives you a chance to move faster than your competition. By having listening metrics in place in addition to data metrics, you’ll hear competitor customers first when they have a problem or challenge. By being helpful to them, sometimes faster than your competition, you not only increase the goodwill of your brand, you have a good chance of snagging a new customer when they search for a new provider.