competitive insights guide socialinsider
Competitive Analysis How-To Guides

How to Get Competitive Insights and Use Them to Drive Growth for Your Brand

Andreea Udescu
Andreea Udescu
Table of Contents

They say comparison is the thief of joy - and that is true, except when you’re working in a competitive industry where you need to compare yourself to your competitors to know where you stand at all times.

In the age of the internet, no brand exists on an island. No matter if you’re targeting a large industry or a small niche, you will have your fair share of competitors.

And you need to know what they’re up to, what’s working for them and what’s not, and use those insights to drive growth for your own brand.

Carry on reading to figure out how to gain competitive insights from and using social media and why they are extremely important for creating a powerful yet realistic strategy for your brand.

Using competitive insights to improve your strategy

1. What are competitive insights?
2. Why are competitive insights important?
3. How to get competitive insights from social media

4.Competitive insights examples

1. What are competitive insights?

Competitive insights are a collection of contextual data that describe the actions, strategies, strengths, weaknesses, behaviors, and overall performance of other businesses in your niche or industry. Equipped with competitor insights, you can make informed decisions about the future of your company.

Insights about your competitors can include: market positioning, distribution channels, financial performance, brand reputation and much more.

2. Why are competitive insights important

Competitive insights are the missing puzzle piece and the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy. You need them in order to:

  • Have a benchmark against which you can measure your performance
  • Understand your competitors’ content strategies
  • Uncover gaps and opportunities in your niche or industry
  • See what’s working for your competitors and what’s not
  • Get ideas for great social media content to share

By using social media analysis and benchmarking tools like Socialinsider, you have a massive amount of data at your fingertips, and you can use that data to draw insights about your top posts, campaign performance, hashtags, posting times and much more.

You can track the evolution of your most important metrics across long periods of time and pinpoint different trends and spikes.

For instance, if you need a bird’s eye view of your engagement evolution (per profile or at a brand level), Socialinsider can help you map out the distribution of engagement for your selected timeframe.

engagement evolution competitive insights socialinsider

Same for Reels impressions on Instagram:

reels impressions competitive insights socialinsider

Or TikTok video plays evolution:

 video plays evolution competitive insights socialinsider

And the list goes on and on.

Analyzing your performance helps you determine which of your posts do best and develop some theories as to why that is happening.

In other words, you can learn from your past performance, identify what is working and what is not, and use these insights to improve your strategy moving forward.

But you can do much more than that.

If you’re only auditing your own performance, you are missing out on a lot of lessons and you risk not seeing the whole picture.

To have a complete understanding of your performance across all channels and gain competitive insights, you need to perform a competitor analysis on a regular basis, and compare those results against your own brand’s data.

If the data is telling you, for instance, that videos are performing very well for your competitors, you should take that as your cue to start implementing videos into your strategy - provided it makes sense for your brand.

3. How to get competitive insights from social media

Social media can be a real goldmine when it comes to competitors' analysis and benchmarking, and for getting insights on your competitors. You only need to know where to start. So here’s an action plan:

1. Get access to reliable competitive data

With Socialinsider, you can have all the competitive data available to you at a glance, in a unified dashboard packed with charts and numbers.

All you need to do to get this data is to add your competitors in the platform by selecting the social media profiles you want to focus on.

2. Do an in-depth competitive analysis

From here, it’s your choice whether you want to look at a macro or a micro level (benchmarks vs campaigns).

Socialinsider’s Benchmarks feature comes in handy by providing a context in which you can judge your own performance.

To give a specific competitive insights example, if you’re planning to bring your brand to TikTok and you don’t know how active your competition is on this platform, you can use the Benchmarks feature to gain insights on their TikTok activity.

tiktok benchmarks competitive insights socialinsider

This comparison covers a variety of metrics, such as engagement, followers growth and posts volume


Campaigns, on the other hand, give you a more focused view of competitive data.

Through this feature, you can compare your social media campaigns to your competitors, see how much they’ve contributed to a particular campaign, what’s working for them and what’s not and use those insights to improve your own content.

campaign details competitive insights socialinsider

3. Connect the dots in your dataset

Regardless if you’re looking at your own social media performance data or you’re keeping tabs on your competitors, it’s extremely important to learn to correlate your findings.

You will have a much better chance of deriving insights from data if you connect multiple data points and put them into context.

If you notice, for instance, a spike in follower growth for one of your competitors, check to see if you can connect that event to other data points. See if you can find any top performing posts from that same date, shortly before or after.

Check the engagement rate and posting times. Only by looking at all the important metrics holistically will you be able to understand what led to a particular event.

In other words, look at competitive data through the eyes of a storyteller.

Now, what about getting competitor insights from non-measurable data?

It's true, social media competitive analysis does provide us with a lot of data to play with.

But not all competitors' insights must come from data. There’s some value in simply analyzing your competition’s presence on social media without focusing on the numbers.

Using social media, you can gain insights about your competitors on metrics that can’t be measured in traditional ways, such as tone of voice, brand personality, community management etc.

In other words, how they talk to their audience, how quick they are to respond, how open they are to feedback, how friendly or formal they choose to be, etc.

This part of the process cannot (and shouldn't) be automated , but it’s worth spending extra time “lurking” on your competitors’ social media profiles, gathering insights from non-measurable data.

4. Competitive insights examples

By "spying" on your competitors, you can uncover all kinds of insights. The trick is to start small and work your way up to the most in-depth competitors insights you can find.

So here are some of the most common competitive insights examples, divided in 4 categories:

Basic insights

To extract competitive insights, you can start with some basic, public information about your competitors. These insights are easy to discover, and they can go a long way in understanding your competitors' brand identity and strategy.

So, as far as basic insights go, you can include things like USP (unique selling proposition), target audience and product offerings.

Derived insights

Once you get your hands on some basic insights, you can start bulding upon them with derived insights. Here, you will need to dig a little deeper and find out how they market themselves and how they position themselves against alternatives (competitors) - which includes you.

To understand this, you might consider looking at their social media (performance-wise and beyond), their website, and also explore their past and present partnerships.

Critical insights

After collecting enough data, your competitive insights will start taking shape. You will begin to understand what are your competitors' strengths and weaknesses - these are your critical insights. In other words, do a SWOT analysis.

You can help these insights develop by digging through customer reviews, watching demo videos or reading public reports.

Advanced insights

Advanced insights are as far as you can go when collecting competitive intelligence.

These insights help you essentially understand why you're performing better or worse than your competitors, and what roadblocks are preventing you from doing better.

At this level, you can draw additional insights from sales calls, public interviews, blog posts and case studies.

Final thoughts

With the growing competition in the social media sphere, securing enough engagement and conversions is becoming more and more difficult for social media marketers.

But just because you’re competing with other businesses, that doesn’t mean you can’t still learn from one another.

At the end of the day, your social media strategy will benefit the most from competitive insights, because you will be able to plan your efforts knowing exactly what works best in your industry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Competitive Insights

1. How do you gather competitive insights?

Competitive insights can be extracted from many sources, starting with basic information available on your competitors' website and social media, to in-depth insights derived from sales calls, case studies and customer reviews.

2. What is a competitor SWOT analysis?

A competitor SWOT analysis is a process of identifying your competitors'
strengths and weaknesses. This analysis alsa uncovers opportunities for your brand's growth and market challenges (or potential threats).

Andreea Udescu

Andreea Udescu

Content writer @ Socialinsider with 8 years of experience in digital marketing. When I’m not writing, I like to go on coffee dates with friends, dabble in poetry and fill my house with flowers.

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