Social Media Competitor Analysis Playbook (+Free Template Included)
Competitive Analysis Instagram Analytics Facebook Analytics

Social Media Competitor Analysis Playbook (+Free Template Included)

Elena Cucu
Laura Dascau
Elena Cucu, Laura Dascau
Table of Contents

Is that time of the year when reporting is knocking on your door, and competitor’s research is giving you a hard time?

Luckily, simplifying benchmarking with a social media competitive analysis template is easy. We have a few templates available for download.

Let’s get started!

Social media competitive analysis template - a way to simplify your competitor research


  1. How can a social media competitive analysis template help your benchmarking process?
  2. Social media competitor analysis framework
    2.1. Know your competition
    2.2. Prioritize your top 5 competitors
    2.3. Establish attainable analysis goals
    2.4. Choose the social platforms you'll analyze
    2.5. Collect competitive data and stats
  3. Leverage the insights you gathered in your social media competitive analysis template

1. How can a social media competitive analysis template help your benchmarking process?

When doing your competitor’s research, the data can get overwhelming as there are a lot of metrics to go over, especially if you’re doing a cross-channel analysis.

By leveraging a social media competitive analysis template, you’re not only saving a bunch of time from creating a design, but it’s also easier to make sure you’re not forgetting any of the important KPIs you should look at.

To quickly gather the competitive data and insights that you need, you can try out the social media competitive template that we’ve put together here!

2. Social media competitor analysis framework

While extremely necessary, a competitive analysis can be time consuming, especially if you don't have a plan put in place and if you try to include too much information in your report.

Be succinct! Pick your competitors wisely and keep your KPIs in mind.

Your social media competitive analysis template is your plan and you have to build it one step at a time.

Here are six easy steps that will help with that⇣

2.1. Know your competition


The first step is identifying your competition. And you should not stop at knowing them; dig deep to know the major platforms they use. Then add those platforms in your social media competitive analysis template.

You'll of course know your main competition, but there might be others out there that are worth looking into.

You could simply google your completitors through the various niches in your industry. Start by typing the industry-based keywords and search for competitors.

❗️Tip: Once you identify one competitor search by using keywords like 'alternative to competitor x'.

If a your business is focused on a local niche, start by searching for regional competition.

When you get the search results, group your competitors using the following three criteria:

  • Indirect or direct competitors

It helps you know the competitors with whom you are fighting for the same audience, as well those who indirectly affect your customer base and sell complementary services.

Take our case for example - we could consider Later an indirect competitor because they have an Instagram analytics feature while scheduling is their core feature.

However, when we compare feature by feature, we are looking at competitors like RivalIq or Quintly.

Here's a social media analysis template for segmenting your companies of interest into direct or indirect competitors
  • The level of competition

Are they local, regional, national or global competitors?

It will not make much sense to be running a local pizza joint in a small town and doing an analysis on a global chain like Domino’s.

You will end up with not much data and waste precious time and resources.

That's not to say that you can't pay attention if you see any social media efforts specifically dedicated to your geographical area.

Make sure you also include this in your social media competitive analysis template if you want to see the broader picture.

  • The audience they appeal to

Another major aspect, somewhat connected with the other two criteria, is the audience.

All your marketing efforts should be tailored to a very specific audience, and this includes social media strategy as well.

If there's another brand out there that sells similar products, but addresses an audience segment that does not match the direction you have for your own brand, then analyzing their performance isn't really relevant to your analysis.


2.2. Prioritize your top 5 competitors


Your focus should be on those who are in one way or another outperforming your business. That is why maybe it will be easier for you to include in your social media competitive analysis template only your top 2-4 competitors.

To successfully identify these top competitors, use these approaches:

  • Buyer persona: choose the competitors with the same buyer persona as you have.  It helps you focus on the market gap.
  • Services offered: look at what type of services they are offering and how yours stand out.
  • Business size: choose between - small, medium, or large businesses. Search for the customer reach, assets, human resources, and any other parameter to help you know how big your competitor’s brand is.
  • Locations where businesses are operating. If they are selling physical goods, see where they are located. If they are selling online and they're running the business from different places, understand if it's reasonable to expand your business too. Your social media competitive analysis should be able to answer these questions. It gives you an idea of where you can expand your business.
This is a social media competitive analysis template covering topics of research

2.3. Establish attainable analysis goals


Guide your social media analysis by a set of goals. It helps you steer your social media competitive analysis in the right direction and get meaningful information at the end of the day that you can include in your social media competitive analysis template.

Making a different sheet in your social media competitive analysis template where you include your goals can help you envision your growth and take it step-by-step toward attaining what you wished for.

Here are some ideas for your social media goals:

  • Improve the content strategy

You should know what you are doing right, and what you are not. Get insights into your weak areas on the content strategy.

  • Identify suitable ideas for the next campaigns

The oncoming festive season is your time to make great deals. Start looking for ways to amplify your performance and win more customers.

  • Competitors’ growth versus yours

How are you faring on market growth? Does the competition outgrow you? Find out what they are doing to keep growing. Implement a digital strategy to maintain a sustainable growth.

You are looking to establish the level of audience engagement your competition has achieved or even hit new heights. It is alright if they are doing way better than you are. Learn their tricks and work your way up.

  • Find out the type of content that adequately engages the audience

When it comes to social media benchmarking, engagement on social media should be one of your primary goals. You want to stay ahead of the competition, and learning the perfect way to engage audiences is a crucial aspect.

Knowing your social media needs defines the summary of your analysis and shapes your actions.


2.4. Choose the social platforms you'll analyze


Ok, you have a list of top 5 competitors. Wondering what you should do next?

Choose the channels you'll be monitoring. Focus your benchmarking analysis on what kind of platforms your competition is using to tap into audiences.

The next thing you'll have to do will be to establish whether your target audiences use such platforms and, if that's the case, work on a plan to boost your presence on them.

In your social media competitive analysis template, you'll have different tabs dedicated to each social media channel.

Write down your competitors' name, handle or username as well as a link to their profile.

Additionally, add the bio description where you can extract their hashtags or interests by analyzing top keywords used.

Interpreting the texts gives you insights for the future social media campaigns, words you could use in your communication or it defines the topic of interests which are great for the paid campaigns.

Here's an example of a social media competitive analysis template you can choose for your report.

Our social media competitive analysis template includes sections for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube.

Extend your analysis, and choose any social networks you’d prefer. You’ll likely notice most brands in your industry have three or four main platforms in common.


2.5. Collect competitive data and stats


What metrics are you looking at to assess your competition's performance?

Picking the right metrics will help you focus on the important areas and bring you closer to achieving your goals.

In this case, here are some metrics you should focus on and include in your social media competitive analysis template:

A. Audience metrics

Are your competitors growing their audience quicker than you?

It's recommended to get down to the exact number of followers and fans. It gives you the motivation to work your way up to surpass the competition’s audience figures.

This social media competitive analysis template has different tabs for each platform where you can add the total numbers.

B. Content metrics

How many posts per day are your competitors publishing on social media?

Take a look at the types of content they post and the frequency.

Choosing the right balance between photos, videos or carousels/albums can have a big impact on your performance.

You can learn a thing or two on what kinds of post people like the best, how captions are written and what CTAs to use, as studies show.

C. Engagement metrics

How engaged is the audience on Facebook vs. Instagram vs. Twitter?

You can measure the engagement on social media with the help of a benchmarking tool which offers stats and data for the:

  • total engagement
  • average engagement
  • engagement rate/post
  • engagement rate/page or profile
  • engagement evolution
this is a screenshot from socialinsider's dasgbaord showing facebook benchmarks metrics for h&m, zara, michael kors

Use Socialinsider’s competitor reports to make this process easier and faster!


D. Paid media stats

None of the social network gives you insights into competitors' paid campaigns. However there two option to search your competitors ads on Facebook:

  • Use Facebook's ads library

Facebook tries to increase transparency and this year they resealed Facebook's Ads Library - a database where you can search by name, topic or organization and you'll get a list with all active and inactive ads campaigns for that specific search.

screenshot from facebook ads library

Other tools to spy on your competitor’s Facebook ads are:

All of the above tools have database with ads where you search through categories and gives you competitive advantage on design or copy.

  • Use a benchmark tool which uncover your competitors' boosted content

Keep tabs on your social media competitors' activity with a tool like Socialinsider which shows you what type of content your competitors are boosting and how often.

this is a screenshot from socialinsider's dashboard showing boosted facebook posts for h&m

E. Hashtag analysis

Are they using branded or non-branded hashtags across their social media platforms?

Dig in to understand why they use the certain kind of tags and whether they are getting good results out of them.

With the AI Instagram listening feature on Socialinsider you can learn more about the hashtags your competitors are using.

Let's consider Fenty Beauty to be your main competitor. Try to spot one of the popular hashtags they use in their Instagram posts and research it with Socialinsider. I chose #thefentyflex.

this is a screenshot from socialinsider's dashboard showing the list of influencers for the hashtag #thefentyflex

Here you can see the whole list of influencers using the hashtag #thefentyflex, including the brand Fenty, from the last 6 months.

Besides checking the size of those influencers' accounts, you can also check the number of posts using that hashtag, how many followers they have and more insights.

By clicking on "View Details", you get to see more metrics about the performance of their posts that are tagged with #thefentyflex.

this is a screenshot from socialinsider's dashboard showing popular hashtags that are related to the hashtag #thefentyflex

Moving on to the Hashtags section, here you can find related hashtags to the main one #thefentyflex. You can also research those hashtags separetely and see whether those posts are related to your competitor.

this is a screenshot from socialinsider's social listening feature showing the influencer fenty beauty with the metrics for the hashtag #thefentyflex

Here you can see which influencers use your competitor's hashtag and what their posts are about. You can even see some key metrics for those posts. Isn't that cool?

If your competitors are using influencers to market their products, maybe you should also check influencer identification's advantages and start from there.

Once you have all the information, make sure you add that data to your social media competitive analysis template.


3. Leverage the insights you gathered in your social media competitor analysis template


This is where the real action begins. Use everything we have included in our social media competitive analysis template (and you have adjusted to your own needs) and design your new strategy to surpass your competitors' social media performance.

You get to work on your analysis as you build it from down, up, sideways, horizontally, and vertically.

Take keen attention to the insights you draw from your research and analysis. Whatever you do, do not lose sight of your set goals.

Set things in motion using whatever you have learned from the competitors' research.

Before finishing your analysis and sending it to managers, follow these steps:

Final thoughts

It is not rocket science to be a social media marketing guru or make your brand an overnight success story.

As long as you follow this social media competitive analysis frame and templates, the rest will follow.

Report and analyze social media performance for multiple business profiles from one dashboard with Socialinsider!

Create social media benchmarks for your clients or industry, generate .pdf or .ppt reports, and automatically send them to clients.

FAQs about social media competitor analysis templates

#1. How do you write a competitive analysis template?

  1. First find your main competitor.
  2. See whether you have a competitive advantage.
  3. Compare your product offerings.
  4. Make a comparison between your market share your target markets.
  5. Develop your marketing strategies.
  6. Perform a SWOT analysis.

#2. How to perform a digital competitor analysis?

  1. Look at your website performance first.
  2. Analyze your SEO performance.
  3. Take a look at your competitor's content marketing strategy.
  4. Find out whether your competitors invested money in ads.
  5. Monitor your competitor's social media activity.

#3. What is a SWOT analysis for competitors?

A competitor SWOT analysis consists in evaluating their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so that you get a better understanding of their business strategy.

Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Writer @ Socialinsider

Mixing the words with the data is how a digital marketer should play the game of brands. And that’s me, a driven-born digital storyteller!

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