Performing a Social Media Industry Analysis: Everything You Need To Know (+ Free Template)
How-To Guides

Performing a Social Media Industry Analysis: Everything You Need To Know (+ Free Template)

Laura Dascau
Laura Dascau

Table of Contents

With the help of an industry analysis framework, you can find out what you can expect from the market and how potential changes may affect you.

This marketing process helps you understand the competitive dynamics of your industry to learn how to adapt.

Moreover, in the world of social media, an industry analysis framework also helps you reveal and keep up with the latest trends in your market.

In what follows, we’ll be discussing everything there is to know about industry analysis and how to conduct one.

How to perform a Social Media Industry Analysis - A Complete Guide

  1. What is an industry analysis

  2. Things to consider before starting an industry analysis

  3. How to conduct an industry analysis - a step by step guide

3.1. Provide a short overview for your industry
3.2. Establish the nature of your industry
3.3. Provide a forecast for your industry
3.4. Learn about government regulations for your industry
3.5. Find your place within your industry
3.6. List potential risks and limitations
3.7. Talk to your industry’s audience

  1. Types of industry analysis

4.1. Competitive forces model
4.2. PESTLE analysis
4.3. SWOT analysis
4.4. Blue ocean strategy

  1. The benefits of industry analysis

  2. Developing an industry analysis with Socialinsider

  3. Industry analysis vs. market analysis

  4. Industry analysis template

  5. Industry analysis tools

1. What is a social media industry analysis

Industry analysis refers to analyzing the environment of an industry, where the environment is responsible for the growth of the industry.

An industry analysis is also meant to foresee the future changes that may occur in the market while analyzing the opportunities and threats that may appear.

Based on an industry analysis framework, you can further plan and make decisions for your own business.

Our industrial analysis definition is not complete without the idea that brands use industry analysis as a marketing tool to learn more about their competitors. The same applies in the case of social media.

Social media experts conduct industry analyses to spot their brand’s social media competitors.

However, when things get incredibly technical, with specific terms for the market, you will need the help of a business analyst, especially when it comes to conducting all those types of industrial analyses.

To develop a flawless industry analysis framework, a business analyst and a social media specialist need to work hand in hand, making the perfect duo to abolish the strength of your competitors.

2. Things to consider before starting an industry analysis

Before learning how to analyze an industry, you have to consider a few details first. Here is what you need to do before you learn how to conduct an industry analysis.

  • Gather data about your industry

Conducting a marketing research and a competitive analysis about your industry is crucial before you start an industry analysis.

They say that when you do an extensive research, half of your work is done. The research, with all the data, social media statistics and infos you need to collect, will play an important role in your industry analysis.

Getting a sense of the past trends in your industry will definitely help you predict new trends and stay relevant all the time for your audience.

Let’s face it: It’s not easy to keep up with all the changes that take place in your industry, especially when social media trends rise and set every day.

However, being aware of the social media industry trends will help you stay ahead of your competitors.

  • Spot the right niche

If you know what industry you’re part of, it’s important to spot your niche as well. You should know that an industry is divided in a whole lot of niches.

In order to get accurate results when developing your industry analysis, you need to correctly identify your niche.

Every industry has a lot of sub-industries and niches. Make sure you know where your brand fits.

3. How to conduct an industry analysis - A step by step guide

Up to this point, you’ve created a favourable environment for your industry analysis. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to conduct an industry analysis.

These easy tips & tricks will help you learn how to analyze an industry.

3.1. Provide a short overview for your industry

An industry analysis always starts with a powerful research. You need to have the bigger picture.

Make sure you analyze your industry on a local level, then a regional, national and lastly a worldwide level.

Look at your industry historical data and growth potential.

3.2. Establish the nature of your industry

This part of your industry analysis framework should include data about economy fluctuations, growth patterns, innovations, and latest developments.

3.3. Provide a forecast for your industry

Based on the industry data you’ve gathered so far, it’s time to make predictions for your industry. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is social media average engagement rate to increase for your industry?
  • What will be the best performing type of post based on the current data?
  • What about best time to post?
  • Will your industry’s audience broaden?

State whether your industry is emerging, growing, maturing or declining.

3.4. Learn about government regulations for your industry

Every industry is governed by regulations. Learn yours to avoid problems. It is important to find out everything about the most recent laws in your industry, having all your authorizations and licenses.

You need to make sure that you are conducting your business activity while also obeying the law.

Also it is important to find out everything there is about costs and fees. You wouldn’t want to be late with your payments for the state’s services.

3.5. Find your place within your industry

Every industry has a lot of other sub-industries and niches. That is why you need to find your place, your branch, within the industry, making sure you find your exact competitors.

List your competitors in a very detailed competitive analysis to make sure you include the ones relevant for your brand.

It is easier if you put down all the companies in your industry, being them direct or indirect competitors.

3.6. List potential risks and limitations

It is safer to be cautious. Especially in a world where changes occur at the speed of sound. Write down the potential factors that may negatively impact your business.

There are limitations and risks in every business. It is better if you are aware of them and learn how to prevent unwanted situations.

3.7. Talk to your industry’s audience

Know your audience. This is one of the most important tricks you should keep in mind. Do cold calls, talk to them directly during business events.

It is crucial to always be connected to your audience to learn what their needs are and how you can cater them.

4. Types of industry analysis

In the beginning of this article guide, I was saying that this complex industry analysis should be developed by a team made up of a social media expert and a business analyst.

Both of them can bring their contribution to the industrial analysis for a brand, making sure they come up with their own solution to surpass the performance of the competition.

Here are the most important types of industry analysis that you should perform for your brand.

4.1. Competitive forces model

This industry analysis model is also called Porter’s 5 forces because it was first introduced by Michael Porter’s book in 1980.

A thorough analysis of these 5 forces helps brands get all the accurate insights about the industry.

  • Intensity of industry rivalry

This refers to all the competitors a brand can have. The intensity of competition can increase with government restrictions, high costs and similar products.

  • Threat of potential entrants

Many brands feel threatened by new comers to their industry. New brands that emerge, which have a higher competitive potential, are putting other businesses that market the same products and services at risk.

  • Negotiating power of suppliers

Another important factor in an industry analysis is related to suppliers. This may affect small businesses in particular, since suppliers cater numerous brands and the quality of the products may not be the same at all times.

The quality-price ratio may differ and businesses always have to negotiate for their share.

  • Bargaining power of buyers

How do you convince buyers to buy from you and not from your competitors? This one is not easy. This time the bargaining power lies in the hands of your customers.

Consumers may often go to buy from brands that sell the products they’re interested in at a lower price. They may negotiate for some discounts or even get additional products or services.

It depends on your brand’s marketing strategy and the quality of your products to convince buyers to come to you, being top of mind whenever they need a restock.

4.2. PESTLE analysis

Pestle analysis is the acronym for all the important factors that influence an industry analysis, namely political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors.

This type of analysis is a useful industry analysis framework to assess the external factors.

  • Political factors

This refers to all the factors that impact a business based on regulations and policies, like taxes, fees, and labour laws.

  • Economic factors

The economic factors consist in exchange rates, growth rates, and the ability to access capital.

  • Social factors

Some of the social factors include trends, demographics and population growth.

  • Technological factors

Into this category, there are included factors like updates and advancements that impact a business’ procedures and the way in which it operates.

The legal factors that may affect the way in which a business works refers to several laws, like safety standards, consumer laws, and labour laws.

  • Environmental factors

The environmental factors are determined by the surrounding environment. These factors are important especially for industries like agriculture, travel, farming and many others.

Some of the environmental factors include climate change, geographical location, weather, and environmental offsets.

4.3. SWOT analysis

This is another type of industry analysis you need to conduct for your brand.

The SWOT analysis is yet another acronym, each letter standing for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

  • Internal - strengths and weaknesses

The internal factors that impact the well-functioning of your business are strengths and weaknesses.

Your brand’s strengths are those traits that help it set apart from your competitors, being ahead of them.

Weaknesses, as the name implies, refer to the set of disadvantages that positions your business below your competitors.

  • External - threats and opportunities

The external factors that have a great impact on your brand’s development and growth are opportunities and threats.

Opportunities refer to the chances you have to take to help your business further develop and increase brand awareness.

Threats include all those factors that may negatively impact the integrity and development of your business, implementing new strategies and increasing profit.

4.4. Blue ocean strategy

The blue ocean strategy refers to envisioning the space you occupy in your industry, based on the Porter’s 5 forces analysis, while making your competition irrelevant.

The red ocean thinking relies on being super competitive, focusing more on becoming better than your competitors.

5. The benefits of industry analysis

I always say that hard work always pays off. Well, here are some of the benefits you get after learning how to analyze your industry.

You get to:

  • understand the business
  • identify success factors
  • spot trends
  • assess growth opportunities
  • make investment decisions

6. Developing an industry analysis with Socialinsider

I keep saying that Socialinsider is more than an analytics tool and today I will prove that to you.

Socialinsider helps brands develop competitive analysis, social media reporting, campaign reporting, benchmarking against the industry and even social listening.

With Socialinsider, you can use the Industry feature to compare your brand’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages against the whole industry. How cool is that?

Let me show you how to do it.

I developed a new project in the dashboard called Starbucks where I added its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles.

I will select the same timeframe for all these platforms, namely the last 3 months.

This is how the Overview section for Starbucks’ Facebook page looks like.

the overview section for starbucks' facebook in socialinsider

If we go further right, you’ll find the Industry feature. By clicking it, you can compare your brand with the whole industry.

a screenshot with the industry section for starbucks' facebook in socialinsider

Here you can select the industry you’re part of, the country and the number of fans. It is always better to compare your brand against the ones that have roughly the same number of followers for a fair analysis.

I selected the industry Restaurants & Cafes, instead of choosing a country I selected “Worldwide” and for the number of fans I chose “All ranges”.

This is what I got.

a screenshot form socialinsider's industry feature comparing starbucks against the whole restaurants & cafes industry

You can see quick stats with key metrics for the entire Restaurants & Cafes industry, adding together data from 325 brands.

Here you can see the average number of posts, average engagement, engagement rate per profile, engagement rate per post, posts evolution and engagement evolution.

Switching to Starbucks’ Instagram page, you will see that this platforms offers a lot more insights when compared to the entire industry.

screenshot from socialinsider with starbucks's instagram compared against the whole industry

On Instagram, there are 169 brands from the same industry that got included in this industry analysis.

First, you can see some quick stats, posts evolution throughout the entire time frame, posts by type, time to post, engagement evolution, post types ranked by engagement and top hashtags.

a screenshot from socialinsider from industry feature comparing starbucks's instagram to the whole industry, showing top hashtags

I think top hashtags is by far one of the most important metrics to analyze, after engagement, of course. Here you can see which are the most popular hashtags used by the brands in the entire industry.

Moving on to Twitter, these are the metrics you get for your industry analysis when you benchmark a brand against the industry it’s part of.

screenshot from socialinsider with industry feature and starbucks's twitter compared to the whole industry

For Twitter, you will get to compare your brand against the industry and see social media metrics like posts evolution, posts by type, time to post, engagement evolution, posy types ranked by engagement, and top hashtags.

Moreover, if you need to see an industry analysis for the whole sector your brand is part of, you should check Socialinsider’s social media industry trends reports.

This feature will provide you with social media data for 28 industries for Q2 2023, being packed with insights based on the latest trends. With the data you find here, which you can easily download, you can adjust your marketing plan and campaigns.

All these industry analysis data can help make sense of the evolution of your entire industry while also being able to better plan your marketing strategy for the future.

7. Industry analysis vs. market analysis

The main difference here lies in the industrial analysis definition and market definition. An industry is named after the products and services it provides, while a market is the place where all these products and services are sold.

One of the greatest similarities between industry analysis vs market analysis is that both of them provide you with valuable insights that can help you better plan your strategy.

Both analyses will help you strengthen your approach for the sake of your business and learn how to focus on the important aspects.

This visual will help you make the distinction between industry analysis vs market analysis:

infographic with industry analysis vs market analysis

8. Industry analysis template

I’ve talked and talked about how to analyze an industry, what to look at and what’s the difference between an industry analysis vs market analysis.

Well, now it’s time to give you even more insights. An industry analysis template is the perfect helper for any social media strategist who wants to follow a structure that can lead them to a successful strategy.

Here is our industry analysis template that will surely save you a lot of time. I promise.

9. Industry analysis tools

Here is our list of top industry analysis tools that can ease your process:

  1. Socialinsider
  2. Brandwatch
  3. Semrush
  4. Exploding topics
  5. CB Insights
  7. Owler
  8. Census Business Builder
  9. Jungle Scout

Final thoughts

Performing an industry analysis helps you find your place within the entire industry, seeing exactly how favourable that sector it is for your brand's growth.

With tons of tips & tricks provided above and all those types of industry analysis, you will surely learn how to analyze an industry now.

The template provided will help you better organize your analysis and plan new adjustments for your brand.

Laura Dascau

Laura Dascau

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious, focused learner born to tell stories to win over readers' hearts. Always embracing vulnerable authenticity.

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