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How to analyze the activity of competitors on Facebook?

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How to analyze the activity of competitors on Facebook?

Assessment of competitors' activity, including social networks, is an important condition for maintaining the brand's competitive advantage.

Competitor analysis should NOT be a one-time event. The market is dynamic; accordingly, competitors change their promotion strategies depending on the market situation. It is necessary not only to know but also to regularly monitor what competitors are doing and how they influence the target audience and to adjust your promotion strategy based on this monitoring constantly.

Monitoring data will allow to:

  • see the style in the presentation of information and track its changes;
  • track targeting audiences;
  • evaluate the USP of competitors;
  • understand how long competitors' advertising campaigns last and how often they change the creative/message;
  • track marketing approaches, etc.

Competitor analysis can also be carried out free of charge. Below are the methods for evaluating the media activity of competitors on Facebook, which are provided within the functionality of this social network.

The easiest way is to subscribe to competitors' business pages and/or interact with advertising on the topic.

Subscribers and users who interact with the content on the pages of brands and advertising content are more likely to get into the target audiences of their advertising campaigns.

Evaluation of the visual and textual components of ads will allow you to understand how and what competitors say to the target audience, and the “Why do I see this ad?” feature will show information about the audience used for targeting on Facebook: age category, place of residence, etc

This method is NOT automated and is NOT suitable for working with a large number of competitors. Nevertheless, the collected data will be quite enough for the initial analysis.

Facebook Ad Library allows you to search and view ads that are currently running on Facebook apps and services, including Instagram.

The service primarily provides transparency in advertising for projects of social and political importance. However, it can also be used as a source of information about the actions of competitors.

You can go to the service here or see the advertisements on the business page in the ‘Page Transparency’ section.

Search in the Ad Library is carried out by page name. The result of the search is all active advertising of the desired page and inactive if it has social or political significance.

The service allows you to use filters:

  • by country: it shows the geography of advertising targeting and allows you to evaluate the strategy used by competitors to influence consumers in different countries;
  • by platform: it indicates the platform that was selected for displaying ads: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or Audience Network;
  • by period: it shows which of the currently active ads were shown in the selected period.

In general, the Facebook Ad Library is a helpful tool that contains a database of real ads and greatly simplifies the work of analyzing competitors. However, you need to use it regularly because viewing inactive ads is impossible. 

A one-time viewing of competitors' ads will allow you to generally assess the approach to competitors' communication (main messages, USP, etc.) but will not provide information about the duration of the campaign, the frequency of changes in creatives/messages, and, accordingly, track trends in differences in approaches to competitors' communication with the target audience.

Analyze the actions of competitors using the ‘Interesting Pages’ feature

In the section ‘View Statistics’ of your business profile, you can track the actions of competitors. This section provides a block ‘pages of interest,’ in which you need to enter the names of competitors' pages using the menu ‘Add pages’ and click the button ‘Follow the news´.

This functionality allows you to track the number of subscribers on competitors' pages and the weekly dynamics of this indicator, the weekly number of posts, and the level of engagement.

To assess the activity of competitors on Facebook, it is not necessary to use paid tools and monitoring offered by the market, and you can limit yourself to the built-in functionality. 

At the same time, an essential factor is the regularity of the analysis, which will allow you to track changes in the strategies of competitors and, based on this, make timely real-time adjustments to the promotion of your brand.

The author of the article

Igor Morozov

Igor Morozov

Facebook PPC Team Lead

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