Small and Medium Enterprises: know your enemy
If you run a small or medium business one of the most vital activities you can partake in is the assessment and evaluation of what your competition is doing. Unless you’re a big business, the chances are that you have businesses competing for the same customers as you, and by finding out what your competition is doing you can analyse what they’re doing well and not so well, and any particular niches in marketing you can explore.
Social Media Marketing
One of the main ways that businesses are currently marketing themselves is via social media. Having an online presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a cost-effective way to ensure that you are visible on the Internet; which is of course one of the primary ways of garnering business in this day and age.
In terms of SME’s checking out their competition, social media is probably a good place to start. It is certainly helpful to look at what your competitors are outputting on social networks, as it will help you ascertain how successful their mode of online communication is and whether it seems to be bearing fruit. This knowledge can then be put into practice in terms of your own marketing.
Monitoring your competitor’s social media marketing seems highly sensible, but it gets tricky when you start to think about how this can actually be put into practice. A good first step would be to ‘like’, ‘follow’ and ‘connect’ with the company’s various forms of social media as well as setting up a Google Alert to make you aware of all the latest content that is created in reference to the company. Going forward, all of this content should be accessed with relative frequency in order to ensure that your business is not being left behind.
Making the most of the information
One of the things that may seem a little obvious, but is nevertheless of fundamental importance is that the information gleaned from all of this research is utilised effectively. It may be that you don’t have the resources in-house to manage this sort of operation and it may stretch you somewhat; but if you’re actually using the information positively then it can be thoroughly worthwhile.
Social media is accounting for more and more business and it’s crucial to have all your bases covered so that you don’t wake up one day and realise that you’ve been left behind. The digital age has begun, and it won’t be over in a hurry.