Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – are amongst the most popular websites on the internet. But not only are they a source of entertainment and a place to connect with friends and like-minded others, they are a great place to find your next “ideal” customer.
However, when you are starting out, it can be difficult to build an audience on social media. It can be daunting to figure out your first step.
The most effective place to start is the follower lists of your competitors.
If you have a little bit of time and a small advertising budget you can very quickly and effectively swipe followers away from your competitors. But don’t just focus on numbers. Winning on social media isn’t about having the most fans, followers or subscribers but about having the most engagement. Make sure you have engaging content to back this strategy up and only target the most engaged of your competitors’ followers.
CORNERING THE TWITTERATTI
The first basic step here is to find out who is tweeting about your competitors by using the Twitter search box. Dig through the results and find anyone who has a question. You then want to answer those questions, without pitching your own product – an interaction that will push that person to find out more about you and your product.
The other segment to target is that of people upset with your competitors. By trying to help these people on Twitter, you will, at the very least, get them to check out exactly why you are suited to solve their problem and in that, they will check
your product or service out as well.
Tools like Twitonomy allow you to see the most active followers your competitor is engaging with regularly. Add these people to a list in your own Twitter account, monitor their tweets and standby to help them when they have questions or problems.
The next step would be to find all the lists that follow your competitor and engage with the list owners. Tweet to those people directly every once in a while on topics that you think will interest them. Once you have built enough of a rapport, you can ask them if they’d be open to adding you to their list. If they add you, you will instantly gain followers from your competition.
Just because your competitors have thousands of fans on Facebook, it does not mean all those users are engaging with them. Facebook has an algorithm that determines what content is shown in users’ news feeds. The higher the proportion of users you have who engage with your posts (like, share, comment), the more Facebook will show your content to others.
Using the free tool Fan Page Karma, you can discover the posts made by you competitors that got them the highest engagement. If you want to win over their fans, and have your content reach their news feeds, then you would do well to create content that resonates with them. Fan Page Karma will tell you the type of content (link, photo, video), time and day, plus the individual posts that achieved the highest engagement for your competitor.
Once you have some good content of your own that is getting engagement, you should advertise that content to fans of your competitors. Using Facebook promoted posts, you can target fans of specific Facebook pages. With hyper- targeted advertising, you can target only fans of your competitors and pages with the same active fans – Fan Page Karma gives you this information too.
YouTube is another platform, ripe for swiping your competitors’ followers.
Thanks to some precise targeting options provided by Adwords for Video, you can create video ads and show them only on specific YouTube channels. Imagine how powerful it would be to create a video that talks directly to your competitor’s subscribers, and addresses their unique concerns and aspirations?
The process of finding competitor’s channels to target is very straightforward – just use the search channels function inside YouTube, then browse those channels to see which are showing ads inside their videos. Inside your Adwords for Video options, you can then set the ads to display only on those channels, and only to people within a certain demographic for even more targeted advertising.
James Reynolds is the founder of Veravo, a Dubai based search engine marketing and website traffic agency. James posts regular website traffic tips from his company website veravo.com. You can also connect with him on Google Plus.