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04 July 2016

Mastering Digital – Competitor Analysis on Social Media

Posted By: AIB Business
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In our latest “Mastering Digital” article, Antonie Geerts (Managing Director, Seditio Digital Consultancy & Training) looks at how to use social media URL shortening tools to extract competitor insights.

Competitors are essential in business. They can help drive you and your business to greater success, and you can learn from them to inform your own business strategy. In this post I want to share some tips on how to learn from your competitors by analysing their social media behaviour.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how well tweets are performing on your competitors’ profiles? Well you can find out most of this information by analysing their “shortened” URLs, which are often set up using tools like Bit.ly, Goo.gl and Ow.ly. You might have noticed other versions like Buff.ly or other brand name related links, but the majority of them simply leverage one of the three aforementioned services. 

So let’s analyse them.

 

1. Bit.ly

Links that are set up on the Bit.ly system are the easiest to analyse. However, the URLs often don’t contain “Bit.ly/”, which can make them harder to identify. 

For example, the above Mashable link is a Bit.ly but “hidden” within a branded domain name called on.mash.to/24DL1KB . Now the only thing you need to do to get the click information from this link is to add a “+” to the URL like so: http://on.mash.to/24DL1KB+.

Instead of opening the link and learning more about WarCraft, you now get insights of the recorded click behaviours:

2. Goo.gl

Google’s version of URL shortening is used quite a bit on newsletters, Google Plus posts and, of course, Twitter. Extracting the data is slightly different than Bit.ly but still very easy.

As you can see, the link in the above post is: https://goo.gl/ph7LjA. It has a unique code: “ph7LjA”.

To access the data behind this link, simply copy and paste the unique code into this URL: 

https://goo.gl/#analytics/goo.gl/{INSERT CODE HERE}/all_time

In this example, the resultant URL is https://goo.gl/#analytics/goo.gl/ph7LjA/all_time

The Google data is also pretty insightful but focusses on different elements than the Bit.ly statistics. Keep in mind that the codes are case sensitive.

 

3. Ow.ly (Hootsuite)

The last of out URL shorteners is Ow.ly, a popular option because it integrates with Hootsuite (a tool for scheduling social media activity).

In order to extract data from Ow.ly URLs, you need a Hootsuite account, which is available for free. Once logged in, you can open this link https://hootsuite.com/dashboard#/analytics/quick?id=2&ref=sidebar-preset

You can then type or paste in any Ow.ly link and it will extract the data.

Although the data provided is not as detailed as Bit.ly or Goo.gl, it can still give you some good insights on how your competitors’ content is performing on social media.

 

Of course having a bunch of numbers is only a starting point for analysing your competitors but, with these tools, you can understand what worked well, what time was effective and what potential audience was reached!

Written by: Antonie Geerts, Managing Director, Seditio Digital Consultancy & Training

 

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