Targeting your competitors on social media

Social Media Strategies

Gaining as much of your industry’s market share as possible is a common strategy in any marketing plan. Stealing your competitors’ customers is a great way to grow your business, and social media ads are an easy way to start. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube all offer tools marketers can use.

social-media-online-shutterstock_195103625Twitter makes it extremely easy to start going after the competition. In Twitter ads, advertisers can target users who follow specific Twitter accounts. So if your competitors are on Twitter, you can show ads to only the users who follow your competition. Now that’s hyper-targeted advertising.

Facebook and Instagram have a similar approach to Twitter, but you cannot target your competitors’ pages directly. If your competitor is popular enough, you can target it as an interest group. Facebook defines interests as, “Things people share on their timelines, apps they use, ads they click, pages they like and other activities on and off of Facebook and Instagram.” So if your competitor has a stronger social presence, you might be able to capitalize on the work it has done for you.

You can argue that YouTube (the second largest search engine after Google) isn’t social media, but I disagree 100 percent. If you can like, share, comment and engage on YouTube…it’s social. And if you have video content, you can promote your videos by using placement targeting of your competitor’s YouTube channel. Whenever someone is on your competitor’s channel, your ads could show up as a promoted video or as an ad on the competitor’s video, if that channel allows ads.

Paid ads on social media allow you to target your message to a very relevant audience. If that audience just happens to leave your competitor for your business, it’s only icing on the cake. You’ll never know the true value of competitor targeting unless you test it yourself.

-Joe Martinez is senior manager, paid media and community at Milwaukee-based Granular.

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