Use Twitter to Research Your Competition

Babette Pepaj is the founder and CEO of Bake Space ( You can see more content here on Docstoc or visit the Bake Space Blog.

  1. Create a list of competitors and check where they are at.
  2. Look beyond the conversation. Piecemeal conversations together to gain information on what they may be doing.
  3. Follow their followers.
  4. Brand feedback. Find out what is wrong with someone else’s site and learn from their mistakes.

Twitter is a great resource for looking to see what the competition is doing, where the competition is having conversation with folks.

So couple of things that we do to sort of follow those conversations is we don’t have to necessarily follow our competition but if we create list then we can everyday go through our list of competitors and kind of get an overview of, like, where they’re at.

One thing that you may also want to do too is look beyond the conversation a bit, like, if somebody, if a brand that you are following is having a conversation with a certain person. Sometimes they’re not telling you what the conversation is about but if you follow that other person and check out what they are saying, you can sort of piecemeal and connect the dots and find out, “Wait a second. Are they launching a new feature? Are they getting feedback on a design template? Are they doing a contest? Is there about to be a partnership that’s happening?” So sometimes it’s just kind of going a little bit deeper into that conversation. They may not think that you can connect those dots but if, you know, everything is searchable in Twitter. So if you can just kind of look at how those conversations are going, you can get a lot of information.

Follow their followers because obviously those are people who are interested in that brand. They’ve already done a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They are following those folks as well. Following who they’re following is also important because a lot of times it’s media. It’s people who they think is important to their business not necessarily users, so that’s really great when you’re actually trying to find out, “Okay, who are they pitching?”

Brand feedback is also important. So lots of times it’s like, “I can do customer support,” and say, like, you know, and get some feedback and say, ”What’s wrong with our site? But what’s great is to find out what’s wrong with someone else’s site because if you’re looking at Twitter and you’re looking at Facebook and someone is saying, “I hate what they’re doing here. Why did they change this color?” It’s so great to learn from their mistake so that you either don’t do the same thing or if you were going on that path you go, “Maybe the feedback isn’t going to be too great. Maybe we shouldn’t do that.”

So some of those things by just watching what they’re doing. You’ll be amazed at how many things that people put on Twitter that should not be on Twitter. Pictures of their designs, conversations about lunch dates. Loose lips sink ships. Stop talking on Twitter. That’s my advice. Stop talking. But it’s great to be able to really, you know, if you want to have that competitive edge to sort of use some of these tips and that should definitely help you.