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Tweeting With the Enemy — 3 Tips for Interacting With Competitors on Social Media

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Tweeting With the Enemy — 3 Tips for Interacting With Competitors on Social Media

Image credit: Nemodus photos | Flickr
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Sheena Tahilramani
SHEENA TAHILRAMANI
CONTRIBUTOR
Co-Founder, 7 Second Strategies

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What do massive credit card debt, mystery fridge meat and your competitors have in common? None of these things will go away if you ignore them. Turning a blind eye to the actions of competing companies in your industry is a great way to get caught off guard and you’ll miss out on valuable insights that can help your company thrive.

Just as your company is constantly evolving, so are the other businesses within your industry. Ignoring their activities, both online and off, can have dire consequences. Leverage social media to bolster your competitive edge with these three tips:

Related: Updated Facebook ‘Pages’ Allow You to Stack Up Your Competitors’ Social Metrics

1. Give credit where credit is due.
A self-assured person isn’t threatened by another individual’s achievements, and a competent company isn’t either. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your competitors and give credit where credit is due, but do be sure to use these moments as opportunities to define how your firm is different from the herd.

Giving a shout out to indirect and direct competitors on social media not only does a great deal for industry relations. It’s also a chance for you to highlight your company’s unique value proposition and reiterate its areas of expertise. If Competitor A was just acknowledged as the best XYZ for restaurants, be the bigger company by giving kudos via a tweet.

Then be sure to add some posts to your queue that highlight your company’s successes with something related yet different such as a luxury line of products. Remember to keep these well-timed tweets positive and nonthreatening: This is your opportunity to explain how your company is unique, not to blatantly state how it’s better.

Related: 3 Ways to Use Your Twitter Data to Beat the Competition

2. Up your social-media listening game.
There’s substantial value in paying attention to what your consumers are saying on social media, and you can learn equally as much by studying your competitors’ tweets, posts, blogs and op eds.

To do this, you’ll need a social media strategy just for competitors. Checking in at random on other companies’ Twitter feeds is better than doing nothing, but having the information in real time can really give you the upper hand.

List six competitors: three companies that directly take business away from you (and vice versa), and three firms that you don’t compete with directly but greatly respect. Designate a point person on your team who is solely responsible for competitor research. Set up Google Alerts for these six companies and arrange for a scan of the social-media pages of the three direct competitors every other day (check their Twitter feed every day).

Your point person should disseminate relevant information in real time and draw up a quarterly strategy document that analyzes the behaviors of competitors. This gives you the information to reasonably predict their focus and can help you tailor your business plans to corner whatever market they’re overlooking. Do this same exercise with your three aspirational competitors to examine successful campaigns and adapt any relevant ideas applicable to your company.

3. Find industry allies
You might lose sleep over your direct competitors, but your indirect competitors can (and should) be another story. Companies within your industry that target a different core consumer base can be excellent resources for industry insights and the relative lack of overlap makes knowledge sharing beneficial to everyone.

Use social media to easily find and interact with fellow companies in your industry and take these relationships offline to help strengthen one another’s businesses. Focus your efforts on companies that are substantially larger than yours, those that can’t cater to smaller orders or that don’t offer their services on a reduced retainer.

Bigger players are always looking to refer clients that they can’t work with to smaller reputable businesses. With appropriate communication and mutual respect, a noncompeting company in your industry can actually give you that competitive edge.

The bottom line is this: Your competitors’ actions on social media tell a lot about their direction, client base and overall strategy. Use social platforms to your advantage — as a means of communicating your value proposition, as a source of competitor research and as an industry database. And you’ll experience the positive results of becoming a bit more social with the enemy.

source:http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241407

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Facebook paid users to track smartphone use

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Facebook paid users, including teens, to track their smartphone activity as part of an effort to glean more data that could help the social network’s competition efforts, according to a new report that may raise fresh privacy concerns.

An investigation by the online news site TechCrunch said the effort, which had been known as the Onavo Project and later rebaptized as Facebook Research, was used to gather data on usage habits.

The news could be a further embarrassment for Facebook, which has been under heightened scrutiny over failing to crack down on manipulation of its platform and for sharing private data with its business partners.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook said it shut down the application on Apple’s iOS on Wednesday after the article was published, but apparently kept it active for Android users.

The report said the initial Onavo app was shuttered for violating Apple’s privacy policy and that the newer version may also contravene Apple’s terms.

The program paid users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 a month for “root” access to their devices to track their location, app usage, spending habits and other activity.

According to a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook claimed there was nothing secret about the effort and that it obtained parental consent for teens where required.

Facebook did not immediately respond to further requests for comment.

The project may have allowed Facebook to scoop up more data about younger users as it fends off a challenge from rival services like Snapchat, which has become more popular than Facebook among US teens.

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Internet

Instagram is down for some users (FB)

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It’s not clear exactly how many people are affected, or what’s causing the outage. Business Insider has reached out to the Facebook-owned photo sharing app for more information.

The app’s news feed is refusing to refresh for some users, while the homepage on desktop won’t load.

Down Detector, a website that tracks outages of popular websites, reported a spike in users saying Instagram was down on Monday, with particular hotspots on both coasts of the United States and the UK.

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INSTAGRAM READY TO GIVE INFLUENCERS AND CELEBS SPECIALIZED TOOLS VIA CREATOR ACCOUNTS

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Instagram plans to offer high-profile influencers special tools that will provide them with a deeper insight into various data regarding their followers. These tools will be delivered in the form of Creator Accounts, which will only be available to select Instagram users (i.e. influencers, celebs).

An Instagram official recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the company wishes to make sure that “Instagram is the best place, and easiest place, to build fan communities and also build creators. personal brands.”

These creator accounts are meant to function like business-focused profiles and will offer growth insights, including information about follows and unfollows. Influencers will also be able to see weekly and daily data about their followers count changes so that they can better understand what might have caused a decline in their fan base or a spike in new followers.

Also, direct messaging tools that will enable Instagram users to filter notes from brand partners and friends will be available as well. Furthermore, influencers will be allowed to choose how they want to be contacted via flexible labels.

According to Instagram. these new features are being tested with a small beta group at the moment, but they are expected to be rolled out to everyone sometime in 2019.

 

 

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