Facebook can be leveraged for more than just interacting with consumers, creating brand awareness, and marketing with sponsored ads. For marketers who rely on industry analysis, Facebook is another great tool for research. How can you use the social networking giant to learn about your competition—and then turn it into meaningful data? Consider just a few ways:

Finding an Audience

Facebook is an effective way to learn about the audience your competitor is targeting. How does your competitor make use of emotional appeals, testimonials, statistics, and other motivators?

Once you have identified the competition’s audience, you have a few options. You can target the same audience—and do it better. Or you can target a different audience who also uses the same products or services.  It comes down to this: Do you feel the competition is targeting the best audience?

How Is the Competition Spending Ad Dollars?

Facebook is where companies post digital content and link to it. This gives you a clear overview of how a brand is using their marketing budget. Is the focus on video, native advertising, or consumer-content creation? This also gives you some insight into the brand’s values as you see the topics that they focus on. Plus, you can see the latest promotional offers.

If your competitor’s campaigns are finding success, you can get a good idea of which direction to take your marketing. You can also compare your brand’s values, and see how they match up, or even if your brand is effectively explaining your values to the public. Finally, knowing what sales your competition is conducting, can help you to see what consumers expect when it comes to finding a deal.

Consumer Response

What are people raving about, and what do they dislike about your competitor? You’ll find out by reading the Facebook comments. Then you can do a few things to leverage this information. First, make sure that you match up when it comes to the things that customers love. Second, make sure that you are better at the things consumers complain about, and don’t forget to be vocal about it.

How are you using Facebook to scope out the competition? Let us know some of your favorite things to look for in the comments below.