Using White Hat strategies (strictly no Black Hat strategies), there is need to offer nine uses of social media networking for gaining competitive intelligence.
While the use of social media networks for gaining competitive intelligence is not a bad idea, it must also be kept in mind that competing firms are very smart themselves, and may know that their public data could be used for counteractive purposes and it is quite possible (though not always) that they may supply incorrect or grossly exaggerated data, or information just to sidetrack competitors who wish to gain at their expense.
- Use of PR Newswire for social media campaigns: It is indeed necessary for us to know what competitive brands are next up to, and what tricks they have up their sleeves to upstage us, this could be gained from PR Newswire and other publications and what marketing strategies they have next in mind could be gained through this.
- Press Conferences provided by competing brands offer insights to their next programs and strategies although this could be couched in vague language for obvious, anti competitive reasons. If possible, we could adopt and adapt their strategies if this works well for our firm too.
- Twitter carries the Dynamic Twitter Network Analyses (DTNA) which may be pointers to which direction and focus competitors are working. This could help in our own strategies for gaining worthwhile and useable competing strategies.
- Gaining news from emails of competing firms could offer strategies that could be also applied in our firm. However care must be taken since it is quite possible that their provided stratagems maybe just tricks to upstart competitors, since they know full well that their emails may be public and would attract competing firms to it.
- Leading Case studies that could be useful and informative for us also. The faults and mistakes committed by competing firms could be our source of strengths and opportunities and case studies could be made to gain benefits for our firm through competitive analysis.
- Subscriptions to their email newsletters may help gain insight into their future programs and plans and counter plans could be planned accordingly.
- Gain ideas from their Facebook fans and how this data could be made useful to us. Use data of competing firms to set forth ideas gained through white papers, videos, eBooks, and Facebook posts and so on.
- Use of Kick-starter to get the latest that is happening in the industry, similarly neighborhood businesses, gain innovativeness, product updates and so on.
- Which pages of competitors are liked by people, why and whether this could be successfully used by our firm too.
Publicly discloses competitor strategies and programs must not be fully believed since this could be based on projections and not realities. It would be foolish to base our strategies on these since competing firms are also aware that their competitors are surveying their data and basing their competing decision on these data.
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