The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.


James Bond Competitor Analysis

Want to inject some buzz into your social strategy?

When you need inspiration for what to do on social media, there’s a really easy way to find ideas: “spy” on your competitors.

Social media is public, so you can easily check out what your competitors are doing. We call this the 007 Method.

You’ll be just like James Bond – but from the comfort of your office.

By checking out your competition, you can learn two things:

  1. What are they doing that works really well?
  2. What are they missing? Is there a gap you could fill?

With that in mind, let’s see what you should pay attention to when you’re spying on your competition…

How Do They Interact with Customers?

Social media is all about engagement. It’s a two-way conversation.

That said, it can sometimes be hard to figure out how to get your audience talking. It’s frustrating to post update after update, only to be met with stony silence.

Chances are, some of your competitors have great interactions with their customers. Observe what these competitors do to get their customers talking. Once you’ve found the “secret” of their success, you can follow a similar strategy.

What Voice Do They Use?

Every brand has a voice. For many brands, their voice is boring and corporate. But it doesn’t have to be this way, especially not on social media.

In fact, social works best when you’re willing to let your hair down and share what you’ve got to say in your own voice.

Developing a voice can take time. When you look at what your competitors are doing, notice how they manage the balance between being approachable and staying professional.

Also, look out for brands who haven’t bothered developing a voice – and notice the difference that makes to their posts.

How Do They Respond to Complaints?

There are few people in the world who take criticism well. But if your business is to succeed, it’s important that you respond professionally to complaints. This is especially the case considering that 9% of people who complain to businesses on social media expect a response in under five minutes! And nearly half (42%) expect a response within twenty-four hours.

Do complaining customers make your blood boil? If so, take a moment to calm down before you respond. And look at how your competitors reply to complaints. They might not feel calm, but they probably act calm on social media.

Hint: Do not follow this example.

What Types of Content Do They Create?

Ever wondered if you should be sharing on YouTube? Or if you need to start writing a blog?

When you’re wondering what types on content you should be creating, it’s worth checking out what your competitors are doing.

Are they creating…

  • …videos?
  • …images?
  • …blog posts?
  • …slide shows?
  • …infographics?
  • …Pinterest boards?
  • …something else?

Remember, just because your competitors are doing something doesn’t automatically make it a good idea.

Notice the types of content that get the most views, shares or comments. That’s the content you should put your effort into creating.

Need more ideas for types of content you could use? Take a look at 10 of our favorites.

What Topics Do They Focus On?

It’s not only the types of content you create that matters. It’s also the ingredients you mix into your content.

What topics do your competitors focus on in their content? You might find a broad range of ideas, which is great, because you can pull them together to create your own mix.

Remember to notice the topics that get the most engagement. If it works for your competitors, it’s likely to work for you.

What’s Their Content Publishing Schedule?

Do your competitors publish new content to their website daily, weekly or monthly?

What level of posting frequency gets the most attention?

If they’re failing to post content at all, then there’s a gap you can fill.

Where Do They Curate Their Content From?

You don’t have to create content to build an audience, though it’s always a good idea.

You can also engage people by becoming a curator. That means collecting the best content from across the web and sharing it with your audience.

Checking out the content that your competitors share is a brilliant way of finding sources for your own curation.

When Do They Post Social Media Updates?

In the morning? Afternoon? Evening?

If they post throughout the day, observe the times of day when their content gets the most engagement. It’s likely that these are the best times to post, too.

What Networks Do They Post To?

Social media can be a huge time drain unless you use it strategically. That means managing your time on social media well. It also means choosing the social networks where your networking can have the biggest impact.

Observing the networks your competitors use can be a simple way of scouting out where you’re most likely to find customers to engage with.

That said, it’s worth noticing the networks your competitors don’t use. If they avoid a particular network, it means one of two things. Either there’s a gap in the market, which you can exploit. Or, more likely, the network they avoid isn’t a fruitful one for businesses in your niche.

How Have You Used the 007 Method?

Have you ever checked out your competitors to pick up ideas on how to use social media? If so, what did you learn? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Christmas Social Caffeine

Here’s wishing all our readers a Merry Christmas! Many happy returns for the season.

In case you need some holiday reading, here are our five most popular posts from 2014:

1. 25 List Posts No Self-Respecting Social Marketer Should Ignore

This is our 2014 top performer, with over 1,500 social shares. More than six months after it was published, it’s still going strong and getting passed around the social airwaves.

The list post classics we link to in this post include 50 Out Of The Box Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses, The Top 75 Must-Read Online Marketing Blogs and 70+ epic social media case studies, stats, blog posts and more.

Check out all 25 of the list posts here.

2. 10 Powerful Insights from Social Media’s Most Influential Women

Women are the leading lights of social media, and the fact that this post has proved so popular shows that everyone knows it.

This is the first in a four part series covering social media’s top 25 women, so dig in and enjoy.

Who is social media’s most influential women? You’ll have to read the article to find out.

3. 3 Ways Your Small Business Can Rock It on Facebook

This was a surprise hit for us. We knew the Facebook tips we shared were special, but we didn’t know quite how useful small business owners would find them.

Check it out here, and if you find it helpful, share it with your Facebook friends.

4. Your Brand’s Content Has to Kill It: Here’s Where You Start

In this article we shared our best tips on writing blog posts and creating content.

It didn’t prove a huge hit in terms of social shares, but it got a ton of attention on StumbleUpon.

Take a look here, and if you like what you see, why not bump up the Twitter share count by sharing it with your followers?

5. 25 Social Media Tips from the World’s 5 Biggest Power Users (What Do They Know that You Don’t?)

For this post we tracked down social media’s biggest power users, and delved into their best writing to find their top tips.

Little wonder that others found it special too.

Check it out here.

Special Mention: 7 Things Your 3-Year-Old Knows About Social Media Marketing That You Don’t

We had a lot of fun writing this one – collecting quotes from toddlers and translating them into social media advice.

We hope you’ll like it too – it’s got a touch of Christmas magic! You can read it here.

Over to You

Do you have a favorite Social Caffeine post from 2014? Let us know what it is in the comments!


budget impact demand marketingAttention is scarce.

There’s so much stuff in cyberspace, it’s easy for people to overlook you and your business in your small corner of the world.

So, get out of your little pond and start swimming with the sharks.

Here’s how you can punch above your weight.

1. Go Newsjacking

Newsjacking is the art of shining a light on your brand by injecting your own angle into breaking news stories.

Why does it work? Because journalists are always looking for opinions to stir into their stories. If your opinions serve as good story thickeners, then you’ll make it into the news.

How can you newsjack? David Meerman Scott, who invented the art of Newsjacking, follows a three step formula:

A. Find News to Jack

Before you can jack the news, you need to know what the news is. To find hot stories you can:

  • Monitor keywords and phrases relevant to your niche using Google Alerts
  • Follow journalists who cover your industry on Twitter
  • Monitor relevant Twitter hashtags

B. Create Your Newsjacking Strategy

What will you do that’s newsworthy? Will you simply share your opinion? Or will you do something spectacular that adds to the story?

C. Make the News

Now you’ve decided what you’ll do to jack the news, do it, then tell everyone about it. Blog about it, tweet about it, or hold a live news conference on Google Hangouts.

2. Connect With Influencers

Have you developed a product you know people will love – if only you could get the word out?

We’ve looked at how you can jump on the bandwagon of the news. But the news is no longer the only trusted source of information.

Where else do people turn for insight?

They look to their network. Their friends and family. And the influencers they trust.

Get an influencer on board with your brand, and you instantly create a bond of trust with their audience.

What’s the best way to reach out to influencers? We recommend starting on Twitter. You can check our advice on hooking up with Twitter influencers here.

3. Create a Ton of EPIC Content

Content marketing is a brilliant strategy for getting attention. And you can get started for peanuts. All you need is around a hundred bucks to host a blog and a pocketful of ideas.

Easy peasy… before you know it you’ll be hitting the front page of Google, right?

Not so fast, cowboy.

Creating content will engage your audience. And some of it will go viral. But this will only happen if the content you create is epic.

There are oceans upon oceans of mediocre content out there, created by bots, or people paid $2 an article.

You can do better than that. And you must.

As Corbett Barr puts it:

Write things that make people think. Inspire people. Change lives. Create value. Blow people away with your usefulness.


4.Channel the Power of Images

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

According to urban legend, that phrase is a Chinese proverb. The truth? It was coined by a newspaper editor in the early 20th century.

Either way, it points to the deep truth that you can say a lot more with a single image than could ever be expressed in an article or blog post.

Images grab attention. They’re eye candy and brain candy. That’s why infographics are so damn popular. It’s also why photos and albums are two of the best types of Facebook post for creating engagement.

So, get trigger happy on your camera, or sign up for a stock photo service. We can promise you won’t regret it.

5. Learn to Think in Stories

Stories are what make us human. We’ve been sharing stories ever since we sat around the cave fire discussing the day’s hunt.

Everyone loves a good story. And everyone wants to be part of a great story. So if you can tell good stories about your brand, you’re onto a winner.

What makes for a good story?

First you need a villain. That’s a problem your customers face (note: it’s also the problem that you’re able help them solve). Without the problem, their lives would be a whole lot better.

Next, you need a hero. The hero’s the guy (or gal) who defeats the villain.

Are you ready to step into the breach? Stop right there!

You are NOT the hero. The customer is the hero.

So what’s your role? Maybe you’re a sidekick who works with your clients to help them defeat the villain. Maybe you’re a magic potion that gives them extra power. Maybe you’re their secret weapon.

You’ve got a key role to play in the story, but you’re not the hero. Remember that whenever you’re telling stories about your brand.

Need more storytelling oomph? Then check out our 72 questions to help you dig deep in telling your brand’s story/

6. Become a Thought Leader

There are two ways of getting attention. One is to push yourself out there. Shout loud and be proud. It works, but it can be exhausting. And if you shout too loud, people might just start to block their ears.

What’s the alternative to pushing? You got it: pull marketing. With pull marketing, people come to you. You’re the magnet.

How can you magnetize yourself? An easy way is by sharing your expertise, for free. Start a blog. Ask podcasters to interview you. Guest post around the web. Write an ebook.

As you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, you’ll find that people start coming to you. When you’re a go-to source, people turn up on your doorstep.

Everyone’s an expert in something. You’re probably an expert in your business (or at least in running a business). So start sharing what you know.