By Deborah Richmond
On the internet, it is perfectly acceptable to lurk about and seeing what your competition is doing before you jump into using social media.
To lurk means to join a network, look around, read and watch other people without contributing anything yourself. Not only is this behavior acceptable, it’s a good idea before beginning to contribute and interact with others. By watching your competitors, you can start to discover the types of messages that will engage your audience.
To get started, find your competition on the various social networks. If you don’t want them to know you’re watching, often you can see what they’re doing without directly connecting to them. Here are some things to look for:
- What kind of status updates do they write?
- How often do you see them interacting with others?
- Do they post videos, photos, links to other sites?
- Which posts are getting the most views?
- Which are getting the most comments and “Likes”?
Observing others is how we learn what is acceptible behavior in any social situation. When you join a new organizaiton, you attend the first meeting and mostly observe. You don’t immediately assume you will get on stage and lead the meeting. You watch, see what activities are on the agenda, look to other group members to know when it’s okay to chit chat and when it’s time to quiet down and begin the meeting.
The same applies to social media and watching your competition. You don’t want to sign up for an account and immediately start posting updates about what you ate for breakfast. Once you’ve watched for a while, you will be able to see that this type of update would usually be considered uninteresting and fails to start a conversation or add to one. When you’ve lurked for a while, you will know how to post something of more interest that may entice a friend to comment. Try everything and see which posts interest your audience most.
If you are looking for help with your social marketing, check out My Social Marketing Club and get started today.