I was a guest at Fred Wergeles‘ University of Hartford Competitive Intelligence class the other night, where his MBA students presented a business case study of one of my clients. The students were able to grab a ton of information from public sources, and among those, social media channels provided some great insights. This has me thinking about how social media has become synonymous with customer outreach and engagement, but is typically neglected as a source of both customer and competitive intelligence.
Spend some time looking at your competitors website, facebook, tweets, and blog…set a google alert for the name of your competitor plus the word “announces”, as well as other popular keywords in your industry…or set up an online tinychat, to get consumers together to talk about your product or service. You will be surprised at what you can learn.
Do this every six months or so, and you will be rewarded with a greater sense of what your competitors are doing and more importantly, develop a more competitive positioning for your business and a stronger program of customer engagement.