April 17, 2014
It sounds a little NSA to be keeping track of what your customers are doing by watching their internet actions but this is all very above board and totally legal (and ethical!). You’re not tapping into any of their secrets, but rather, keeping an eye on what they’re doing so you can plan accordingly. It is amazing, sometimes, what your competitors are willing to share on social media about what they’re planning to do next. Sometimes the reasoning for this is that they’re trying to keep their audience engaged and excited about what’s coming down the road, but by sharing that information publically on the internet that means anyone – including you – can see what they’re doing.
Yes, you can go ‘like’ that company’s Facebook page and then some of their posts will show up in your newsfeed*, but if you want to the ability to see all their status updates and don’t have them know that it’s you who’s checking in on them, then here’s the best way to go about it:
1. Go to your competitor’s business Facebook page. Instead of hitting “Like” though, click on the settings widget to the right of their business name and go to ‘Add to Interest Lists’
2. A box will pop up showing the logo/business favicon of the business you want to add. Click next and then on the following screen put in the name of the list you’re creating and make this as Private for you only
3. Click Done and now you’re new Competitive group is set up. Now you can add other competitor Facebook pages to that group. Simply go to another competitor’s Facebook page and click on the widget again. This time though add them to your existing Competitor group
4. You can access your Competitors’ Facebook feeds anytime now by clicking on the appropriate group name under your Interests banner that’s located on the left-hand side of your personal Facebook page.
That’s all there is too it! And see, like I promised, this isn’t too NSA-like. You’re simply taking advantage of the tools available to you to keep an eye on anything they’re publically sharing with their fans and followers.
*Not all of a business’ posts show up in the followers/fans newsfeeds. Based on an algorithm that Facebook has created, only about 18% of a business’ Facebook audience sees what’s posted. This is important for you to know as a competitor because simply ‘liking’ another company’s page doesn’t mean you’ll automatically see all of what they post in your newsfeed. This is also important as a business that utilizes Facebook to communicate with your audience to know too!