Published: August 30, 2013
Starting in July, Facebook has begun testing a new way for page admins to keep an eye on competing pages. The new “Pages to Watch” module on the insights dashboard is popping up at random on some business pages, allowing admins to select five competitive pages and receive updates on like totals for those pages on a weekly basis.
According to Inside Facebook, the social media giant has confirmed that this is simply a test run right now. However, we are excited at the thought that Facebook may expand the breadth of this tool to include additional, deeper competitive metrics in the future, should this test run go well.
It’s an interesting approach. One that may provide some value to page administrators, but is likely ultimately being done from a business growth perspective for Facebook. If you see that your competitors likes are increasing at a rapid rate, there’s a good chance that they’re leveraging Facebook advertising. This is where Facebook’s business acumen comes in, as they tease you by saying “Do you want this many likes?” This raises the question of whether or not this feature will stick around, based on how much it actually grows Facebook advertising revenue.
At any rate, it is interesting to see the “Pages to Watch” feature pop up and watch how it progresses. The one key caveat to this whole thing is that you can track your competitors, but they’ll know you’re doing it.
“…Oddly enough, pages that are being watched receive a notification that they’re being watched. While the notification invites that page to try the “Pages to Watch” feature, this could be a deterrent for pages who want to keep an eye on the competition, but not want to let them know.”
From a social strategy perspective, companies these days should expect their competition is keeping tabs on them — particularly if they have a strong follower base and are an industry leader. On the same token, you need to keep track of your competition on social media if you are not already. It will help you better understand your target customer base by listening to the way competitors and their fans are interacting. It will also spur ideas for social content that goes above and beyond what they are providing and helps you from a strategic perspective to determine where they are falling short and where you may find a niche to get an upper hand.
Some companies are weary of this much competitive transparency. From Envano’s perspective, we say “What’s wrong with letting your competitors know you’re watching them?”
After all, “competition breeds excellence.”