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One Thing We Never Talk About, Competitive Advantage

Article provided by: DISRUPT Media

We specialize in helping funeral homes find strategic approaches to social media and social networking. Our strategies help funeral homes create relevant and profitable experiences in social media.

Small Business Trends published a great article last week about businesses using social media for more than just marketing and measuring customer demographics. Social media is about engagement, visual storytelling, customer service, but one thing we never talk about is “competitive advantage“, and social media dominates in this area.

If you aren't paying attention to your competition on social media, I want to help you start practicing.  The fact that so many small businesses are on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and elsewhere means that there are plenty examples out there of what's working - and what's not working.

Let's look at four questions you can ask to guide your competitive research in social media:

  • Who are your competitors targeting?
  • How often are they talking?  How often are they interacting?
  • Are they peppering their conversation with valuable content or sales-y pushes?
  • In what light do they cast the competition (i.e. you)?


Check out what your competition is doing.  Ask yourself who they're targeting, and whether or not it seems to be working.  Collect your answers; now do it better.


Make observations about what percentage of customers your competition is replying to.  Does everyone get an answer, or do only the "interesting comments" get responses from the company?

Value Versus Sales Driven Content

Of course, it's okay to have some sales content from time to time, but even this sales-driven content should have value.  Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and try to match or beat their ratios... the more non-sales content you can offer, the better.

Treatment of Competition

If you spend any time at all perusing small business's Facebook and Twitter pages, you're sure to come across some competition bashing.  Avoid it like the plague.  The reason I advise businesses to look for this practice in their competition is because it should incentivize you to behave properly in case the temptation ever arises.

You Can't Afford Not to Do These Things

The beauty of Facebook and Twitter is how public the platforms are.  If you aren't spying on your competition, you're missing out on one of the easiest and cheapest methods of competitive research.  Get going by asking these four questions!

Read the full report from Small Business Trends

Ryan Thogmartin

CEO at DISRUPT Media and ConnectingDirector.com
Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media. DISRUPT Media is a full service social media agency specializing in social media strategy, management and reporting for funeral companies. DISRUPT Media is the creator of the FUNERAL Social Design Process which is the only full service social media strategy program crafted specifically for the funeral profession.

Go to http://funeralsocial.com to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are apart of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.

Ryan is also the founder of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.

  • fluidpusher

    I disagree. Don’t concentrate on your competition, just serve your families to the best of your abilities, treat people fairly, and concentrate on yourself.

  • Tim O’Brien

    You should do both. If you don’t “spy,” or research your competition as Ryan says, you might very well miss something important that they are doing that for some reason you are not aware of. If you don’t serve your families the best you can, you will not get the referrals and 2nd services that are the majority of your business. One other factor to consider. In the NFDA Consumer Survey, 20%, 1 out of 5, people chose their Funeral Home based on location. So, like a good Real Estate Agent, do not neglect to farm your area.

    • ryanthogmartin

      You are correct Timothy. Businesses, funeral homes included, need to do both. You must “farm your area”, but also keep a close watch on your competition. Watching your competition doesn’t mean copying what they are doing, but pay attention to what they are doing and focus on the areas where they are not meeting the “needs” of their customer.