An interesting way to monitor how successful your competitors social media channels are is based on how many people are actually interacting with links and information they are sharing. This can then be compared with your own statistics to see how different your fans and followers are to that of your competitors.
It can be extremely easy to increase fans and followers on social media by linking up your current customers who are visiting your site using the various ‘follow me’ on social media buttons that are available these days. Along with running engaging competitions that will make current fans and followers entice their friends to join up.
But back to monitoring competitors click statistics.
When people are using the Bit.ly service for shortening URLs, via any of their domains or a custom URL shortener that has been set up, then you can easily see the statistics on that link simply by adding a + to the end of the URL.
For example, here is an old link that I have shared so you can see some statistics http://mic.cx/qxuDRb+
Similar statistics are also available when using Goo.gl URL shortnener, for example here is a recent URL Google shared http://goo.gl/87NmF+
The above link shows lots of cool information which shows you how successful competitors links are and how much influence they really have from their thousands of followers.
I haven’t tried all URL shortening services to see if similar statistics are available, but since these are two of the main ones I thought I would just cover those for the time being.
There may be a way to automatically pull all of this data into a Google Doc Spreadsheet and automatically compare how followers and fans behave on the links that have been shared, although with twitter now using “t.co” for all links contained within tweets (at least via their API that is how everything comes back) then I am not sure this will be as easy to generate. Although if anyone does know of a way to do this, then please do share.
In summary, this piece of information to find out how engaged fans and followers are can be very valuable in addition to just monitoring the number of people following you on social media. This should provide some additional information into your competitors.