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  Article updated: June 20, 2024

Analyze your competitors' content strategies

Competitive analysis and benchmarking in Hootsuite lets you compare your content strategy and performance with that of other brands. Have a look at what your direct competitors are doing on social, or get ideas from brands you admire. You can identify ways to improve your posts and refine your strategy by looking at post performance, posting frequency, types of posts, and hashtags used.

You can compare content strategies across Twitter, Facebook Pages, and Instagram Business accounts.

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already added a Facebook Page, Twitter account, or Instagram Business account that you can compare with competitor accounts. Learn how to add a social account to Hootsuite.

Choose your competitors

To get started, you first need to add some competitor accounts to your watchlist. Your plan type determines the number of social accounts per network that you can compare with your own social accounts. Enterprise plan members can add up to 20, Business plan members can add up to five, and Team and Professional members can add up to two. The competitor watchlist is shared across all team members.

Note: For Team plans, competitors are shared across all team members.

  1. Go to Analytics, and then select Analytics settings.
    Analytics settings in the Analytics navigation.
  2. Select Competitors.
  3. Select a social network, search for a competitor’s account, and then select the account from the list. You can search for Page names or usernames, or paste in an account’s URL. When searching for Instagram accounts, enter @ before the name.
  4. When you’re finished adding competitor accounts to your watchlist, close Analytics settings.


  • We backfill up to 30 days of data, starting the day you add a competitor to your watchlist.
  • If you delete a competitor account from your watchlist, we will permanently delete all associated data. If you add that account again at a later time, we will treat it as a new account and backfill up to 30 days of data for it.
  • We cannot backfill data for the Followers metric.

Compare content strategies

You can compare one of your own social accounts with up to twenty competitor accounts on the same social network.

  1. In Analytics, expand Benchmarking, and then select Competitive analysis.
    Competitive analysis in the Analytics navigation.
  2. Select one of your own social accounts, and then select Apply. All competitor accounts of that social network type are selected by default.
  3. Select the specific competitor accounts you’d like to review, and then select Apply.
    The list of competitors to select and compare with.
  4. Open the date picker to select the time frame you want to analyze, and then select Set. You can go back 30 days from when you added each competitor.
    calendar where you can change the date range.
  5. Review the information in each widget.

As a starting point, consider these questions as you explore:

  • Where are other brands focusing their publishing efforts?
  • Where do they perform best?
  • How often do other brands post?
  • Which are their top-performing posts and why?
  • How does your content performance compare, and are there ideas you can try in the future?

If you recently added your own accounts or competitor accounts, it could take up to a minute to populate data. Try refreshing the page if data doesn’t appear after a minute.

Competitive analysis widgets

The following widgets are part of Competitive analysis and benchmarking. They differ by social network, based on the publicly available data from each one.

  • Overview - Shows how often your competitors post, and how that correlates to engagement and audience growth. Your account is highlighted in gray in the table.
  • Post performance - Shows the top-performing post from each competitor based on a single metric. Your top-performing post is highlighted in gray. Choose the metric from the top right of the widget. You can also change this widget to show the lowest-performing post by metric. Select the date on each post to open and view it on the social network.
  • Performance by post type - Shows a breakdown of each competitor’s post types and how they performed based on a single metric. Choose the metric from the top right of the widget. Your post type breakdown is highlighted in gray. Below the breakdowns, a trend graph shows performance of post types based on the selected metric. This widget is available for Facebook and Instagram.
  • Trending hashtags - Shows a word cloud of the most-used hashtags from your competitors’ top-performing posts by metric. Choose the metric at the top of the widget. You can also copy a set of trending hashtags for future reference, or select Publish a post with hashtags to start a new post with the hashtags pre-populated for your next post.
  • Post length - Shows the average character length and number of hashtags used in your competitors’ posts during the selected time frame.

Metrics to compare

We calculate the following metrics that you can compare in your view.

Metrics to compare
Metric Description
Posts The number of posts published to the Page or account during your selected date range.
Posting frequency The daily number of posts published to the Page or account during your selected date range.
Average engagement

The estimated average engagement for the posts published during the selected date range. Engagement is calculated differently depending on the social network.

Fans/Followers The number of people who like the Facebook Page or follow the Instagram Business or Twitter account.
Audience growth The number of fans or followers gained or lost during the selected date range as a percentage of the number of fans or followers that the Page or account had at the beginning of the date range.
Estimated engagement

The estimated number of interactions for the posts published during the selected date range. Engagement is calculated differently depending on the social network.

  • Facebook Pages - The number of reactions, comments, and shares of your posts.
  • Instagram Business accounts - The number of likes and comments on your posts.
  • Twitter accounts - The number of likes, replies, quotes, and reposts of your posts.

For descriptions of metrics coming directly from the social networks such as comments, reactions, reposts, shares, and video views, see Competitor metrics.

Create a competitor benchmarking report

You can create reports to analyze your competitors' audience, post performance, and content strategy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow these steps to create a benchmarking report:

  1. Go to Analytics and select Create a report.
  2. Expand Benchmarking to see a list of competitor benchmarking reports you can create.
  3. Select Create report. The report is automatically generated and displayed for you to view or configure.

Learn more about creating reports.


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