Is one of your competitors killing it on social media? Which advertising strategies are they using and what platforms are they focusing on? By performing a competitive analysis of your rivals social media adverts you can find out the answers to these questions.

Read on to discover how to easily spy on your competitors social media adverts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook Products

Spying on competitors adverts on Facebook owned products is ultra easy.  

By using the Facebook Ad Library you can search for active and inactive ads from any of your competitors. 

You can sort the results by number of impressions, and which platform they were displayed on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network
  • Messenger

It’s possible to also see the adverts with the highest amount of impressions from the 7, 30, or 90 days, so you can assess which adverts your competitors are pushing (and spending) the most money on.

Here’s an example from the telecommunications giant EE:

EE Facebook Ads

Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter has an ad library but they call it the Ads Transparency Center. It is a searchable database of promoted content that is currently running on the platform. 

Only ads that have been live in the past 7 days are visible, making it great for analysing your competitors latest strategies.

Usually these adverts will only be shown to you if you fit the audience targeting criteria, so the Ads Transparency Centre is a nifty way to bypass these marketing filters and become aware of your competitors advertising tactics.

Just type the business’ name in the search bar and the results will be shown.

Nike Twitter Ads

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been on a high rate of user growth since being acquired by Microsoft and now boasts more than 575 million users. It therefore makes sense to keep an eye on how your rivals are using it.

Although there is not a specific ad library, it is still pretty easy to see the adverts that companies around the world are promoting on LinkedIn.

Simply navigate to the company page and click the Ads tab on the left hand side of the page.

Tesco Ads on LinkedIn

Once selected, the Ads page will show recently active or active sponsored content posted by the company in the past six months. 

Tesco Ads on LinkedIn

Tip: If you are having trouble finding the ads section, remember it is only viewable in desktop mode, so switch to your laptop or enable desktop view on your mobile device.

Best of the Rest

Recently Snapchat also launched an ad library but so far you can only use it to find adverts that relate to political and advocacy issues, so it may not be a great tool for the majority of businesses.

The archive is also non-searchable and comes in a downloadable CSV format. However we recommend bookmarking the library as it is possible that it may expand and improve in the future.

If you are looking for creative inspiration and not necessarily your competitors adverts, then we highly advise checking out Ads of the World. It features content from some of the largest and most influential advertising companies on the planet – you may be able to mimic their strategies to improve your own advertising efforts.

Top 10 most viewed ads on AOTW

Summary

Performing an analysis of your competitors social media adverts can help you to see which strategies your rivals are using and also the strengths and weaknesses of their advertising campaigns.

Are they getting higher quality leads than you or are they retaining customers better? Their social media adverts may help you to understand why.

It is also important to know if there is something that you could exploit in order to grow your own market share. For example, a competitor might be completely ignoring the potential of LinkedIn – could you fill this advertising gap?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when viewing your competitors adverts:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of this ad
  • How are my business adverts in comparison
  • Which platforms are my competitors focusing on
  • What type of content are they using – video or image based
  • What is their main marketing message
  • How often do they offer discounts
  • What pricing strategies are they using

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