If you’re actively using Twitter to market your business, one very powerful way to grow your followers and drive website traffic is by directly targeting competitors.

This is particularly effective if you’re new to Twitter or have struggled to raise awareness of your product and services on the platform. It can also be used to gather valuable insights about competitor activity and customer service. Better still: in many ways, the more niche your business, the more effective this is.

Before you begin you’ll need to identify and make a list of all of your competitors who are using Twitter. These should all be companies who are in direct competition with you, are actively using Twitter and have a good-sized following. For best results you will usually be targeting locally, too.


Education – A school would target the followers of rival schools using Twitter in their immediate area

Legal – A solicitor would target the followers of other law firms

Retail – A new clothing brand could target the followers of major retailers who live within a 25 mile radius of their store

Ideally you would want to identify as many competitors as possible, but one or two Twitter competitor profiles with a very large following can also work well.

Once you’ve got your list of competitors, here are three ways to target them on Twitter.

1. Track Competitors (FREE)

A very basic way to track competitor activity on Twitter is to simply visit their profile page. This will give you an overview of tweets that have send and replied to, and some insight into their Twitter strategy.

However, a better method to track competitors is to set up dedicated keyword searches either directly on Twitter or in your favourite social media dashboard. For example, if you use Hootsuite, it’s very easy to launch a column that does nothing but track tweets sent from and (critically) to competitors on Twitter. You can also have searches running for competitor products and services, and all of these can be left to run 24/7.

This will give you a lot of information about rival brands that can help you out-position them in the marketplace. Additionally, you may see trends in customer dissatisfaction that could provide quality leads for your sales team.

All of this search functionality is free and absolutely essential for all businesses to implement on Twitter. Indeed, even if your business is not on Twitter you can still track competitors who are.

2. Use Competitor Followers To Grow Your Twitter Profile (PAID)

Twitter has an option in its advertising platform that is unique amongst all the social networks: you can show information onlyto the followers of other profiles.

This, of course, could include your competitors. This is a very powerful feature as followers of competitors in your industry are already warm leads. Hence, by promoting your Twitter account to competitor followers you can very quickly attract and acquire a large, targeted and sales-ready audience to your business.

This is a paid service as it requires cost per click (CPC) advertising on Twitter. However, it’s something that can no longer be done on Facebook (and least not effortlessly) and makes competitor marketing an actual USP on Twitter.

 3. Show Targeted Tweets To Competitor Followers (PAID)

In a similar way, you can target specific tweets only to the followers of competitors, too. For example, new products or sales incentives. As these individuals are already interested in your industry – and by definition your business – your opening messaging can be slightly more aggressive (in a sales capacity) as you know they’re likely to be interested as they’re already connected to your competitor(s).

Again, this is a paid service (CPC), but is a very powerful way to generate enquiries from already-warm prospects.


Competitor tracking (and, for want of a better word, mining) is an essential part of good business and Twitter makes this process relatively straightforward, certainly compared to other social channels.

Of course, there’s one thing that you should never forget: competitor tracking works both ways. Your rivals are likely already doing this, so it’s important that you act now to level the playing field (and in many cases, get ahead). Contact Identity today to learn more about how to use Twitter competitor tracking for your business.