Since most of the Internet is public, you can get a good understanding of what your competitors are doing with social media and learn from them before you launch. To get started, look at their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube Accounts. Look at what they are saying, how many fans and followers they have and who is following them.
When you are doing your research, remember to write down the key metrics so that you compare your growth to their growth over the coming months and years. As I mentioned above, you can also subscribe to their brand on Google Reader and keep track of what they are saying and what people are saying about them.
If you’d like to read my white paper on Social Media Success in 14 Steps, please click here.