Monitoring Your Competitors

I started Syften to help me keep track of what people were saying about my and my competitors’ products.

Monitoring My Niche

One of those products is Code Dog, a Pull Request reminder for Slack. Since GitHub acquired Pull Panda and started providing it for free I’ve been serving an even smaller niche: GitLab and BitBucket. Naturally, I’ve configured Syften to help me with my marketing and, as you can see, with a little spying on Pull Panda. These were my filters:

// code dog  
"code dog"  
slack gitlab  
slack bitbucket  
"pull panda"  
"abi noda"  
site:indiehackers.com author:abinoda  
site:news.ycombinator.com author:abinoda

This provided me with a stream of information allowing me to stay on top of my niche. As me and Abi were not in competition I could also observe and learn what worked for him and what did not.

In addition to that I wanted to see what’s going on in the Slack bot world, so I added an extra rule:

// misc  
site:indiehackers.com "slack bot"

A Challenger Appears

I’ve forgotten all about my filters and went back to coding when just a week or two later I saw this among my matches:

Sounds familiar! A quick glance at the website reveals that mr. confact is working on a “Slack bot for Gitlab Merge Request reviews” that helps you “Get daily reminders on Slack about your Merge Requests”. Exactly what Code Dog does! Maybe he saw how awesome Code Dog was and decided to copy it. Or, more realistically, he never knew that it existed. In any case, I better keep an eye on him, I’ve expanded my filters:

// code dog  
...  
site:indiehackers.com author:confact  
mergecrush

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A New Syften Alternative

Why shouldn’t I at least consider this guy’s ideas? After all, great artists steal. I found this potential new player by monitoring old, bigger players:

// Syften  
awario


Tracking Reddit Ads

It’s worth mentioning that Reddit Ads are just promoted posts, and will show up among your results.

Summary

To keep track of what’s going on make sure to monitor the product names and URLs of your competitors, and those in a similar, but not competing market. Learn their account names on social news sites and track those too. Then make sure your filter will actually match something.

If you work in a small niche it’s possible to monitor it in its entirety. Keep your finger on the pulse.

Well, what are you waiting for? Your competitors are out there, engaging with your customers right now. See What They're Up To