When you’re a seller, ads on Facebook, Instagram, or promoted tweets can really boost your sales. If you’re wondering if your competitors have already started campaigns of their own, you can see for yourself by viewing what ads competitors are running for their own products—and it can help you. For instance, when you track your competitors ads on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you can improve your own campaigns!

No matter what business you run, it’s always a good idea to maintain some online presence—it can establish credibility and also be a good source for contact with potential customers. When you’re an e-commerce seller, ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be imperative to boosting sales. On the one hand, this means your competitors are also likely doing the same thing. On the other hand, social media also enables you to track your competitors’ ads.

With a little digging, you can find what your competitors are doing in order to increase their traffic via social media. This practice can help drive your marketing strategy, inspire your campaigns, and reveal mistakes to avoid. In this article, we’ll go over the various ways you can use your competition’s digital footprint across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to make better business decisions.

Track Facebook Ads

In June of 2018, Facebook introduced a new transparency measure to Pages called the “Page Transparency” (formerly “Info and Ads”) section. It was an attempt at quelling the nonstop allegations that Facebook has serious privacy and censorship issues. While the measure hasn’t stopped the allegations, it has served to provide invaluable insights to businesses.

What is Facebook’s Page Transparency?
The Page Transparency section provides context into the Page’s history and associations. More importantly, it allows users to view ads that a Page is currently running.

Ads From This Page
From this section, users can view all the active ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. While the interactive elements are all clickable, engagement elements (e.g. likes and comments) are not. Also note that impressions and clicks within this section will not cost the advertiser.

Page Info
You can also find additional information on the page under Page History, People Who Manage This Page, and Organizations That Manage This Page.

How To View Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads
1. Start with the Business Page you’re interested in analyzing and scroll down to the “Page Transparency” section on the bottom right.
2. Click “See More,” to reveal the various sections with additional page information. Scroll down to “Ads From This Page.”
3. In the Ad Library, you can view all of the Business Page’s active ads, even if you aren’t part of the target audience. From here, you can also sort ads by country, impressions, and platform.

Track Instagram Ads

Following the steps above—since Instagram is owned by Facebook—you should also be able to access and view your competitors’ Instagram ads if they’re available. However, there is also the alternative option to track the ads via the brand Instagram account below.

Instagram ads
Instagram ads

Following the steps above—since Instagram is owned by Facebook—you should also be able to access and view your competitors’ Instagram ads if they’re available. However, there is also the alternative option to track the ads via the brand Instagram account below.

How To View Your Competitors’ Instagram Ads
1. Open the Instagram profile you’d like to learn more about. Then, tap the menu dots in the top right corner.
2. After that, from the pop-up menu tap, “About The Account.”
3. From here, you can find general information about the Business account. To view active ads, tap “Active Ads” to be taken to the Facebook Ad Library.

Track Promoted Tweets

Twitter has faced its own share of accusations related to privacy and censorship. Similar to Facebook, it’s taken measures to provide more transparency when it comes to promoted tweets and advertisers. The result is an easy search feature for all Promoted Tweets that an account is currently running. Let’s give it a try.

How To View Your Competitors’ Promoted Tweets
1. Head to Twitter’s Ad Transparency Center.
2. Search for a Twitter account whose ads you’d like to view. In this example we can use @Wendys.
3. From the account, you can see they’re running a series of promo and product ads and even copy tests for the same image.

Improve Your Campaigns!

You can use your research and intel from competitors’ Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and promoted tweets. As you’re scrolling through your competitors’ ads, there are several things you should look for that will improve your own campaigns and help you learn from someone else’s mistakes.

1. Visuals: There is a constant debate when it comes to visuals and which medium converts the best video or images. After reviewing several experiments and case studies, there is one conclusion: it all depends on your product. You can find out the hard way and start throwing money toward getting assets created, or you can see how your competitors’ ads performed for guidance!

If you’ve already determined the format, you can get a good idea of various combinations that your competitors are testing, such as product photos, lifestyle shots, customer testimonials, etc. Keep tabs on these ads and check for a few days to see which variations they’ve kept or nixed. This can help you save your ad budget for your own campaigns or testing other variables.

2. Call To Action: Sales cycles are different for every business. New products will often have a tougher time getting shoppers to convert immediately due to a lack of awareness. This can have a lot of impact on the goal of your ad campaign. Take a look at what your competitors are asking their audience to do? If they’re prompting viewers to “Learn More,” it can mean a softer approach to selling, versus “Shop Now.”

3. Copy: You’ll likely see variations of the same ad when you start tracking your competitors and, often times, the differences will just be in the copy. From this, you can learn which benefits are most attractive about the product, and how the seller has chosen to talk about it.

We don’t advise copying your competitors directly—you need to establish your brand’s voice and part of that is how you promote your products. Use this competitive analysis as a recommendation for points that you may want to touch upon in your own copy.

4. Prices: Competing on price only guarantees a race to the bottom. However, it’s healthy to know which point you’re competing at and the various times when the competition is running a discount code or promotional event.

5. Platform: An important lesson for some businesses is that you don’t need to be on every platform. Different audiences behave differently and that includes the social media platforms they frequent. A product that has potential on Facebook may not perform well on Twitter and vice versa.

General research into your target buyer should provide this information but if you’re unsure, dig around and see how active your competitors are on each platform.


As a result, social media platforms and their efforts to promote advertiser transparency have created highly valuable tools for marketers to learn from. Using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter alone, you can get a good gauge for your competition’s ad strategy and even use those insights to make your strategy better, from visuals to CTAs to copy.

However, before you dive too far down the rabbit hole, remember that your customers are equally important. The more time you spend trying to compete on ads, the less time you’re spending on improving your customers’ experience. Success is not a constant game of catch-up, it’s creating a delightful experience for your shoppers and buyers.

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