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How To Become A Social Media Manager



How To Become A Social Media Manager

Social media has transformed the business world and opened up new career paths in the social media field.

There are more opportunities than ever to explore fresh and exciting careers, and understanding what is required to pursue your desired career is essential.

Social media manager is a popular job title, but what does it entail, and how do you get that role?

Keep reading to learn what a social media manager does and what skills you need if you want to pursue this social media career path.

How Do I Become A Social Media Manager?

Becoming a social media manager requires many diverse skills and abilities, and you need to ace plenty of things to help you with this.

Make sure you understand some of the necessary steps to help you become a social media manager.

Here are some of the key elements that are involved in becoming a social media manager:

  • Define your services.
  • Build your manager skills.
  • Establish an online presence.
  • Build up a portfolio of clients.
  • Look at what positions are available.
  • Expand your knowledge and skill set.
  • Learn about the best social media marketing tools.
  • Get better qualified (postgrad, degree, course, etc.).
  • Gain experience via entry-level roles before moving up.

There’s no single path to launching a career as a social media manager.

But focusing on certain steps like building your portfolio and pursuing a degree or certification in this field can give you a major advantage.

What Does A Social Media Manager Do?

Understanding the role of a social media manager is also imperative for helping you find the right opportunities and being able to thrive in your career.

Typically, a social media manager is responsible for strategizing campaigns and content to increase followers, connect with people across different social platforms, and improve their brand’s social media presence.

According to Socially Buzz, 28% of internet users found new products due to social media ads, which illustrates a social media manager’s important role in helping get the best out of marketing campaigns.

Of course, the responsibilities tend to differ depending on a multitude of factors, such as the size of the company.

Producing compelling content and analyzing data are crucial for developing success as a social media manager.

Check out some of the key responsibilities you can be expected to fulfill as a social media manager:

  • Social engagement: Increasing followers and driving engagement better is important for developing a strong social media presence, and you can do this through written and visual content. With 137 million new internet users in the past 12 months, this is a large pool of users to target when looking to improve engagement.
  • Data analysis: One of the most important roles a social media manager has to fulfill is that of data analysis, which involves assimilating all pertinent data and using it to assess how the company’s social accounts are performing.
  • Posting and monitoring social platforms: It might be necessary to schedule posts across all different social media platforms, as well as observe the performance of these posts and interact with followers and customers.
  • Campaign strategy: Developing a strong strategy for a successful social media content campaign is one of the best things you can do to excel in your role as a social media manager. This makes a huge difference in driving engagement and helps you effectively align your brand marketing strategies and values.

What Is A Typical Social Media Manager Job Description?

Social media manager is a job description that is multi-faceted, and it will allow you to gain a greater understanding of what this role entails.

Mostly, you will find that this is a role where applicants are responsible for overseeing businesses’ interactions with consumers via social media, as well as managing and overseeing their social media platforms and implementing content strategies.

The following are the usual social media manager job requirements:

  • Manage a social budget.
  • Interact with customers.
  • Take ownership of the social strategy.
  • Promote posts and craft new content.
  • Develop new social media campaigns.
  • Research trends and stay ahead of the curve.
  • Monitor and analyze social media campaign data and performance.
  • Streamline social media channels to ensure the tone of voice is consistent.

How Much Is A Social Media Manager Paid?

When choosing any career path, knowing what you can expect to earn is important.

It is important to have an idea of what you want to earn, as well as knowing what the average is, to give you room for negotiation.

According to Zippia, who claims the tagline “The career expert,” the average social manager salary is $70,287 per year. On the low end, you might expect $50,000 at the entry level and upwards of $98,000 if you have a few years under your belt.

Washington tops the list in terms of the highest-paying state overall, while San Francisco, California, claims the top spot for the highest-paying city.

Via the above link, if you select your location, specific industry, and education level, you can get a more tailored estimate of what you are worth.

What Skills Does A Social Media Manager Need To Have?

So, what makes a good social media manager?

Well, there are several different attributes to consider, and this will play a massive role in helping you secure this kind of career path in a more positive way.

Understanding the skills and abilities needed to help you excel in your role as a social media manager is crucial when seeking a career path in this area.

So, what is required to be a skilled and successful social media manager? Here are some key social media manager skills you’ll need to excel in this career.

1. They Must Have Solid Communication Skills

It may seem obvious that someone whose primary job is to connect with people from outside the company needs to have good communication skills. In fact, it’s arguably the No. 1 skill social media managers need to be successful.

Communication skills in this realm are slightly different than they are in traditional communication roles.

Social media managers need to be able to understand the audience they are communicating with and speak in a way that will resonate with that audience.

While all social media platforms are similar in what they accomplish, each channel has a slightly different way of communicating. Recognizing and understanding how a person communicates on Facebook is different from how a person communicates on Twitter is essential.

2. They Must Be Social

The best social media managers are people who thoroughly enjoy social media and participate in social media on a personal level.

To be a truly successful communicator on social media, one has to know not only the ins and the outs of the programs but also be able to use the vernacular common to each.

It sticks out like a sore thumb when an “outsider” posts on a social media channel, which can negatively affect the business’s reputation.

That’s why a social media manager who is well-versed in everything each channel entails is key and why the best social media managers are those who, first and foremost, participated in social media on a personal level before taking it on as their profession.

3. They Must Have Personality & Creativity

One of the biggest differences between social media usage for work and personal life is the formality of the content. This isn’t to say that social media messaging for businesses should be stuffy.

It’s quite the opposite, actually.

Social media channels are a way for businesses to communicate with customers on a more personal level.

So, a sense of humor, a touch of creativity, and a voice that resonates with the audience are all must-haves.

A business’s social media channels shouldn’t appear as ads or include typical PR jargon.

4. They Must Be Up On Digital Data

The top three skills on this list all deal with the makeup of the person who holds the title of social media manager. The rest are all professionally-based skills.

A social media manager needs to take the content a step further by optimizing and analyzing it.

This means being able to discern whether the social media marketing is working by culling the appropriate data for each channel and then adjusting the content, if necessary.

This aspect of the job requires knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) general practices and, specifically, how search engines treat social media posts.

5. They Must Be Project Managers

Managing social media channels for a business isn’t all fun and games. It’s a serious job that takes serious management skills.

Some social media managers will be one-man or one-woman teams. If this is the case, the person will need to approach each channel as a separate project with short-, medium- and long-term goals, along with that of the overall social media plan.

Some social media managers have a team of people helping them manage each of the channels. In these cases, the manager must have solid skills in managing people and projects.

6. They Must Write & Edit Well

As a social media manager, you will need to be able to write creatively.

Crafting social media copy can be very challenging, and it takes a creative and talented head to be able to do it well.

Writing and editing as the “voice” of a company can be hugely fulfilling, and this is an essential part of being a social media manager.

Yes, the social media manager will need to be able to inject some flair into the writing, but it must be done in a professional way.

This goes for the content the manager will write and the content that he or she will edit that others on the team have written.

7. They Must Have Visual Skills

Social media is a very visually-driven form of communication.

Even posts on text-based channels such as Twitter perform better if they have pictures that go along with the text. That’s why successful social media managers must understand how to pair visuals with text.

This means a good social media manager will be able to cull available images from the internet or a company’s database and also must be able to create great imagery on his or her own – or at least, be able to tell a design department in the company what to create.

8. They Must Be Flexible & Adaptable

A social media manager’s job requires a lot of patience and flexibility. Not only are a company’s needs changing all the time, but social media itself is, too. This is where the flexibility comes in.

A good social media manager will need to be able to digest changes made to each social media channel, as well as how to shift the approach to that channel.

In addition, social media managers need to be able to adapt to each environment they are communicating in, as sometimes the change occurs with the users of a social media channel and not just the channel itself.

This means being up on all the trends on not just how people are using Twitter, for example, but what they are talking about on Twitter – whether that relates to the manager’s company or not.

9. They Must Be Great Marketers

Ultimately, the purpose of a social media channel is to create marketing opportunities. The fun part of social media is communicating, taking photos, creating eye-pleasing posts, and interacting with people.

But the end goal is to market the business.

The social media manager doesn’t need to have a strong direct sales background, but he or she needs to understand that the content the social team produces is ideally supposed to generate sales – if even in an indirect way.

It’s also important for the social media manager to recognize a sales lead that may come across in a reply to a message and pass it along to the sales team.

10. They Must Have Excellent Customer Service Skills

One aspect of social media that can’t be overlooked is the fact that it’s a two-way communication street. It’s simple for people to reply to your content or share it with all of their followers.

Successful social media managers will understand this customer service aspect of the job and will be able to effectively monitor the activity on each social media channel and respectfully reply to all inquiries in a timely manner – whether the reply is positive or negative.

People can say whatever they want on social media – and they often do – so approaching these people politely and respectfully takes some patience and discipline.

Where Can I Find A Job As A Social Media Manager?

You should consider plenty of options when looking to become a social media manager, and you have several options when trying to get a job in this role.

Finding online openings and opportunities via job boards is always a good option, and you also need to make sure you contact companies directly to see if there are any openings.

Networking is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself connected to job opportunities, which can prove incredibly useful.

Social media sites are a great way of being able to network with potential clients, and this is an excellent way of finding a job as a social media manager.

Bottom Line On Becoming A Social Media Manager

The best social media managers will be able to draw on a combination of the above 10 skills, as it’s truly a position that requires a diverse set of skills across various traditional disciplines.

As social media platforms keep growing and their algorithms change, the fact remains that any company online, from ecommerce to small businesses and agencies alike, will need you.

You’ll have a lot of opportunities to upskill and pave your own path as a social media manager in whatever industry you desire.

Keep reading about emerging social media channels and trends regularly to keep yourself informed. Also, learn and practice effective social media strategies. Combine them with the skills listed here, and you’ll land that dream job in no time.

More Resources: 

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Research Shows Tree Of Thought Prompting Better Than Chain Of Thought




Research Shows Tree Of Thought Prompting Better Than Chain Of Thought

Researchers discovered a way to defeat the safety guardrails in GPT4 and GPT4-Turbo, unlocking the ability to generate harmful and toxic content, essentially beating a large language model with another large language model.

The researchers discovered that the use of tree-of-thought (ToT)reasoning to repeat and refine a line of attack was useful for jailbreaking another large language model.

What they found is that the ToT approach was successful against GPT4, GPT4-Turbo, and PaLM-2, using a remarkably low number of queries to obtain a jailbreak, on average less than thirty queries.

Tree Of Thoughts Reasoning

A Google research paper from around May 2022 discovered Chain of Thought Prompting.

Chain of Thought (CoT) is a prompting strategy used on a generative AI to make it follow a sequence of steps in order to solve a problem and complete a task. The CoT method is often accompanied with examples to show the LLM how the steps work in a reasoning task.

So, rather than just ask a generative AI like Midjourney or ChatGPT to do a task, the chain of thought method instructs the AI how to follow a path of reasoning that’s composed of a series of steps.

Tree of Thoughts (ToT) reasoning, sometimes referred to as Tree of Thought (singular) is essentially a variation and improvement of CoT, but they’re two different things.

Tree of Thoughts reasoning is similar to CoT. The difference is that rather than training a generative AI to follow a single path of reasoning, ToT is built on a process that allows for multiple paths so that the AI can stop and self-assess then come up with alternate steps.

Tree of Thoughts reasoning was developed in May 2023 in a research paper titled Tree of Thoughts: Deliberate Problem Solving with Large Language Models (PDF)

The research paper describes Tree of Thought:

“…we introduce a new framework for language model inference, Tree of Thoughts (ToT), which generalizes over the popular Chain of Thought approach to prompting language models, and enables exploration over coherent units of text (thoughts) that serve as intermediate steps toward problem solving.

ToT allows LMs to perform deliberate decision making by considering multiple different reasoning paths and self-evaluating choices to decide the next course of action, as well as looking ahead or backtracking when necessary to make global choices.

Our experiments show that ToT significantly enhances language models’ problem-solving abilities…”

Tree Of Attacks With Pruning (TAP)

This new method of jailbreaking large language models is called Tree of Attacks with Pruning, TAP. TAP uses two LLMs, one for attacking and the other for evaluating.

TAP is able to outperform other jailbreaking methods by significant margins, only requiring black-box access to the LLM.

A black box, in computing, is where one can see what goes into an algorithm and what comes out. But what happens in the middle is unknown, thus it’s said to be in a black box.

Tree of thoughts (TAP) reasoning is used against a targeted LLM like GPT-4 to repetitively try different prompting, assess the results, then if necessary change course if that attempt is not promising.

This is called a process of iteration and pruning. Each prompting attempt is analyzed for the probability of success. If the path of attack is judged to be a dead end, the LLM will “prune” that path of attack and begin another and better series of prompting attacks.

This is why it’s called a “tree” in that rather than using a linear process of reasoning which is the hallmark of chain of thought (CoT) prompting, tree of thought prompting is non-linear because the reasoning process branches off to other areas of reasoning, much like a human might do.

The attacker issues a series of prompts, the evaluator evaluates the responses to those prompts and then makes a decision as to what the next path of attack will be by making a call as to whether the current path of attack is irrelevant or not, plus it also evaluates the results to determine the likely success of prompts that have not yet been tried.

What’s remarkable about this approach is that this process reduces the number of prompts needed to jailbreak GPT-4. Additionally, a greater number of jailbreaking prompts are discovered with TAP than with any other jailbreaking method.

The researchers observe:

“In this work, we present Tree of Attacks with Pruning (TAP), an automated method for generating jailbreaks that only requires black-box access to the target LLM.

TAP utilizes an LLM to iteratively refine candidate (attack) prompts using tree-of-thoughts reasoning until one of the generated prompts jailbreaks the target.

Crucially, before sending prompts to the target, TAP assesses them and prunes the ones unlikely to result in jailbreaks.

Using tree-of-thought reasoning allows TAP to navigate a large search space of prompts and pruning reduces the total number of queries sent to the target.

In empirical evaluations, we observe that TAP generates prompts that jailbreak state-of-the-art LLMs (including GPT4 and GPT4-Turbo) for more than 80% of the prompts using only a small number of queries. This significantly improves upon the previous state-of-the-art black-box method for generating jailbreaks.”

Tree Of Thought (ToT) Outperforms Chain Of Thought (CoT) Reasoning

Another interesting conclusion reached in the research paper is that, for this particular task, ToT reasoning outperforms CoT reasoning, even when adding pruning to the CoT method, where off topic prompting is pruned and discarded.

ToT Underperforms With GPT 3.5 Turbo

The researchers discovered that ChatGPT 3.5 Turbo didn’t perform well with CoT, revealing the limitations of GPT 3.5 Turbo. Actually, GPT 3.5 performed exceedingly poorly, dropping from 84% success rate to only a 4.2% success rate.

This is their observation about why GPT 3.5 underperforms:

“We observe that the choice of the evaluator can affect the performance of TAP: changing the attacker from GPT4 to GPT3.5-Turbo reduces the success rate from 84% to 4.2%.

The reason for the reduction in success rate is that GPT3.5-Turbo incorrectly determines that the target model is jailbroken (for the provided goal) and, hence, preemptively stops the method.

As a consequence, the variant sends significantly fewer queries than the original method…”

What This Mean For You

While it’s amusing that the researchers use the ToT method to beat an LLM with another LLM, it also highlights the usefulness of ToT for generating surprising new directions in prompting in order to achieve higher levels of output.

  • TL/DR Takeaways:
  • Tree of Thought prompting outperformed Chain of Thought methods
  • GPT 3.5 worked significantly poorly in comparison to GPT 4 in ToT
  • Pruning is a useful part of a prompting strategy
  • Research showed that ToT is superior to CoT in an intensive reasoning task like jailbreaking an LLM

Read the original research paper:

Tree of Attacks: Jailbreaking Black-Box LLMs Automatically (PDF)

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The Lean Guide (With Template)



The Lean Guide (With Template)

A competitive analysis (or market competitive analysis) is a process where you collect information about competitors to gain an edge over them and get more customers.

However, the problem is that “traditional” competitive analysis is overkill for most businesses — it requires impractical data and takes too long to complete (and it’s very expensive if you choose to outsource). 

A solution to that is a lean approach to the process — and that’s what this guide is about. 

In other words, we’ll focus on the most important data you need to answer the question: “Why would people choose them over you?”. No boring theory, outtakes from marketing history, or spending hours digging up nice-to-have information.

In this guide, you will find:

  • A real-life competitive analysis example.
  • Templates: one for input data and one for a slide deck to present your analysis to others.
  • Step-by-step instructions.

Our template consists of two documents: a slide deck and a spreadsheet. 

The Slide deck is the output document. It will help you present the analysis to your boss or your teammates.

The spreadsheet is the input document. You will find tables that act as the data source for the charts from the slide deck, as well as a prompt to use in ChatGPT to help you with user review research.

Competitive analysis template — spreadsheet sneak peek.Competitive analysis template — spreadsheet sneak peek.

We didn’t focus on aesthetics here; every marketer likes to do slide decks their own way, so feel free to edit everything you’ll find there. 

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the process. The template consists of these six tasks: 

  1. Identify your direct competitors. 
  2. Compare share of voice. 
  3. Compare pricing and features.
  4. Find strong and weak points based on reviews.
  5. Compare purchasing convenience.
  6. Present conclusions.

Going forward, we’ll explain why these steps matter and show how to complete them. 

1. Identify your direct competitors

Direct competitors are businesses that offer a similar solution to the same audience. 

They matter a lot more than indirect competitors (i.e. businesses with different products but targeting the same audience as you) because you’ll be compared with them often (e.g. in product reviews and rankings). Plus, your audience is more likely to gravitate towards them when considering different options. 

You probably have a few direct competitors in mind already, but here are a few ways to find others based on organic search and paid search ads

Our basis for the analysis was Landingi, a SaaS for building landing pages (we chose that company randomly). So in our case, we found these 3 direct competitors. 

Slide 1 — direct competitors.Slide 1 — direct competitors.

Look at keyword overlap

Keyword overlap uncovers sites that target the same organic keywords as you. Some sites will compete with you for traffic but not for customers (e.g. G2 may share some keywords with Landingi but they’re a different business). However, in many cases, you will find direct competitors just by looking at this marketing channel. 

  • Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and enter your site’s address. 
  • Scroll down to Organic competitors
  • Visit the URLs to pick 3 – 5 direct competitors.
Top organic competitors data from Ahrefs.Top organic competitors data from Ahrefs.

To double-check the choice of competitors, we also looked at who was bidding for search ads on Google.

See who’s advertising 

If someone is spending money to show ads for keywords related to what you do, that’s a strong indication they are a direct competitor. 

  • Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
  • Type in a few broad keywords related to your niche, like “landing page builder” or “landing page tool”. 
  • Go to the Ads history report. 
  • Visit the sites that have a high presence of ads in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). 
Ads history report in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.Ads history report in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.

Once you’re done checking both reports, write down competitors in the deck. 

You can also take screenshots of the reports and add them to your deck to show the supporting data for your argument. 

 Slide 2 — direct competitors by organic traffic. Slide 2 — direct competitors by organic traffic.

2. Compare share of voice

Share of voice is a measure of your reach in any given channel compared to competitors. 

A bigger share of voice (SOV) means that your competitors are more likely to reach your audience. In other words, they may be promoting more effectively than you. 

In our example, we found that Landingi’s SOV was the lowest in both of these channels. 


Slide 3 — share of voice on Google Search.Slide 3 — share of voice on Google Search.

And social media:

 Slide 4 — share of voice on social media. Slide 4 — share of voice on social media.

Here’s how we got that data using Ahrefs and Brand24.

Organic share of voice 

Before we start, make sure you have a project set up in Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker

Create a new project in Ahrefs' Rank Tracker.Create a new project in Ahrefs' Rank Tracker.


  • Go to Ahrefs’ Competitive Analysis and enter your and your competitors’s sites as shown below. 
Create a new project in Ahrefs' Rank Tracker.
Create a new project in Ahrefs' Rank Tracker.
  • On the next screen, set the country with the most important market for your business and set the filters like this:
Content gap analysis filter setup.Content gap analysis filter setup.
  • Select keywords that sound most relevant to your business (even if you don’t rank for them yet) and Add them to Rank Tracker
Common keywords found via Ahrefs' Competitive Analysis.Common keywords found via Ahrefs' Competitive Analysis.
  • Go to Rank Tracker, open your project, and look for Competitors/Overview. This report will uncover automatically calculated Share of Voice
Organic share of voice data in Ahrefs.Organic share of voice data in Ahrefs.
  • Add the numbers in corresponding cells inside the sheet and paste the graph inside the slide deck. 
Filling the share of voice template with data.Filling the share of voice template with data.

It’s normal that the numbers don’t add up to 100%. SOV is calculated by including sites that compete with you in traffic but are not your direct competitors, e.g. blogs. 

Social share of voice 

We can also measure our share of voice across social media channels using Brand24.

  • Go to Brand24.
  • Start a New project for your brand and each competitor. Use the competitors’ brand name as the keyword to monitor. 
  • Go to the Comparison report and compare your project with competitors. 
Using Brand24's Comparison tool for competitive analysis.Using Brand24's Comparison tool for competitive analysis.
  • Take a screenshot of the SOV charts and paste them into the slide deck. Make sure the charts are set to “social media”.
Social media tab in share of voice report.Social media tab in share of voice report.

3. Compare pricing and features

Consumers often choose solutions that offer the best value for money — simple as that. And that typically comes down to two things: 

  • Whether you have the features they care about. We’ll use all features available across all plans to see how likely the product is to satisfy user needs.
  • How much they will need to pay. Thing is, the topic of pricing is tricky: a) when assessing affordability, people often focus on the least expensive option available and use it as a benchmark, b) businesses in the SaaS niche offer custom plans. So to make things more practical, we’ll compare the cheapest plans, but feel free to run this analysis across all pricing tiers.

After comparing our example company to competitors, we found that it goes head-to-head with Unbounce as the most feature-rich solution on the market. 

Slide 5 — features vs. pricing.Slide 5 — features vs. pricing.

Here’s how we got that data. 

  • Note down your and your competitors’ product features. One of the best places to get this information is pricing pages. Some brands even publish their own competitor comparisons — you may find them helpful too. 
  • While making the list, place a “1” in the cell corresponding to the brand that offers the solution.
Filling data in the spreadsheet.Filling data in the spreadsheet.
  • Enter the price of the cheapest plan (excluding free plans). 
Adding pricing data inside the spreadsheet.Adding pricing data inside the spreadsheet.
  • Once finished, copy the chart and paste it inside the deck. 

4. Find strong and weak points based on user reviews

User reviews can show incredibly valuable insight into your competitors’ strong and weak points. Here’s why this matters:

  • Improving on what your competitors’ customers appreciate could help you attract similar customers and possibly win some over.
  • Dissatisfaction with competitors is a huge opportunity. Some businesses are built solely to fix what other companies can’t fix. 

Here’s a sample from our analysis: 

 Slide 6 — likes and dislikes about Competitors. Slide 6 — likes and dislikes about Competitors.

And here’s how we collated the data using ChatGPT. Important: repeat the process for each competitor.

  • Open ChatGPT and enter the prompt from the template.
ChatGPT prompt for competitive analysis.ChatGPT prompt for competitive analysis.
  • Go to G2, Capterra, or Trustpilot and find a competitor’s reviews with ratings from 2 – 4 (i.e. one rating above the lowest and one below the highest possible). Reason:

businesses sometimes solicit five-star reviews, whereas dissatisfied customers tend to leave one-star reviews in a moment of frustration. The most actionable feedback usually comes in between.

  • Copy and paste the content of the reviews into ChatGPT (don’t hit enter yet). 
  • Once you’re done pasting all reviews, hit enter in ChatGPT to run the analysis.
Sample of ChatGPT output with charts.Sample of ChatGPT output with charts.
  • Paste the graphs into the deck. If you want the graphs to look different, don’t hesitate to ask the AI. 

There’s a faster alternative, but it’s a bit more advanced. 

Instead of copy-pasting, you can use a scraping tool like this one to get all reviews at once. The downside here is that not all review sources will a have scraping tool available. 

5. Compare purchasing convenience

Lastly, we’ll see how easy it is to actually buy your products, and compare the experience to your competitors. 

This is a chance to simplify your checkout process, and even learn from any good habits your competitors have adopted.

For example, we found that our sample company had probably nothing to worry about in this area — they ticked almost all of the boxes. 

Slide 7 — purchasing convenience.Slide 7 — purchasing convenience.

Here’s how to complete this step:

  • Place a “1” if you or any of your competitors offer convenience features listed in the template. 
  • Once done, copy the chart and paste it into the deck.

Step 6. Present conclusions

This is the part of the presentation where you sum up all of your findings and suggest a course of action. 

Here are two examples: 

  • Landingi had the lowest SOV in the niche, and that is never good. So the conclusion might be to go a level deeper and do an SEO competitive analysis, and to increase social media presence by creating more share-worthy content like industry surveys, design/CRO tips, or in-house data studies.
  • Although the brand had a very high purchasing convenience score, during the analysis we found that there was a $850 gap between the monthly full plan and the previous tier. The conclusion here might be to offer a custom plan (like competitors do) to fill that gap. 

We encourage you to take your time here and think about what would make the most sense for your business. 


It’s good to be specific in your conclusions, but don’t go too deep. Competitive analysis concerns many aspects of the business, so it’s best to give other departments a chance to chime in. Just because your competitors have a few unique features doesn’t necessarily mean you need to build them too.

Final thoughts 

A competitive analysis is one of the most fruitful exercises in marketing. It can show you areas for improvement, give ideas for new features, and help you discover gaps in your strategy. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s fundamental to running a successful business. 

Just don’t forget to balance “spying” on your competitors with innovation. After all, you probably don’t want to become an exact copy of someone else’s brand. 

In other words, use competitive analysis to keep up with your competitors, but don’t let that erase what’s unique about your brand or make you forget your big vision. 

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Critical WordPress Form Plugin Vulnerability Affects Up To +200,000 Installs




Critical WordPress Form Plugin Vulnerability Affects Up To +200,000 Installs

Security researchers at Wordfence detailed a critical security flaw in the MW WP Form plugin, affecting versions 5.0.1 and earlier. The vulnerability allows unauthenticated threat actors to exploit the plugin by uploading arbitrary files, including potentially malicious PHP backdoors, with the ability to execute these files on the server.

MW WP Form Plugin

The MW WP Form plugin helps to simplify form creation on WordPress websites using a shortcode builder.

It makes it easy for users to create and customize forms with various fields and options.

The plugin has many features, including one that allows file uploads using the [mwform_file name=”file”] shortcode for the purpose of data collection. It is this specific feature that is exploitable in this vulnerability.

Unauthenticated Arbitrary File Upload Vulnerability

An Unauthenticated Arbitrary File Upload Vulnerability is a security issue that allows hackers to upload potentially harmful files to a website. Unauthenticated means that the attacker does not need to be registered with the website or need any kind of permission level that comes with a user permission level.

These kinds of vulnerabilities can lead to remote code execution, where the uploaded files are executed on the server, with the potential to allow the attackers to exploit the website and site visitors.

The Wordfence advisory noted that the plugin has a check for unexpected filetypes but that it doesn’t function as it should.

According to the security researchers:

“Unfortunately, although the file type check function works perfectly and returns false for dangerous file types, it throws a runtime exception in the try block if a disallowed file type is uploaded, which will be caught and handled by the catch block.

…even if the dangerous file type is checked and detected, it is only logged, while the function continues to run and the file is uploaded.

This means that attackers could upload arbitrary PHP files and then access those files to trigger their execution on the server, achieving remote code execution.”

There Are Conditions For A Successful Attack

The severity of this threat depends on the requirement that the “Saving inquiry data in database” option in the form settings is required to be enabled in order for this security gap to be exploited.

The security advisory notes that the vulnerability is rated critical with a score of 9.8 out of 10.

Actions To Take

Wordfence strongly advises users of the MW WP Form plugin to update their versions of the plugin.

The vulnerability is patched in the lutes version of the plugin, version 5.0.2.

The severity of the threat is particularly critical for users who have enabled the “Saving inquiry data in database” option in the form settings and that is compounded by the fact that no permission levels are needed to execute this attack.

Read the Wordfence advisory:

Update ASAP! Critical Unauthenticated Arbitrary File Upload in MW WP Form Allows Malicious Code Execution

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Alexander_P

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