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How to Stand Out on Social Media

One of the ways to grow your business is through social media. Using it effectively requires engagement, visuals and adding a human element to your brand.

By Ramiz Khan

A man working on a laptop at a table. A woman looks on and her hand is on some papers, next to a cup of coffee.
Social media is one of the most effective means of reaching your target audience, but it is also swarming with competition. In fact, over 78 percent of the US population has at least one social profile. Each day, the level of noise just keeps getting louder. This makes it more difficult to stand out in a massively crowded environment. What's the key to success? Well, you don't need to be everywhere at once--you just need to be where your buyers are. Social media is currently muddled by competing brands and people who are all hoping to get reach and attention. Organic reach is pretty much dead. How can your agency stand out? Read on to learn more.

Engage Naturally

Many businesses are missing out opportunities to engage their audience as much as they should. Of course, the objective is to feel less forced and more natural. You have the platforms at your fingertips to share useful content and insights. From that content, you're producing reasons for people to stop and read your posts. Yet, you must still understand what your target audience wants. Why are they using this particular platform? What do they need? Also, don't forget the power of humor. Even a funny commercial can go viral and extend your reach. Here are a few other tactics you can try to increase engagement:
  • Share something shocking.
  • Send out a compelling question.
  • Give something away to people who like or comment on your posts.
  • Use Facebook reactions and emojis.
These strategies will help to get your target audience more involved, but you'll need to continue and expand upon the effort. In addition, you must join in on the conversation. In fact, the perfect time for a response is when someone is talking about you. If it is something positive, you can thank them. If it has to do with a product or customer service issue, then address it effectively and immediately.
In addition, you must join in on the conversation. In fact, the perfect time for a response is when someone is talking about you.
The goal is to stay up-to-date on topics surrounding your company. After that, you want to humanize your brand. People engage with other people, not companies. Just remember that people are led by emotions—this is why humor works so well. Remind your audience that your company is made up of real people.

Get Trendy

Your business needs to keep up with the latest trends and industry news to stay relevant. This doesn't mean you need to become a breaking news reporter, but you should share valuable content within your niche. If your industry is robotics, then you should be keeping up with the latest stories in that sector. Clients are impressed by companies who take the time to understand and maintain awareness of the world around them. When you share, use the right hashtags relevant to your industry to help improve your authority in your sector. During a busy workday, it can be difficult to find the time to read the news at all times. So, you can use these tools to help you instead:
  • Pocket
  • Feedly
Then, post your findings at specified times.

Embrace the Visual

According to social media studies, visuals are 43 percent more persuasive. Yet, you don't want to post stock photos all day. The visuals should be related to your posts. So, look for eye-catching options that make your post more interesting. In fact, articles with images receive 94 percent more views. Here are a few options for images:
  • Raw pixel
  • Pixabay
  • Morguefile
You can then customize images with a site such as Canva. On top of images, you want video content as well. Every platform today has integrated solutions for video. This is another impactful way for grabbing people's attention. Here are a few ways to include video within your strategy:
  • Offer a behind-the-scenes look.
  • Showcase a new product or service during a live stream.
  • Create video tutorials.
  • Host a live presentation.

Be Curious

Your customers and clients want to feel valued. This is why you must engage them and ask questions. All of the top brands comprehend that asking questions helps to gain valuable insights. Through the responses, you can create even more dialogue and engagement. Of course, you must ask the right questions. Try Facebook and Twitter for questions and polls. Plus, when your followers are engaging with your company on social media, it increases your SEO and SERP rankings. Here are a few questions to test:
  • Do you agree with the latest statement from Facebook/Exxon/Paramount?
  • What are some of your favorite posts?
  • Help us design our new logo
  • How do you like our new website?
Moreover, you want your questions to be short and uncomplicated. Plus, the last thing you want is to make it seem as if you're only trying to sell a product. To stand out in a crowded social media space, you must build relationships. Not to mention, it helps to be creative.

Create a Micro-Community

Try using a tool such as IFTTT to crawl Twitter and add your fans to a list whenever someone mentions you. From this list, you can build a micro-community to stay in touch with your most engaged followers. Furthermore, you can use Facebook groups to also engage with a more niche audience. Facebook groups have become more popular than LinkendIn groups for companies wanting to network online. You can use Facebook, and even Slack, to host a community with a smaller but more interested group of fans. You don't need to share your content with thousands of uninterested viewers, you just need the right ones.

Tell Interesting Stories

As shared earlier, it is critical to share the human side of your company. One way of doing so is by telling stories. You might share these tidbits:
  • What your brand is doing.
  • How you've been growing.
  • Behind-the-scenes.
These stories should be focused. You don't want to get into TMI territory or share more personal details than is necessary. You just want to give a bit of an insider's view of what takes place at your company and the types of people who work there. You can even produce a series of tweets or Facebook posts that share the stories behind your company. Plus, add some visuals that are enticing and add to your story.

Keep Your Brand Consistent

This is what sets you apart from everyone else. You must have consistency with your content, design, colors and videos. This is important for brand recognition. Here are things you must do:
  • Design a brand style guide for all employers, affiliates and suppliers.
  • Stay consistent with your colors and designs throughout all of your social media channels.
  • Brand all of your visuals the same way.
  • Make sure everyone in your company understands your brand.
Weak branding creates weak results.

Post at all Times

One often-missed opportunity is posting content throughout all time zones. Many companies only post during traditional business hours. Yet, social media is open 24 hours a day. If you want to increase your presence on a global scale, then you must post content even when you are physically closed for business. Using a tool such as Buffer can help you schedule content throughout the day to stay relevant on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. To illustrate, Buffer can optimize your schedule automatically based on Twitter data that shows when your fans are most active.

Celebrate the Successes of Others

People will ignore your brand if you make it all about you. You must instead share exciting updates that shows you care about the successes of your community. Here's how to do it:
  • Celebrate international holidays and festivals.
  • Interact with your fans.
  • Tag people and share their updates.
  • Post non-promotional items such as statistics and memes.
Keep in mind the 80/20 rule of promotion. Only one out of every five posts should be used to promote your agency. The rest of the time you should be listening to and engaging with your target audience. In conclusion One of the ways to grow your business is through social media. Using it effectively requires engagement, visuals and adding a human element to your brand.

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