There’s no question that digital marketing has taken our society—and the rest of the world—by storm. Instead of probing lengthy flyers and magazines filled with adverts for deals, people now rely on the Internet to find them. The same news that people once upon a time looked forward to reading in the morning paper can now be found at the touch of a button. In today’s competitive industry, it’s imperative to develop a concrete strategy that will help distinguish you and your brand from the rest of the crowd.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that, depending on how it is used, can either make or break your company. Here are a few tips on how to effectively set yourself apart on social media:
1. Establish a brand.
This should be the very first thing you do when devising a marketing strategy. In order to build an effective brand, you need to have a plan. You should know everything about your brand, including what your short-term and long-term goals are, which channels you will be using to market your products and/or services, and how you differ from your competitors. What is your unique selling point (USP)? If it’s not already obvious, figure out how you can give yourself a competitive advantage in a saturated market, whether it be in the methods you present your brand or in the services and/or products you offer. Create a killer logo and an interactive website that reflects who your brand is. A well-defined brand can (and will) carry your company a long way.
2. Identify your target audience.
Hone in on exactly who will be reading your content (your target audience) and begin catering all of your posts to them. If you are a coffee shop posting mass quantities of animal memes to your Facebook, your customers are going to be confused as to why they followed your page in the first place. This would be acceptable if you were a business catering to pets; but in almost any other scenario, it’s just awkward. Leave the memes for your personal page. Likewise, it would be beneficial for a restaurant to regularly post pictures of the dishes they serve, candid shots of happy customers dining, and outstanding testimonials that help build a reputation.
“The essence of social media is knowing your audience and engaging them in something they love.” – Quoter Unknown
3. Quality over quantity.
While it is paramount to post consistently, it is even more important to post quality content. My preferred method of social networking is called “The Rule of Thirds”: a third of the posts are promotional, a third are related to the trade or industry your company falls under, and a third are posts that current or potential customers can interact with. Promotional posts encompass information that is relevant to your company, including any new products or upcoming specials. Sharing articles related to the industry you are in is another great way to spread awareness and knowledge to consumers. Interactive posts, like questions or surveys, are another excellent method of getting people to really engage with your company.
4. Creativity goes a long way.
Speaking from personal experience, I am much more likely to interact with a post that makes feel a certain way—laughter, happiness, sadness, or even confusion, it doesn’t matter what the feeling is. Both customers and potential clients are looking for people who think outside of the box. You want to your social media posts to showcase how you differ from the competition, so get as creative as you can. Try to focus on creating fresh content vs. curating talking points that have been spewed a thousand times before.
“Your ability to construe your message in your own, unique voice will always be your greatest strength.” – Me
Although times are rapidly changing, one thing is certain: social media isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. When leveraged correctly, it has the power to make a substantial difference. In the past year, I have grown my blog following to over 10,000 people just from social media marketing alone (both paid and organic).
One final takeaway: The sooner you come up with a strategy to set yourself apart from your competition, the better your chance at achieving success for your company/brand.