Did you know that Facebook users send about 31.25 million messages a minute? Or that more than 17,000 LinkedIn profiles are viewed in just 60 seconds? That’s a LOT of Web activity.
No wonder even the best social media campaigns still get buried under huge global news or sensationalized updates. If you’re a top brand, then there’s less to worry about because you already have a good following on your online accounts. But what if you’re a small local business or a rookie blogger?
It won’t be easy – but if you want to become an online voice that people listen to, you need consistency, a unique voice, and these five tips.
Step 1: Stay Consistent With Your Brand Image
What is brand image and why is it important? Your brand image is the impression you give to consumers. Also known as “brand identity”, it’s an idea of what you have to offer, or what makes your products or services unique. Even companies with similar offerings will each have distinct brand images. Just take a look between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Co.
Both sell carbonated drinks. In fact, their products are so famous, it has created a cult following for die-hard fans. However, if you visit their accounts on social media, you’ll see how different each brand is based on the type of content they post.
Coca-Cola supports more social causes and presents their product as a catalyst in bringing people together.
Pepsi Co. on the other hand, is more into trending news and events that the younger generation could relate to. Their Facebook Feed is usually filled with recent videos, brand contests, and celebrity endorsements.
Ask yourself: what’s my brand’s distinct selling point? What does my product or services have that my rival businesses lack? Learn from these two companies and find out your unique brand identity. Then, use that to create compelling social media marketing campaigns to distinguish yourself from the rest of your competitors.
Step 2: Answer Problems
If there’s one thing that people love doing on social media – no matter the platform – it’s talking about themselves. Even brands fall into this trap! Why? It’s so easy to simply talk about your brand, its features, and its benefits. Often, this is what businesses do after completing step #1. Unfortunately, you’re not going to punch through social media noise this way.
Instead of telling audiences HOW great you are, why not HELP THEM with their problems? This method serves two purposes: one, it builds up your brand as an authority in your industry; and two, you make others feel good because you just solved their dilemma. According to one study, customers are actively using social media as their platform of choice for complaints. In fact, 42 percent of consumers expect brands to respond to them within 60 minutes. Imagine the pressure!
Email Marketing service GetResponse understands the importance of this strategy, and that’s why they implemented it seamlessly into their company blog and Twitter account. Aside from tweeting about trending news and product updates, they also feature social media hacks, expert tricks, as well as valuable tips to boost productivity.
The GetResponse social media team also enjoys engaging in online discussions, asking experts for their opinions, and resolving issues from customers.
This smart and fast approach to customer service has helped them stay on top of their game as one of the best email marketing services for businesses, bloggers, and digital marketers.
Step 3: Engage Frequently With The Right People
Okay, so you have established yourself as a leader in your niche and you have somehow figured out how to respond to customer complaints. Still not punching holes in the social media sphere? Remember: the social media universe is NOISY. If you want your target market to take notice of you, you need to be seen frequently – by the right people.
How do you do this?
- Publish industry-related content such as images, articles, news, quotes, etc.
- Participate in forums, threads, and related discussions online
- Follow or connect with Influencers in your industry (e. bloggers, PR agencies, entrepreneurs, speakers, etc.)
Forums and chats are priceless if you want to meet influential people in your industry. Just make sure you have something of value to contribute to the online discussion!
There are numerous ways to connect with Influencers: from becoming their fan, commenting on their articles, mentioning them on your blog posts, to sending them an email. Start with tiny steps by getting to know the right people who can contribute to your business’ success.
For instance: if you’re a local entrepreneur, get journalists and other PR personnel to write about you. It’s one of the simplest and fastest ways for online promotion. HARO is a good place to start. Find appropriate media opportunities and get your business mentioned in top resources by credible reporters.
Step 4: Start Small and Work Your Way Up
Even the biggest brands we know of nowadays had to begin somewhere. Don’t assume that you’ll be a star overnight (although one of your ideas could become viral, those things are usually one-hit wonders and don’t last very long). Aim for long-term rewards by starting small and working your way up the social media ladder.
Content marketing solutions provider, Copyblogger (founded by Brian Clark), also began with small foundations.
(Image credits to Ph Creative)
Clark wanted to create a resource that newbie bloggers would want to get information from. Understanding how first impressions work online, the brand centered their efforts into creating awesome, action-oriented content to help audiences with their blogging troubles (see step #2).
After listening to some problems their readers usually had, they were able to make several other tools and learning materials that catered to these issues. It was a lot of hard work. But what really put them on the map was Clark’s attention to future trends. Back before Google acquired YouTube, he and his designer, Chris Pearson, already had a video tutorial site. After that, the rest – they say – is history.
Step 5: Join the Noise
Sounds counterintuitive, right?
However, the saying “if you can’t beat them, join them” could have a few nuggets of real wisdom behind it. When it comes to social media, jumping in on the noise could actually be a good thing. Digital marketing specialist, Neil Patel, even recommends this on one of his articles on Social Media Examiner. By sharing popular content by your competitors for example, you’re able to leverage that power to gain some social media signals for your brand.
Remember when selfies with a quokka (an Australian marsupial) became huge online? Top content sites like BuzzFeed and Mashable immediately jumped at the chance and produced one article after another on the subject. Even National Geographic joined the bandwagon and produced content on the cute critter. A quick search on content research app, BuzzSumo, would reveal just how BIG this trend was.
Joining the noise has two main benefits: first, it keeps your brand relevant. If you’re seen with an opinion or piece on a current topic, chances are high that online audiences would consume your content and link to you. Second, it saves you the trouble of creating something that people may not care about. When it comes to making yourself easily visible online, think: fresh, fun, and current.
Navigating the realm of social media is tricky. But one thing’s for sure: you can’t rush results. If you want long-term sustainable rewards that last beyond Gangnam Style’s fame, you need the best social media campaign you can think of.
Make your own noise on social media by showing the true YOU. Got any favorite social media tips of your own? Share in the comments below!