How to Stand Out From the Social Media Competition
Having a prominent, consistent and engaging social media presence is non-negotiable if you want to be successful; it builds trust with customers, draws in new customers and helps retain customers. That said, there are specific strategies businesses can use to improve social networking tactics and, ultimately, drive more business.
There are countless social networks to choose from, each one with its own medium. For example, Pinterest and Instagram focus on visuals, Twitter relies on text and Reddit runs on its discussions. Not all business models are fit for every social network. It is important for businesses to focus on one to two social accounts that really fit the business model, brand, customer base and overall goals. To do this, research your demographic to find out which social networks they use the most. From there, narrow that down to the networks you can use effectively and consistently.
Use Hashtags and Tags
Customers browsing through social media platforms find businesses at random through hastags. Hashtags group relevant content together making it easier for potential customers to find your business. You can create a hashtag specific to a campaign to expand your brand reach. As an example, Lifelock uses this technique on their Facebook page with the hashtag #Lifelockforgood which highlights the businesses volunteering efforts.
Build Trust Through Consistency
Social media platforms are excellent resources to build trust and sincere relationships with your customers and clients. But, in order to build that foundation, your business must have a consistent presence on social media. When a potential customer or client considers buying from you, they will likely visit your social accounts, and if you haven’t tweeted, pinned or updated a status in more than three weeks, it could cause the customer to veer away and buy from someone else. Build a consistent schedule that your business can stick to. Gain the trust of your customers and prove your validity as a resource for what your audience needs.
Engage and Respond
No one wants to interact with auto-responses or a constant barrage of pre-scheduled posts and updates. It is essential that businesses engage with customers and respond to inquiries in a timely manner. This humanizes your business and instills a certain level of comfort and shows that your employees are relatable. Engaging with your customers will make your brand stand out instead of blending in with flat, one-dimensional businesses.
Create a Manageable Schedule
Being a consistent voice on social media platforms can be a hefty amount of work if you’re not organized. Creating a schedule or editorial calendar is more efficient than spending hours posting everyday. A few things to consider:
Is your audience engaged? Creating a winning editorial calendar that posts everyday at noon is pointless if your demographic is most active in the evening. Use social media analytics tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to determine the best time of day for you to schedule posts.
What content is most popular? Track the most popular content for your audience so you can continue to maximize on that interest and engagement across all channels.
Are you posting actionable marketing? You want to include things like coupon codes, previews of new arrivals or any other incentive for followers to find out more information about your business and make a purchase.