In this digital age of transparency, authenticity and constant change, the one thing that we know all businesses, brands and leaders must figure out is how to establish credibility and recognition in a crowded sphere.
There is no doubt that social media has an influx of voices that want to be heard. How, then, do you get your online brand noticed, followed and heard to make your social media efforts worthwhile? Follow these guidelines on how to enhance your social media marketing impact in a competitive landscape.
Practice Two-Way Communication
Standing out on social media platforms requires you to be social. This seems obvious, yet many businesses struggle in this area. It’s not a “build it and wait until they come” strategy. You can’t open a Twitter account or create a Facebook page and simply post promotional content. Social implies two-way conversations, not one-way promotional messages. It’s up to you to offer something interesting and relevant others will want to hear about. Do that and you will get noticed, remembered and talked about.
Cultivate Online Relationships
Social media marketing success is all about the development of relationships. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. One important thing you should do to cultivate strong online relationships and stand out from your competition is to engage with user-generated content as a way to send a thank you when your business gets mentioned and show your brand followers that they are more to you than just consumers.
Target Your Audience
You should concentrate on adding real value to the groups that matter the most. This gives you time to contribute, collaborate and engage in more meaningful conversations while building essential relationships within your online community or market. The key here is to understand your audience. To be successful in any community, whether in person or online, you must understand what captures the attention of community members, what keeps them engaged and what makes them want to share.
Show Your Enthusiasm
Sharing enthusiasm about your business will spread organically and inspire and influence your online audience. True passion is contagious, especially when expressed through social media. There is no one more magnetic than someone who loves what they do and the people they serve.
Use Your Personal Account
Online audiences want there to be real voices behind a brand. Effectively utilizing your personal social media platforms can help create a strong online reputation and identity for your business. It is also a great way to show your involvement within the company and share your personal views on current news.
Regardless of which social media networks you use, keep in mind that you should not expect to see overnight results. The process of developing a successful social media strategy requires time and patience. Make sure you are consistent and continue to post regularly. Using social media tools like Hootsuite to manage all your accounts and SumAll to track your efforts is a huge help in staying on top of the networks you’re on and to understand what drives engagement.
So, you want your online brand to stand out using social media marketing? Be fresh, relevant and interesting. Share and engage with followers by facilitating two-way conversations that will resonate. Respond and converse consistently. By taking an innovative approach and committing to a regular posting schedule, you’ll bust through the marketing clutter, online and off.
Flackable is an award-winning public relations agency representing financial and professional services brands nationwide. To learn more about Flackable, please visit flackable.com. Follow Flackable on Twitter at @Flackable.
This is an updated version of an article originally written by Alexa Miller and published on 7/21/15.