6 tips for staying ahead of the competition
The effectiveness of advertising on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn is no longer in question. From small startups to large corporations, businesses use social media to increase visitors to their website, bring in new business and improve brand awareness and visibility among their target markets.
Unfortunately, as businesses become comfortable with using social media, they often use the same old approaches over and over again. This is natural, but it is your job to create a buzz. Keeping your social media strategy fresh will help separate you from the competition and keep whatever momentum you’ve already built up going. Here are some ways to push your strategy:
Do an audit of your current social media approach. Start by identifying your main competitors, your ideal targets and the key influencers in your category. Be sure to take note of how competitors are branding their product in the social sphere, which social media sites they are using and how they use them. Look at areas where your competitors are lacking and push harder in those areas. By the time they catch up, you will have created a niche.
Stay a few steps ahead of your competitors by posting valuable and share-worthy information on social media platforms. The more original the content you provide, the more likely customers will come back again and again. Every time they share what you share, they are also spreading the word about your product and/or brand
Choose Platforms Carefully
You can’t be all things to all people. There are new social media platforms created every day, but your brand doesn’t have to have a presence on all of them. Again, research which platforms your competitors use, and start from there. More importantly, think about the specific needs and behaviors of your target market. If you think they will be interested in recipes, make sure you are posting on Pinterest. However, if you’re pretty sure they would rather see product demonstrations on YouTube, focus there instead. You have limited resources, so limit your social media to what you know will be effective.
It’s so important to show your brand personality in all of your postings. Customers relate to human insight, not mechanical or generic postings without heart. Don’t be afraid to add in humor or wit. Once you find a voice that reflects your brand, you will gain an audience and a following.
Stick to Your Strategy
I set a social media strategy each week, and I don’t waver from it. I start by cycling my blog postings through a variety of social platforms. Then I use Hootsuite to share general postings about specific topics. I also spend 15 minutes a day researching new topics that I might want to write about in the future. By doing this, I know I have an arsenal of information to share that I am actually interested in myself. Whether you handle social media yourself or you have a social media staff, make sure everyone is passionate about what they choose to share. Otherwise, you’re just going through the motions.
Plug in to Other Sources
One of the sources I use to find social media information about niche targets is Social Mention. I have also joined certain groups on LinkedIn to make sure I’m up-to-date on certain popular topics. Staying plugged in ensures that what you are sharing yourself is of interest and not old news. And, as always, visit competitors’ sites to see what’s hyping on their social media platforms.
Make sure you’ve also read these articles on improving your content and tracking your online marketing success:
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosauraochoa/3256859352/”>Rosaura Ochoa</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>