7 ways you can stand out from your competitors on social media

Every business and their uncle have a social media presence, normally on Facebook and Twitter. Few are using them to their full potential and there is little to differentiate one business from another. Here are 7 ideas to help your business stand out.

1. Genuine one on one contact/ relationships

Many companies promise this, or aspire to it at launch, but few achieve or maintain it.

I’m not suggesting you become firm buddies going out for drinks, but you should know who your power users are and become a little more familiar with them than a standard follower.

For example, Re-tweet their work, comment on anything they have published, ask them direct questions etc.

2. Aggressive deals you don’t offer anywhere else

I’m not talking the odd 5% off here and there; I’m talking major deals on a regular basis that you don’t make available to anyone else.

These people are your brand advocates, reward and incentivise their loyalty.

3. Real discussions, not just statements

People love to express their opinions on subjects they find interesting. With thin in mind, kick start real discussions around topics related to your industry that people will enjoy getting involved with.

For example, if you are a sportswear specialist ask your followers what they think are the greatest trainers ever made?

4. Link to useful 3rd party content

Linking to useful 3rd party content is a good way to get started but this isn’t a long term strategy.

It soon becomes tired and a bit predictable. As soon as you can, start mixing in links to your own original content, be it a blog post, new product, exclusive collateral etc.

5. Put a face to your company

People like dealing with people. if you have someone comfortable with using their picture and name to essentially become the face of the business, then you should use them.

When done well, this tactic breaks down barriers and softens the company’s personality. A great example of this in action is www.mashable.com’s use of the founder’s picture across all social media.

6. Integrated social marketing

Don’t see your social media (Facebook, Twitter, blog, LinkedIn…) as individual silos, you will develop inconsistent tones and branding.

It is also a missed opportunity to use your collateral across all the platforms, increasing their value and likelihood of being read/ used.

7. Ask your followers what they want from you

Social media is  a great opportunity to get instant feedback on both how you are using your social media AND your products and services.

Gathering feedback is great, but if you have no intention of using it, you’ll only frustrate your followers in the long term. make sure you are in a position to action any appropriate suggestions.

If you do make any changes, make sure you communicate this so they can see they are having a real impact.

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