Standing out on social media can be quite daunting. With so many platforms to choose from, understanding what to do to truly differentiate your brand’s presence is getting increasingly difficult.
Before you start to reconsider the benefits of your social media strategy, remember that the average user spends 2 hours and 27 minutes on socials per day. That translates to 14.53 billion social networking visits per month in the US alone! If you are not there to draw some of that interest to yourself, your audience will spend their time interacting with your competitors instead.
Here are eight tactics to consider that will help you stand out, grab the attention of your target audience, and ensure that there is plenty of qualified interest coming your way.
Develop Consistency Between Your Various Social Media Platforms
Your first step is to ensure your brand is easily recognizable on all the social media platforms you choose to be present on. You want your followers and target audience to instantly know they are looking at one of your posts.
What you post on each channel will, of course, differ, so don’t think of it as reposting the same content over and over again. Rather focus on visual and tonal consistency that adequately represents your brand and what it stands for.
For starters, this will mean that you should use the same profile (and cover) image across all platforms. When posting a video or a photo, you want it to stylistically match the rest of your online presence — most importantly, your website.
Use the same colors and hues to brand each visual you use. If you’re sharing a link to a blog post, make sure the cover of the post has a featured image that’s appropriate for social media. If you don’t want to use your brand colors, at least make sure there is some uniformity and consistency with the type of images you select. Using the same overlay or font over them can help.
Take a look at ATH and their social media presence. They’ve gone for a black-and-white color scheme that matches their logo, and they use it on everything. They write their motivational quotes on a black background in an all-caps font. Notice how they also try to feature their logo in every post, whether it’s a video from the gym or a product unboxing.
When you see their post in your feed, you’ll know it’s them.
Offer Support on Social Media
Social media also gives you the opportunity to market your brand for free. Granted, your entire social marketing presence is free marketing at its core. But some of it can be highly ineffective, while other tactics can help you stand out.
A lot of your target audience will use social media to get in touch with you. Whenever they come to you with a technical or support query, you get the chance to wow your entire audience with the response. Most customer support interactions are private. Don’t pass up the opportunity to capitalize on the public ones.
Several large brands that see lots of daily queries, like Wix, have set up separate social media profiles for customer support. This allows them to streamline their responses and ensures they never miss a message that can otherwise get lost in the sea of tweets from non-support-seeking customers.
You don’t have to go that extra mile, especially if you don’t expect to see that many similar tweets. Domino’s has just one account, but they still manage to get back to their followers, even when they aren’t actually reaching out to the brand in a direct way.
All you have to do is mention them, and chances are they will reply and offer further assistance or just thank you for the support. This follower merely shared her disappointment with one of the brand’s menu items, and she was directed where to take her complaint further if she wanted to.
Showcase Your Customers
Social media also lets you engage with your customers in so many different ways that it would be a shame not to make the most of the opportunity.
User-generated content can help you both fill up your feed and show your followers what they can expect from your product or service. At the same time, you can form better relationships with the people whose content you use. If you show your human side and chat with them when asking their permission to repost, they will appreciate you more and more.
Starbucks does a brilliant job with this. On Instagram, they share a lot of their customer’s photos with their favorite drink. On Twitter, they will reply to a bunch of their mentions, so scrolling down their feed gives you instant access to what everyone else thinks of the new holiday tastes.
You can come up with your own way of including user-generated content in your social media presence. For example, you can do contests specifically designed to gather content, repost some of your mentions, or ask customers to create reviews in video format, which you can then promote.
Embrace Niche Platforms That Are Ideal for Your Brand
Sometimes it seems there are just too many social media platforms out there. Knowing which one to be active on, or worse, trying to be equally active on them all, can quickly prove to be an impossible task.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin, embrace the platform that best works for your brand.
- If you want to foster a community spirit and create a channel where you can easily communicate with a group of followers, Facebook is your best choice.
- If you want real-time communication and often share snippets of information, go for Twitter.
- If you want to share a lot of short clips, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts will work very well. You can embrace both, in fact, since the format is quite similar.
- If you want to share images, Pinterest and Instagram will work. It will depend on the way you want to share the images.
They’re able to perfectly align their product with the visual nature of the platform, plus their target audience is already there. When looking for visual merchandising ideas, most people will go to Pinterest, not Instagram.
The Gram is more for establishing your visual identity than anything else, and it won’t allow you to create a unique set of resources like Pinterest will. The brand was quick to identify this opportunity and their boards have tons of views.
Social media gives you a chance to connect with your audience rather than keep shoving your promotional message onto their feeds. Your followers will certainly appreciate being alerted to a new product or sale, but they will appreciate the chance to engage with you even more.
To stand out on socials, do your best to get the conversation going. Ask questions in your posts, tag your loyal followers, and get to know your customers. If someone has recently mentioned you in a post and said they bought a certain product, make a note and ask them how they liked it when you next post about the same product.
Always do your best to promote conversations and hook your readers to respond. Be funny, be silly, and spark some interest. When you respond to your responses, keep the conversation going and ask further questions, demonstrating your genuine interest in your followers’ opinions.
Take a look at Innocent and how they do it on Twitter. They respond to practically everything — people who tweet at them (even when they are literally asking for the impossible, like in the tweet below), people who comment on their tweets, people who’ve tweeted about something that has little to do with their brand.
They are also funny and kind, and they show their human side with every tweet. This certainly inspires more people to chat with them, as the conversations will never feel robotic. The more engaged their audience, the bigger their reach, as their followers’ followers will see the exchange too.
Post Content That Promotes an Emotional Connection With Your Brand
Emotional marketing gives you the opportunity to appeal to your audience in a deeper and more meaningful way. By promoting an emotional connection with your brand, your posts will become more memorable. Just think of the John Lewis Christmas adverts: you remember them for years because they tug on your heartstrings so much.
You don’t necessarily have to make your audience cry in order to get that emotional connection. You can also make them smile, help them relive a particular event, or remind them of the truly important things in life.
Bay Alarm Medical is an example of a brand that does it really well. Their Instagram profile aims to connect with caregivers and seniors who are redefining aging in the modern world. Their entire brand is about caring for the elderly and doing what’s best for your parents and grandparents. The stories they tell on social media help reinforce this message.
The photos they share are always accompanied by a bit of the person’s story. By sharing them, they are reminding their followers to call their loved ones and check in on their senior neighbors. They’re generally spreading some kindness online, which we all need. Who wouldn’t like this brand to appear on their feed?
Understand Your Audience and Give Them the Content They Want
The brands that have the most success, not just on social media but in the digital world as a whole, are the ones that take the time to understand their audience. Or brands that are created and run by people who are actually members of the target audience.
When you understand what makes your customers tick, you’ll also understand how to make them smile. You’ll know how to convince them that a specific offer is just what they need. Naturally, your reach, engagement, and shares will skyrocket.
Let’s explain it with an example. BarkBox has over 4 million followers across their various social media channels. And their entire success can be attributed to their audience research. They know what their followers want: cute, funny, educational, entertaining videos of dogs. Period.
Or take a look at Gymshark on Instagram. Their followers want to be inspired to work out, so the brand gives them just that. Clockify knows that their followers want to manage their time better, so they utilize Youtube to give them tutorials for their tool, along with plenty of project management advice across other platforms.
You don’t always need to promote your product. Find what your audience watches and shares, and then figure out a way to present your brand through the same lens.
Explain What Your Product Does
A lot of your potential customers will encounter your brand for the first time on social media. They will have no idea who you are or what you do, but a post will get them to click through to your profile.
Even though the purpose of social media is to interact, don’t forget that for brands, it’s also about communicating a specific message. When someone sees you for the first time, they need to understand right off the bat what your product or service is.
Use the platform’s functionalities to present this. Don’t use a vague tagline and state your purpose clearly.
Take a look at January, for example. They’ve done a magnificent job of explaining a complex product on every platform they use. They tell you that the app is coming and that it’s all about improving your metabolic health.
Their Instagram is particularly great, as their pinned Stories give you a lot of carefully digested information and link to content that further explains the product. If you just take the time to watch them, you’ll understand why you need to care about the product and how it can help you improve your own health.
Before you post anything else on social media, consider how that specific piece of content, whether it’s an image or a tweet, helps you connect with your audience and stand out on their feed. Why should they stop scrolling and look at you? Don’t hit “post” before you can answer that question, and use our tactics to get yourself noticed.