Competition within your industry is fierce as everyone is fighting for the attention of potential customers. That puts you in the overwhelming position of facing off against larger companies in a battle to increase your brand awareness. The larger companies have a seemingly endless pool of financial resources and a top notch marketing team that lives and breathes brand awareness marketing in their corner. They seem destined to be the ones holding the prize after the fight is over.
You begin to feel as if climbing the hill to engage in battle is an impossible task. There is no way you can measure up to your competitor. You are outmeasured in financial resources, employees and brand recognition. In an instant your corner of the battlefield feels as if it’s growing smaller by the minute. It takes everything you have to not wave the white flag of surrender and retreat to your small business world with your tail between your legs.
Don’t lost hope just yet! There is something you have in your corner that larger companies can’t use. That something is your personality!
Customers are drawn to your business because of who you are and how easy it is to approach you. They can come to you with an issue or problem and seek your authoritative solution. There is no expansive customer service team to go through or automated phone system to navigate. There is just you and your willingness to help in whatever way you can. Larger companies on the other hand are unapproachable, impersonal and unfriendly.
You can take that personality and approachability to the world of social media. In doing so you level the battlefield and gain a fighting chance at emerging from the brand awareness fight victorious.
Here are 5 useful ways you can be a social media standout and grab the attention of potential customers in the process.
#1: Be Courageous
It can be said that if you want something to change you just need to find 20 seconds of courage to take the first step. Each step you take after that become easier as you find a sense of confidence in the choice you are making. Finding that 20 seconds of courage is the starting point to you becoming a social media standout. The action that accompanies that first step of courage is entirely up to you.
It can be something as simple as setting up a social media account on a platform of your choice and creating a ‘welcome to my page’ post for your audience. You can find a conversation with a topic that interests you and start talking. Share a behind-the-scenes moment of your work day, respond to questions and comments from your audience or create a solution to a problem your customers may be facing that day. The possibilities are endless as you are free to choose the course of action that feels like the most comfortable option for your business.
There is only one rule you need to follow and that is to be yourself. Here is where your competitive advantage kicks in as you have the ability to let your personality shine through in every social media action you take. Larger companies are unable to take the ‘personable’ approach as they have a set of strict rules and a corporate logo guiding their every move. Being courageous and thoughtful gives you the chance to build stronger relationships with potential customers and work to bring them into your sales funnel process.
#2: Be Thoughtful
To be a social media standout you need to think before you post. Taking a blanket approach to the content that you share comes across as impersonal, just as it does when those larger companies make cold, carbon copy posts to their accounts. Nearly everything they post on social media impacts their bottom line in one way or another. That approach only benefits the corporate executives that have something to gain from an increase in sales. Their audience gets lost in the corporate, impersonal shuffle and begins to feel invisible.
You, on the other hand, have the ability to make your audience feel like an important part of your business with thoughtful, value added social media posts. Highlighting different dimensions of your business is one way to accomplish this and thinking outside of the box is another approach to take. Put your audience before your profit margins and create content that is beneficial, thoughtful and serves a purpose.
Doing so shows that you not only care about building stronger relationships with your audience but you also keep their best interests in mind as well. Observing the actions your competition takes on social media can be a good starting point in building your social media strategy as well.
#3: Be Observant
Being observant is key to becoming a social media standout. Paying attention to the posts that your competition makes is the equivalent of finding the opposing team’s playbook the night before a game. You are both in the same industry so the information that they are sharing is mostly likely of interest to your audience as well. What you are looking for is not so much what they post but how they post each piece of content.
Read a particular piece of content they post and then skim through the response that their audience makes to that content. You can take the same action with the content that industry influencers share as well. The responses and questions their audience posts can pinpoint whether that particular post is of value to the audience. When something doesn’t quite add up, it could be that the content is valuable but the way your competition shares that content is missing the mark.
That opens the door for you to create a social media post that is value added and beneficial to your audience. You do this by taking a different approach to the content material or sharing another viewpoint. Looking at things from your audience’s standpoint and pairing it with visually appeal works to give the audience a content piece they actually want to see on social media.
#4: Be Visually Appealing
A quick scroll through any one of your personal social media platforms is all that’s necessary to see the role that visual content plays in audience engagement. I’d be willing to bet that you click on an eye catching photo or video more often than you do plain text content when skimming over each newsfeed timeline. While this may seem like a matter of personal preference there is actually a logical reason for that approach.
John Medina of Brain Rules, points out that the human brain is naturally drawn to visual images. Therefore we have the ability to remember 65% of a content message three days after seeing it for the first time. That means that your audience is more likely to remember content pieces that feature a visually appealing photo or video. If you think about that for a second it becomes easier to see why visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Snap Chat are popular.
The larger companies that you are competing against simply do not have the time or authority to ensure their social media posts contain high quality images or videos. On the off chance that they do include a visual aspect to their posts, it will not have an audience oriented approach. It will be something that works for their logo or corporate image. You can gain a competitive advantage with content that is visually appealing and gracious in nature.
#5: Be Gracious
Graciousness is a lost art in our world these days. Everyone is so busy rushing from one point to another while doing a million things in between. That leaves little time or desire to stop and say ‘thank you’ to someone for adding value to the day. Here is where your advantage of being a small business comes into play and paves the way to you becoming a social media standout.
Your social media platforms features a list of people that consciously decide to follow your accounts. It is not a requirement they need to meet to be part of the social media community. It is, in fact, a choice they make which expresses a sincere desire to learn from you and engage with you. It is also a factor that you never want to overlook as it presents you with a great opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in your industry.
Take the time to make heartfelt posts of gratitude that showcase your appreciation for the loyalty that your audience shows by choosing to be a part of your social media family. Share a message of thanks that lets your audience know you see their online interactions with you and that you appreciate their presence. Offer a discount on a product or service to your loyal social media audience or mention them by name in posts from time to time. It all works to make your audience feel value, which makes you stand out in the crowd.
A Final Thought
Being a social media standout means not being afraid to think outside the box. Part of your charm as a small business owner is your personality and you need to be courageous in making that the central focus of your social media actions. Let your audience see inside your business world and get to know you a little better.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the world of social media. You just need to find the solution that works best for you and gives you a fighting chance at standing out against the competition. Pay attention to the actions of your competitors and learn from their mistakes. Show graciousness and generosity to your social media audience. Above all else, always keep the conversation going and give your audience a reason to build on their relationship with you.
Would you like to receive more marketing tips, advice and resources for your small business? Join my mailing list now and get 10 FREE marketing ideas that make your business more competitive today!