Back in the day, social media was where people connected in a meaningful way with people they actually knew or wanted to get to know. With its explosive growth, social media has become something very different: crowded, noisy, sales-y and political.
It’s still valuable in that it’s different than traditional marketing. Social media helps to illustrate an ongoing story around your product or service.
But nowadays, every channel feels more crowded than ever. It can be had to know if you’re making an impact or just shouting into the void. And with social ads at a premium, businesses need to get creative to reach their audience.
So we’ve put together a list of 4 ways to stand out on Social Media in 2019.
Read on to learn ways to differentiate your brand from your competitors and create better connections.
1. HUMANIZE YOUR BRAND
People buy from people, not businesses — so humanize your brand. The best way to do that is by showing off the real people behind your brand.
Put the identities and personalities of your team out there and share them with your market. Whether it’s a casual profile of the CEO, a “day in the life” post featuring the Marketing Director or a behind-the-scenes peek created by an Intern — you’ll find more people will genuinely connect with your brand if they connect with your real brand’s actual community.
And once you do that, actively invite your audience to engage with you and your team with clear calls to action in a personal way, too: encourage them to comment with their opinions or upload videos sharing their own experiences.
2. ACTIVELY LISTEN
Keep a pulse on what’s going on in your industry and be a part of the larger conversation.
This might sound daunting, but here are 3 easy ways to start:
A. Set up Google alerts for your brand name and keyword terms that are related to your business (for example, some of ours are “EditMate”, “mobile video”, “video marketing”). With these alerts set up, you’ll receive daily update emails with links when those terms come up in the news. This is a great way to stay on top of what’s going on and also have interesting, timely articles to post on your brand’s channels.
B. Start following appropriate Instagram #hashtags, so relevant posts will show up in your feed every day. Doing this, you can make new connections within your industry or re-gram content your followers will enjoy.
C. Literally, listen to podcasts. No matter what segment you’re in, there is probably at least a dozen podcasts filled with a wealth of information about your market. Podcasts are the perfect way to stay up to date while you multitask (we love listening while walking the dog) and most have corresponding social channels where you can connect with fellow listeners. Our favorite general-business-related pods include: How I Built This, Masters of Scale and One Quick Thing.
3. CREATE MORE VIDEO
Ok, so we all knew this one was coming. But it’s true! According to experts, video will soon account for 80% of what we consume online. Why? Because it’s the quickest way to connect.
Even if you’re not using EditMate to create videos for your brand, you need to be sharing social videos: InstaStories for behind the scenes content, customer testimonials for your website, Facebook Ads to reach new audiences… any time you’re planning a piece of content for sharing on social, think about making it a video.
A good way to get started is by creating videos for your most trafficked blog posts. Choose a post, identify 3 important points from it and then brainstorm how you can bring them to life in a social video.
Another quick way to do this is by repurposing your InstaStories. This is particularly easy if you have Influencers already producing those for your brand. Edit those short clips together with music, logos and a call to action to create new InstaStory Ads. See how HelloFresh did it here.
>> HOT TIP: According to Hootsuite, Stories are growing 15x faster than feed based sharing: “Stories will surpass feed based sharing within the next year. Brands need to embrace this new format to reach Gen Z”. So now is the time to be creating InstaStory Ads.
4. SHOW OFF YOUR CUSTOMERS, NOT YOUR PRODUCT
Going hand in hand with #1, it’s important that businesses make their community (their employees, customers, brand ambassadors, etc) the hero of their brand story… not their product.
Instead of showing off the features of your product/service, show off your real customers and how they used it. Talk about your client and show how your product helped them succeed or provide actionable suggestions from a customer case study that your new potential customers can learn from.
By sharing your customer success stories you’re also showing social proof of your business: so really, it’s a win-win for everyone. 🙂
Despite the changing vibe on social media, it still lends itself perfectly to community development — more so than any other form of digital marketing — because it allows you to connect with potential customers and like-minded people online.
It’s tougher than ever for brands to cut through the noise, but by humanizing your brand and working to connect with your real community it is possible to stand out.
P.S. To start brainstorming on how you can put these ideas into action, see how some of our favorite businesses have done it here.
P.P.S. If you liked this post, you might like our Top 10 Reasons to Create Video Content post, too.