Social media is one of the most effective tools for reaching your customers and prospects. When used correctly, your presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram helps you build your brand, educate your audience, and get more leads and customers. However, you have lots of competition as almost every business now has at least a Facebook page. How do you separate yourself from the competition and communicate the unique benefits you offer? Here are some of the best ways to help you stand out in a good way with your social media pages.
1. Share Stunning Visuals
Images are dominating social media pages more and more. Sure, you also need to communicate with words. Visuals, however, catch your followers’ eyes right away and get them drawn into your message. No matter what kind of business you have, make your visuals a priority.
- Use quality images. You can’t stand apart if you’re sharing stock photos that are found on thousands of other sites. Invest in quality images. Better yet, use your own photos and custom illustrations.
- Brand your images. Beautiful visuals are great but you also want people to connect them to your brand. When possible, show your logo, place of business, or something that refers to your business. You don’t need to do this all the time but never miss an opportunity to insert yourself into the picture.
- Use infographics to educate. Infographics let you compress lots of useful information in a small and compelling package. They are especially useful if you’re in the tech sector or have products/services that need explaining. They’re great for summarizing trends and statistics. Infographics are also extremely shareable.
- Use memes to entertain. Memes with memorable images and quotes are another highly shareable type of content. In general, memes are more appropriate for businesses with a casual image or younger audience but their popularity is spreading to other demographics as well.
2. Make Use of Stories
Storytelling is more interesting than blatant promotions. While ads are everywhere now, people don’t log onto Facebook or Instagram for pitches. They’re looking to be diverted, informed, or entertained. Stories can be told using words, images, or videos. You can also get lots of leverage using the Stories feature on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. When you consider that Facebook Stories have more than 500 million users, you can begin to appreciate their power. There are many ways to tell stories using Stories:
- Tell the story behind your business and products. People enjoy hearing details, such as what motivates you.
- Give followers a close-up view of your business and the surrounding area.
- Provide quick demonstrations of your products and services.
- Share time-sensitive information about product launches and special events.
3. Keep Learning About Your Audience
Many businesses create buyer personas to help them identify their ideal customers. Understanding your audience, though, is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and updating. You, your customers, and the world change over time and you always want to know what people are thinking now.
- Conduct polls and surveys. Make these short and simple to answer as social media users don’t want to spend a long time on any one task.
- Pay attention to your analytics. Whether you rely on free tools such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, paid software, or outsource analytics to an agency, note what type of content gets you the most engagement. Analytics also helps you identify the optimal times to post.
- Research your competition. When you identify competitors that have audiences comparable to yours, it’s instructive to study them. Social media tools such as Facebook Insights make it easy to ethically spy on your competitors. You can, for example, look over their Facebook and Instagram pages, Twitter feeds and more. See who’s following them and engaging with them. This may alert you to demographics you haven’t been targeting.
4. Create a Strategy to Build Engagement
No matter how professional and impressive your pages are, they won’t help you attract more leads and customers without engagement. Social media engagement is both a sign of a successful page and a feature that encourages even more people to engage. It’s the old, pre-internet principle of psychology as applied to lines and events. People are drawn to a line for something popular, whether it’s a new superhero movie, a trade show booth, an iPhone, or a street magician. Similarly, the more comments and questions you get on your social media pages, the more you’ll get. Here are some ways to get more people involved with your pages.
- Ask provocative questions. Simply asking people what they think about a specific issue or product can get a discussion started.
- Encourage user-generated content (UGC). Invite followers to submit their own photos, videos, and other content. Hold contests based on themes that are relevant to your business or just timely such as holidays or vacations. With user-generated content, your followers are helping you with your marketing while making your pages seem even more interesting.
- Share important news and information. Many brands fall into the trap of only promoting themselves. Your pages will be more helpful and interesting if you cover the topics your audience cares about. Make your page a valuable source for the latest stories, trends, and solutions.
- Don’t forget to tag your posts. Hashtags work especially well on Twitter and Instagram but can be used on Facebook as well. Location tags help you attract local interest.
5. Get More Facebook Reviews
Online reviews play a crucial role when it comes to attracting new customers. There are many sites where customers can leave reviews, including Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, and lots of more specialized review sites for various industries. Facebook is also emerging as an important review site. In fact, having positive reviews on your business page can be one of the most powerful ways to separate yourself from the competition. Here are a few ways to get more Facebook reviews:
- Make sure your page is set up for reviews. In your Facebook Business Manager, you have tabs under Settings that include an option to make reviews visible.
- Send emails. If you have customers’ email addresses, ask them to leave a Facebook review after they’ve patronized your business.
- Link to your Facebook page from your website along with a request to leave a review.
- Monitor reviews and always respond to them, whether positive or negative. This shows that you’re really concerned about what your customers think and it will motivate others to leave reviews.
Get People to Notice Your Social Media Pages
If you want to attract more followers and customers, you have to give people a reason to spend time on your pages. Avoid a cookie-cutter approach and make sure you emphasize what makes you special. This is an ongoing process as your customers, industry, and social media marketing itself are always evolving. Track the latest social media trends and features so you can offer the most engaging content.
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