Social media has already made its way into the marketing strategy of many businesses but there is still a long way to go until businesses have harnessed its power to their full advantage.
One aspect of social media people commonly struggle with is using it to differentiate themselves from competitors in their industry.
The following guide is designed to give you an overview of useful strategies businesses can use to stand out from the competition through social media tactics.
What should you be famous for?
Decide what you want to be known for on social media. This decision should tie in to your broader marketing objectives so it shouldn’t take you very long to narrow down your area of expertise. For example if you are selling tires, you can choose to be known as the expert in tires for sedan cars.
Find out who you’re competing against
The next step is to find out which of your competitors are known for the same thing. Once you know exactly who your direct competitors are, compare their social media efforts with your own.
See what they are doing daily and weekly on each of their social media channels and which activities are generating the most engagement and feedback from fans.
This will give you an indication of what you have to achieve (for example if your competitor has 2000 Facebook fans and you only have a 1000, your goal can be to increase fan base by 1000).
Curate and create valuable content
Become a thought leader by curating and creating valuable content. Aggregate a set of valuable content and then offer your own opinions, thoughts and annotations to position you as a thought leader in a particular industry.
Content curation is very simple to do – subscribe to all the newsletters of publications that speak to your target audience. Find blogs which are relevant to your audience and add them to your Google reader to find new post updates.
To create valuable content write case studies, discuss current industry trends, discuss a particular topic that will resonate with your audience or ask some of your customers for positive testimonials.
Become good at listening and hearing
Listen. Look for questions people are asking about your organisation and also about the industry in general. This way, you can find topics and issues that people are interested in and then generate content that is relevant to those subjects.
Finding ways to contribute to the conversation meaningfully will not only position you as a thought leader, it will also allow you to understand your target market better. You can use existing FAQs, marketing materials, and PR materials to help in addressing the answers to these questions and then create a story that highlights the particular issue and how your services address these issues.
Use sites such as Quora or LinkedIn Groups to find people asking questions in your industry or about your organisation.
Source content from other experts
Use content from other thought leaders and experts to communicate valuable information. The use of thought leaders both inside and outside of the organisation as sources for popular content is increasing.
People appear to relate to content that comes from a “deep source” within an organisation much more than traditional press releases cranked out by a PR department. Also, consider reaching out to subject matter experts outside of your organisation for possible content about your industry or about your organisation’s place in that industry.
Create an engaged community. Social media is about communication and building an online network of people who enjoy participating in discussions. To achieve this ask questions and encourage conversations – the more follower interaction you have the more you will differentiate yourself from competitors.
These tips should help you make a start on using social media meaningfully and to stand out from other businesses targeting the same audience as you. Once you have applied these strategies to your social media efforts, go deeper and learn as much about your followers as possible. Remember consumer insights are the fundamental driving force of all your social media efforts.
How do you stand out from competitors?
Download our FREE Guide to Social Media Success and learn how to get ahead of your competitors and build your business using social media.
Sydney Social Media and Public Relations Agency, CP Communications blends cutting edge offline and online PR and social media to help you gain a competitive advantage. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.