If you own a business, chances are you are on social media – whether you are social media savvy or not. However, as a regular consumer, have you noticed how some brands stand out on social media while some merely exist just for the heck of it?
This is because some brands don’t have a plan. You can’t just post a few articles and excellent photos and expect massive engagement from your audience. Consumers on social media are savvy – they need to relate to your brand one way or another before you can build a relationship with them. Standing out against your competitors doesn’t happen overnight — incorporating a marketing strategy is key to your success.
Do you need a different strategy for each social media platform?
Each network caters to different types of audiences. This is important to understand because these audiences expect different types of content depending on the platform. And we are not just talking about the actual post – but also the way you present or write the content. It would help if you also took note of the timing – minding your target audience’s timezone and posting based on when your audience is most active is crucial.
While having different expectations from your audiences in these different social media platforms is a fact, it is unnecessary to create specific content on each platform. It only means you need to use what media works best for each platform. Say, for example, Twitter and Instagram. You can write about the same content on both of these platforms, but an image is entirely optional on Twitter, while Instagram will need an eye-catching photo.
So what other things do you need to consider when posting to these different social media platforms?
Ways to make your posts stand out on social media
1. Use eye-catching media
Remember that aside from helping you get your audience’s attention, images and videos can help you convey messages that words just can’t. You need visuals that will make a user stop scrolling on their feed and read more because they are curious about the value perceived in the content.
GoPro uses stunning visuals to capture unique experiences from their product’s point of view. People follow their Instagram feed not only because the posts are eye-catching but also because it tells a unique story and inspires others to make new experiences.
2. Use compelling captions
A strong caption creates your brand’s story, which builds curiosity amongst your audience. The goal is to kickstart an interaction between your brand and your target audience, so instead of a normal post in a passive voice, try to get them to connect to your post and start a conversation.
Sometimes, less can be more! Write content pieces that are short and straight to the point to avoid your audience getting bored and scroll through their feeds instead of reading your post thoroughly.
Utilize just enough compelling words to entice your target audience in and get them interested enough to click the link and read your post.
3. Participate in trending hashtags
In recent years, hashtags have been used as a brilliant source to increase traffic on almost all social media platforms.
By simply using hashtags in your social media posts, you can easily stretch your reach to more audiences that will cause your traffic to increase – by a lot.
How social media hashtags help your posts:
- Organizes and labels updates – It makes it easier for brands to locate posts when they are “labeled” with a hashtag.
- Increases brand awareness – Since your brand is jumping on the bandwagon by using hashtags on your posts and contents, your content has more chances of being seen not just by your current audience/followers but also by other people who follow the hashtag.
- Content visibility – Hashtags will make your content more visible to your current audience and discoverable by those who are looking for similar or relevant posts. This will also allow you to interact with these social media users who follow the same theme and interest.
Social media hashtag best practices:
- Understand what the hashtag is actually used for. Do your research. Make sure you understand what the hashtag is intended for. This will help avoid the misuse of hashtags and the possibility of the audience interpreting your post negatively.
- Do not overuse hashtags. More hashtags can sometimes do you more harm than good. Each social media platform has its restrictions about hashtag usage; make sure you check them out as there are times when overusing hashtags can reduce audience engagement.
Hashtag recommendations per social media platform:
Facebook: Use two hashtags; try one trending hashtag and then create a specific hashtag for your brand and use it.
Instagram: Use up to 9 hashtags per post for better engagement. Suppose you can do less than nine hashtags, the better because you’re leaving more space for your caption.
Twitter: Use up to 2 hashtags per tweet for best engagement. Also, don’t forget its character count restrictions so leave the other characters for the actual content you’d like to write.
Pinterest: To help social media users on this platform to find relevant content, it is best to use two hashtags on Pinterest.
TikTok: Boosting your reach on the platform will need up to 5 hashtags on TikTok.
LinkedIn: Don’t want the LinkedIn Algorithm to mark your posts as spam? Best to limit the use of hashtags to a maximum of.
4. Stick to a posting schedule
We know it can be tempting for a brand, especially for those who are just starting up their social media accounts, to post on different social media platforms too often to appear consistent and relevant, but doing so might make your audience feel spammed. This may cause a couple of things. One, your audience might start ignoring your brand’s posts altogether, or worse, unfollow your social media account. Remember, there is a difference between posting too often and posting regularly.
A posting schedule not only keeps you organized, but you are maximizing engagement by only posting at times when your audience is most active. You don’t want to post content in the wee hours of the night when your US-based audience is all asleep, right?
Tip: Schedule your social media posts a week or a month in advance; it can help better communicate your purpose and clarify your strategy more.
5. Write valuable posts
Valuable posts are unique content that educates or provides help in any way to the target audience. If you don’t post to entertain, you need to educate at least or provide exclusive content that a reader will not get anywhere else. These types of posts gain engagement, spark conversations, and build connections to people.
Some examples of a valuable post would be a how-to, tips and tricks, or an infographic.
6. Create recurring posts or events
Creating a recurring post or event is one particular way of making your brand stand out on social media. This allows your followers to keep coming back to your account/s and watch out for new posts related to the previous one.
Recurring events like a weekly catch-up or a live video stream where you can have a Q&A portion to answer the most common questions about your brand is one of the ways to create content that will keep followers coming back, week after week.
This interaction can also help you build relationships with your followers as they get to know your brand more and more.
7. Stick to a theme
Using a common theme on your brand’s accounts is another way to stand out on social media and boost your presence. Using a distinct color palette, theme, or filters, you start to create a clear-cut look and feel to your social media content. It also makes your account visually attractive and pleasing.
One thing to take note of when using a specific color palette is to make sure that your brand’s competitors aren’t using them. Otherwise, it will defeat the purpose of your account standing out.
8. Share behind-the-scene shots
Build anticipation on your future events by sharing BTS posts – whether it’s a project, an upcoming party, or a product release, show your audience a little teaser and make them a little excited about what’s to come.
Aside from anticipation, BTS posts create a sense of fun. Remember how bloopers in movies make you feel? It’s almost the same feeling you want your followers to get when you share some behind the scene photos or videos. You’d want them to know that your brand is not “all business” and that there is laughter and joy behind every content you post.
You want them to see the faces of the people behind the posts they see on your accounts on all social media platforms. You want them to feel closer to your brand by seeing the faces that make up your brand.
9. Make it interactive!
One of the most important things about making your brand stand out on social media is by getting customer feedback. And one way of getting customer feedback is by writing interactive posts.
A good example would be posting polls to get your customer’s feedback. This feedback received from your followers can motivate future business decisions and make you aware of areas of improvement.
Making your content interactive will increase engagement and make your business aware of your followers’ feelings about your brand.
10. Sponsor a contest/giveaways
Who doesn’t love to win just by doing the most straightforward stuff like liking and commenting on a post?
Running contests or doing giveaways is arguably the fastest way to receive engagement. People in general love to get anything for free, so if you have the budget to sponsor fantastic items to give away, then by all means!
With this method, you can also use the hashtag approach. Run a contest and have them use your brand-specific hashtag, which will potentially trend on social media. This will also give you an idea of the overall engagement generated by the post, so you know if the contest you just ran was worth it!
Establishing a marketing plan using any of the above strategies gives your brand content direction and variety without necessarily going off-topic. Knowing who you are as a brand and who your target audience is will determine the direction of your social media content. Do it well, and you will stand out in no time, with your social media profiles effortlessly attracting the right customers and repelling the wrong ones.