So you’ve done your business plan, marketing plan, SWOT analysis – defined your competitors, did some research, defined your target market and you’re ready to start marketing your business on social media. However, did you ever stop to think that your social media competition is not just your competitors?
Who is your Social Media Competition?
Well, it depends of the network. Think of the other people your target market is connected to, likes or follows on each of the networks. What appears on their respective news feeds:
- Facebook: family, friends, hobbies, entertainment, travel, music, politics, religion, products, services, restaurants, food, fashion – the list is endless – add to it paid ads
- Twitter: news, businesses, friends, politics, religion, products, services, entertainment, sports, information, finance, what’s trending, paid ads
- LinkedIn: companies, their connections, business news, blog posts, the more connections they have, the more news in their feeds don’t forget paid ads (though, I think LinkedIn’s problem is they are highly ignored)
- Pinterest: products, fashion, food, recipes, hobbies, crafts, travel, home improvement, kids, bridal, planning anything, paid ads.
- YouTube: entertainment, paid ads, related videos, “what to watch next”
- Instagram: friends, family, products, pretty pictures
How to you stand out and overcome all this content clutter?
- Be unique – be different, but not too crazy – though crazy works sometimes. This is why you really need to know your target market inside and out. What’s going to make them click on your post rather than something else.
- Be funny – humor goes a long way and gets shared.
- Take advantage of what’s trending – figure out how to spin your message so that’s it’s relevant to what’s trending. But check to see why something is trending before taking advantage of if.
- Be relevant – just blogging for blogging’s sake doesn’t work. Planning ahead using an editorial calendar will help.
- Be informative – people will stop following you if they don’t like what you’re posting, if you’re not posting enough, if you’re posting too much and if they don’t get the information they need.
- Use eye-catching images – make sure they’re good, quality images. Don’t just throw something up there thinking I’ve done my post of the day. Selfies are great if they help with your brand messaging. Make sure the main object of the picture is not too far away.
- Tag other businesses – if you have strategic partners, people you work with, someone you blogged about, a product or book you reviewed, make sure you add a link to their respective network profile. Make sure it’s correct! Not everyone uses their business name or personal name as their user names! On Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest it’s the “@” sign in front of the user name. On Google+ it’s the “+” sign (of course).
- Use hashtags – hashtags work on all networks but YouTube and LinkedIn. On Twitter, limit it to only 2 hashtags per post. Everywhere else you can use multiple if they are relevant to the post.
- Have a clear written strategic plan for each network – what works on Twitter doesn’t always work on LinkedIn or Facebook. Plan ahead. What holidays and observance days are going to be trending next month?
- Check your analytics monthly – this will tell you which posts people responded and engaged with, what’s working and what’s not. Adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.