Standing Out on Social Media
Standing Out on Social Media
By Caitlin Fitzgerald
Standing out on social media is like asking a fish to stand out in the ocean. When you’re competing against everything else on a person’s social media feed, it’s hard enough to gain a person’s attention long enough for them to read your post much less stand out in a positive way from the rest of the social media muck people wade through every day. The average person’s attention span is now eight seconds. In eight seconds, you have to make your company stand out enough that your audience wants to follow you and distinguishes you from the competition.
Connection is Key
Human connection is key. We’ve all been there, calling a phone number to get an automated voice list our options. Thirty very frustrating minutes later, we’re still talking to a robot when all we want to do is talk to a real, live human being. When followers comment on your page, address is personally. Have someone write out a response rather than ignoring it or generating a computer made answer. Whether it is a question, a complaint or feedback make your customer feel heard and like they matter. This is where being a small corporation works in your favor. It gives you time and staff to address each follower personally, letting your company shine in comparison to some of the bigger companies out there.
On social media, you post daily so show off who you are. Don’t just post about your product but post about the company and what they’re doing. It can be a project update, a poll on what to start next, or even a great office flash mob video, make your company stand out for who you are. Rather than running a corporate line or becoming a company that separates itself from its audience, having a personality brings you closer to your audience. A company with a personality is a warmer entity than a company who has no personal connection. And hey, a funny video may even make your customer’s day a little bit brighter which is always good for business.
Oversharing is one of the few, fool proof ways to lose followers on social media. Remember telemarketers? Over sharing is the new version of them. When you flood a social media stream with posts people will get annoyed and stop following you. Leave your followers room to breathe and peruse other content if they choose. Post with regularity and connect with your audience but don’t drown them in the thousands of photos from your company mixer. Like any good relationship, a little breathing room is worth it.
Use Hashtags Properly
There is nothing like scrolling through social media and seeing a post with too many unnecessary hashtags in it. Not only does it make it hard to read the post but it gets annoying when someone is trying to connect their post into other things it has nothing to do with. Use hashtags the right way, to make a point or connect into something involved with your post such as a movement or product launch. Don’t use hashtags for the sake of using hashtags #hashtag.
Over Sharing is NOT Caring
People like to treat social media as a diary. It’s annoying but has us hanging on the edge of our seats as we watch a very public Facebook break up happen as comments keep appearing. While it can be entertaining, it also distracts your audience from the real message of your page. Don’t post overly emotional statuses regarding yourself or your business, it’s unprofessional and will turn followers away if they see you using social media as a diary.
Don’t Be Right or Left
Don’t get political either. Politics are one of the biggest taboo subjects out there (they’re even banned at the family dinner table in my house). It causes fights between friends, divides people as quickly as it brings them together and can change the face of relationships as you know it. Avoid posting anything that leans you to one side or the other. It’s best to leave politics to politicians and news corporations to fight over rather than lose followers and business with one post.
The main point of standing out on social media is to simply be a human. Think of what annoys you on social media and use it. If it annoys one person, it probably annoys a lot of people. Use your humanity to your advantage. A computer can know everything in the world there is to know but computers do not know what it is like to be human. By being human and using your humanity, it already brings you that much closer to connecting with your audience and being successful.