There is a war for attention today on social media. Gone are the days when your connections were able to see your posts regularly. A lot of factors are causing this, but as social media has grown, many more users are posting more and more content. This leaves a cacophony of noise that must be tamed in order to stand out on social media.
The only way to stand out on social media today is to rise above all the noise. But how do you do that?
By making sure your unique voice is heard amongst the decibels of everyone else.
Naturally, you’re wondering how to cut through the noise, how to get heard in the social media ecosystem that more and more people are delving into each day with their own messaging.
How noisy is social media, exactly?
Here’s what happens every minute:
- 1,388 LinkedIn posts
- 6 people hired every minute on LinkedIn.
- 64,440 Instagram photos (that’s almost 4 million per hour).
- 4 million Facebook likes
- 347,222 Facebook stories
- 243,055 new photos are uploaded to Facebook every minute.
- 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube
- 602,000 tweets per minute. If you’re curious, that’s about 10,033 tweets per second or 867 million per day.
- 277,777 Snapchat stories
- Yelp users post 426 reviews per minute. That’s 613,699 reviews per day…just on Yelp.
- 3.125 million Google searches per minute (4.5 billion per day)
These numbers are likely to make your head spin and, by the time you’re done reading this list, another minute will have passed, making it even stranger to wrap your head around. This minute-long activity repeats 1,440 times per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. This is the unrelenting power of social media content.
When faced with this staggering amount of content, how can you cut through the noise? That’s the question that everyone strives to answer.
Information is good…except when there’s too much.
In any human, natural, or economic system, when there is an overabundance of some commodity, and a limited capacity to consume that product, something has to change. What worked in content marketing a few years ago — when content was a novelty — will not work in this era of overwhelming information density. (Content Shock)
We’re also being bombarded by disinformation that the social media platforms have done a terrible job at controlling. It’s made us less trusting, more cynical and it’s exhausting to make sure what you share from someone else’s feed is truthful!
High engagement is not sustainable on a large scale. The same “Content Shock” principle applies with every attention-based platform — when the amount of content goes up, so does the competition for attention. If the amount of content skyrockets, and our attention span is finite, something has to give.
The only solution then is to build a community of like-minded people around yourself or your business. Then develop rapport and foster your community by delivering helpful, original, high quality content that speaks directly to your “tribe.”
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9 tactics to help you stand out on social media
1. Tell your story
Stories are how we connect with other people. Emotional connections leave a lasting impression and customers align themselves with the stories that resonate most. You have the opportunity to connect with your community on a very deep level, to make people feel, think, and act.
You can tell your story with an image, a video, in written form or even in audio.
- Tell the story of how you started.
- Share challenges and how you overcame them.
- Outline outstanding customer experiences that people had with you.
- Illustrate the good you do in your local area.
Don’t forget to incorporate stories into your weekly content strategy plan (see #2 below).
If you begin with this in mind, you will stand out on social media.
2. Create a content strategy plan
It’s super easy to get busy and be at a loss for what to post on social media. This is the number one complaint I hear from most every client I work with.
Set yourself up for success, and alleviate a lot of stress by making a plan. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can decide how many posts you want to put up on each platform. With that outline, then you can work out the subject matter.
For a business, it requires a bit more forethought because after all, each post gives customers an idea about your business. It’s important to get it right so a more cohesive plan is called for. The steps of a business’ content strategy plan are:
- Pinpoint who you are as a brand (your core values)
- Determine your value proposition (the unique value you bring to your customers)
- Identify and describe your target customers (in detail – so your content will resonate with them)
- Set objectives and goals for your content (awareness, engagement, conversions)
- Dive deeper: analyze and identify the content that works best to achieve the goals you set…and repeat it.
If you’re lost when it comes to a content strategy plan, I’m here to help. Get in touch with me >>here<<.
3. Know your audience better than they know themselves
The more clearly you define your target customers’ attributes, the more effective your marketing will be. This has never been truer than on social media today.
Social media content that informs and educates customers earns engagement. When you answer questions that your customers didn’t know they needed to ask, you earn their loyalty.
Here’s a great target customer worksheet [link] from Squarespace. This exercise is eye opening and whether you’re a business or an individual, it will help you be successful and stand out on social media.
4. Engage employees as advocates
Collaboration with and contributions from employees can be very successful. The numbers tell a clear story that employee participation in social media is worth examination.
- Employee advocates are 24% more likely to help boost sales than uninvolved employees.
- When a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy, that lead is 7x more likely to close compared to other lead generation tactics. (Gartner)
- Company messages reach 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official company social media channels (MSLGroup)
Tapping into the tactic of Employee Advocacy has 3 dimensions:
- Social Media Amplification: Employee engagement in specific marketing campaigns, events or promotions supports your goals.
- Social Proof: Employees are considered “people like me.” When employees advocate for their employer, it brings another layer of comfort for buyers.
- Social Recruiting: The top talent finds its way to you through your employees.
ProTip: Include employees in content creation. One of the challenges to stand out on social media is coming up with enough relevant content that customers need and/or want to engage with. Taking a collaborative approach to this challenge often produces outstanding results when you’ve got your best “brand experts” at your fingertips.
Employees possess the knowledge and information your customers need and their seasoned expertise fosters more trust than any ad you’ll ever run.
5. Create an online review funnel for customer feedback
Online review sites like Google and Yelp are considered part of social media. Your customers share their opinions so that others can make the best choices.
By creating an online review “funnel” you can systematically drive customers to the review sites you care about.
By leveraging tools to increase review volume and quality, you’ll guide happy customers through the process of completing a review.
You’ll also recover unhappy customers before they vent online. This process gives you a second chance by guiding unhappy customers to a mobile-responsive recovery page. You can fix their problem and sometimes even turn a bad situation into a profitable one.
6. Stop trying to be the most popular
Have you ever thought about the difference between an audience and a community? An audience implies one-way communication focused on the person or business. A community is two-way communication and focuses on collaboration to improve each community member’s experience.
Prior to 2015 or so, the social media game was to collect likes and followers, which are called vanity metrics. The higher the numbers, the better chance your content would be seen by an audience predisposed to respond. But as we discussed above, fewer and fewer people are seeing your content now.
With a unique voice, you will attract those that align with you. Beginning with even just a few connections, you can foster a community that enhances feelings of unity and belonging.
You start off by telling them you’re like them. Then they tell the world that they’re like you.
And that, my friends, is more valuable than likes and followers.
7. Go for quality over quantity
In this world of cheap knockoffs, hidden agendas and muddled transparency, the reality is that not all social media connections are created equal. People are searching for integrity within their network that leads to more meaningful interactions.
Regardless of what commands our attention, value is the driver in everything we do. Now that social media has matured, users and companies are discovering that a larger number of social network connections may be less valuable than a smaller, more intimate circle.
If you’re looking for a way to stand out on social media, focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have a small, highly engaged network than thousands of connections that will never buy from you.
8. Build a community off social media
Social media is just the first step in the journey to creating an income for yourself or your business. These platforms leave you vulnerable to their changes, which seem to happen daily. People crave a deeper connection now. They want to create more meaningful relationships – which is where email comes into the picture.
When you publish something on social media, you essentially have to wait for followers to scroll far enough down their feed to see it (if they see it at all). With algorithms coming into play and with Meta’s recent announcement that the Facebook and Instagram feeds will contain more “discoverable” content (read: stuff from people you don’t know and of course ads), you will often discover your posts disappearing into the abyss.
Email, on the other hand, gets delivered directly to someone’s inbox.
It’s a much more personal way to communicate with your customers because you’re basically talking one-on-one to them in a private space.
9. Practice empathy and gratitude
There are two things I rely on that keep me sane and focused: empathy and gratitude. I believe that possessing both of these attributes will not only make you a better marketer but a better human being.
Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character. Developing empathy is crucial for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. It involves experiencing another person’s point of view, rather than just one’s own, and enables helping behaviors that come from within, rather than being forced.
Practice ways you can use empathy to stand out on social media such as:
- Condolences when someone mentions a loved one’s passing (including their pet!)
- Words of support and encouragement with a challenging time in someone’s life.
- Mentions of a purchase journey they are on with a product you are familiar with and provide advice.
When I hit a low spot, gratitude is what brings me back up. I make a nightly list of 5 things I was grateful for that day – no matter how small. I write them down right before I go to sleep so that my subconscious mind recognizes the gratitude mindset and drives my behavior the next day.
Stand out on social media…
Don’t allow yourself to get drowned out by the noise. Use these tips to build rapport and improve relationships with your customers. As always, if you need help or have questions, get in touch with me HERE.
Need expert advice on social media? Set up a session with me!
Let's do it!