Outshine Your Competitors With These Five Social Media Tricks

5 min read
Dec 28, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Five years ago, CEOs still weren’t sure if social media mattered. Today, SEO and domain authority are tied to a business’ social media following. Social media is no longer an aspect of marketing that can be overlooked. If you’ve done your best to get started on the primary social media networks, like twitter, facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google +, but haven’t had much traction, chances are your strategy could use a makeover. Here are five tips to jumpstart your social media approach.

Outshine_Your_Competitors.jpgUse pictures

The old adage that a picture tells a thousand words may not be entirely true, but it certainly applies to social media! If you select the RIGHT image - that conjures excitement, that appeals to the senses and that forces viewers to want to know MORE, you’ll see a higher rate of engagement among your followers. Believe it or not, simply adding a relevant picture to a post can increase engagement as much as 180% and typically increases engagement by a minimum of 100%.

That’s traffic you don’t want to miss out on! Regardless of whether you’re posting on facebook, twitter, Google +, or LinkedIn, be sure to include pictures several times a week.

Context matters and timing is everything!

When posting on social media, it can be tempting to write posts months or weeks in advance. Unfortunately for those who enjoy planning in advance, social media is a context machine. That means posts need to be reviewed every morning and reconsidered in terms of their appropriateness.

The person running a brand’s social media account needs to consider several contextual aspects of their posts before firing away. First and most obviously, ask yourself before posting, has there been a national tragedy that makes the joke or the pun in the post insensitive, or possibly that gives it a new meaning? If so, change the language, or consider holding off on the post until it’s clearer whether the joke can be told at all.

Second, when posting, it’s important to consider ongoing events and trending hashtags. Are there any holidays, seasonal weather changes or events coming up that your brand could associate with? Here are a few positive ways to take advantage of the timeliness of social media:

  • Run a seasonal promotion that gives followers a reward for participating

  • Create discussions around events that are specific to your niche

  • Run a contest and give away a prize but tie in the holiday or event as a theme

  • Weigh in on a trending hashtag conversation that pertains to your brand’s niche

Short and often

The key to social media is to post brief messages. Although all networks allow long messages except for twitter, studies have shown that posts that are under 80 characters encourage a 66% greater engagement rate. That’s huge!

Don’t overwhelm your followers with an essay; they’re in for quick thrills and fast information. Instead, make your statement witty, fast and to the point.

Next, try to post frequently. Brands that post frequently (but keep their messages short) gain larger followings faster. On Facebook, you should post 6-10 times a week. On Twitter, you should post 5-6 times a day. On the other social networks, you can experiment to see what works best, but keep in mind that frequency keeps people hanging on. Don’t be afraid to post often.

Establish and know your niche

It’s incredibly important that you come to understand your niche. Social media is packed with options for followers to enjoy, follow and engage with. Instead of trying to be generic, you’ll stand out if you establish a unique set of topics you discuss and cover. Being different is good.

You’ll want to understand five key factors:

  • What topics do you discuss?

  • What topics will you NEVER discuss?

  • What topics are safe for you?

  • What topics challenge your audience?

  • What topics resonate best with your audience?

Once you understand what your audience cares about, and what you talk about, you’ll want to connect with other brands in your niche. When you follow other brands, often they’ll follow back. Your goal in doing so is to establish reciprocity with them - you’ll help promote them, and they’ll help promote you. While this sounds counterintuitive, it actually works. The key is to understand how what you offer is slightly different than what they offer so that you can pitch yourself as a friend, rather than as a foe.

Speak to your target audience

The most IMPORTANT aspect of your online brand is ensuring that you cater to your audience. If you don’t post content that excites them, they won’t follow you, and you won’t get their attention.

A good rule for creating a post is to focus 80% on a generic trending topic, and 20% on your product or brand. This way you can educate or entertain while telling a little about yourself.

Another key factor in capturing an audience is ensuring that you give to them! Be sure that you have conversations with them. Chat, respond and @reply them. When you show them that they matter to you, they’ll invest more time in you.

Finally, make sure that your posts aren’t dry. Infuse them with wit, and without being mean, leak secrets that pique everyone’s interest.

Celebrity takeover

Finally, the least known but one of the most effective tactics when using social media is to have a celebrity takeover. Having a celebrity post for you not only allows you to gain the attention of their followers for that day, but often, it allows you to gain their followers in the longterm. What’s not to love, right?

So you don’t know any celebrities. Are you sure? Are you reallllly reallly sure? Have you asked your mom who she knows? Jk jk, don’t do that. But do think for a moment. You don’t have to get a national celebrity to take over your account, perhaps you have a friend with more followers than you have who your audience respects. Get them to take over your account! In exchange, promote a project they’re working on.

OR, if you know an actual big time celebrity, but don’t know how to reel them in, here’s how. offer to promote their new album, their upcoming perfume line, or their latest t-shirt design...or whatever they want out of being on social media.

Chances are, your competitors don’t know about this trick and they’re too afraid to ask a hot-shot to help them out. Don’t be afraid, ask your local hot-shot and you’ll be surprised with how much audience cross-pollination you experience, aka, growth.

Be strategic

Social media may strike CEOs or board members who are in their, well, let’s just say they remember the days of payphones. As we were saying, social media may come across to some as a fluid and impromptu medium that’s filled with random voices chattering and shouting into the abyss. But it’s not. Oh no, it’s definitely not. Social media done right requires a strategy and constant vigilance.

While you want your audience to get the idea that you’re writing your posts on the fly, you absolutely need to approach it as a highly important marketing medium that requires it’s own unique strategy. With the above-discussed tricks, you’ll be on the right strategic path with your social media. Good luck!

Regardless of whether you only know someone with more followers than you do, or an actual local celebrity, or a HUGE national or global celebrity, by having them take over your social media accounts, you’ll pull in their followers, plus a few to boot.

attract facebook customers

Get Email Notifications