Coming into the ElemenIQ Internship program I was certain I wanted to specialize in social media. I was lucky enough that at the time, ElementIQ was looking for someone to oversee social media accounts. After my first week as an intern, I started to slowly take on clients’ social media accounts.
Every week I would take on two clients and I would work on their content buckets and content calendars. Every week was a new challenge and a new opportunity to develop and strengthen my skills. After a couple of months into my internship, creating content and scheduling posts for the various accounts became something natural. However, managing social media isn’t only about creating content and scheduling posts. There are various different aspects that come into play when one wants to successfully manage social media.
At some point, most brands and inventors find it difficult to get noticed on social media.
The only way to stand out on social media is to rise above all the noise. Cutting through all the noise can certainly be overwhelming. Here are four simple ways to stand out on social media that I learned throughout my internship.
With so many brands on social media, it has become increasingly challenging to be unique and stand out. Ideally, your social media presence should not look like everyone else’s. This principle might initially seem simple. In reality, however, various brands fall into the trap of becoming monotonous, mainly because they want to play it safe and reduce their degree of risk. Unfortunately, playing it safe prevents a brand from standing out.
To stand out, you have to move away from posting promos and sharing links. The content that you post should be something your audience can relate to; it should include information they genuinely want to engage with. Making your posts more targeted and personal to your intended audience will help you establish a deeper connection with them. The more your audience relates to your content, the keener they will be on sharing it with their followers, as well as liking and interacting with it.
Caring for your image and profile is part of being unique. When visiting your profile, you want users to relate and identify with it on a personal level. Having an effective biography, great profile picture, and eye-catching feed is essential to get noticed.
In most cases, users glance through a profile for two seconds. This provides you with two precious, valuable seconds to catch their attention and cause them to want to stay and explore your brand further. The more visually pleasing your feed and profile are, the more followers and likes you will receive.
A perfect example of a visual and themed feed is @happyskinkitchen. In this case, vibrant, eye-popping colors are used in images to create a high level of visual appeal, this increases the likelihood that you’ll click and like the image.
Create Awesome Content
Creating unique content is not only about posting a high-quality picture or video; it also includes using creative visuals and compelling captions to tell a story.
Images and videos should not only be clear and of high quality but should also reflect your brand. This allows your targeted audience to relate specifically to the content and associate it directly with your brand. Combining strong visuals with creative captions will encourage your audience to engage, start conversations, and share your content.
In order to create content that users want to interact with, you must come up with a content strategy. Without a well-established content strategy, new social media users tend to not know what to post and have a hard time adapting to social media. There are multiple ways of preparing for and creating a content strategy. However, there are four key components to every content strategy, these include
- Knowing your competitors and what they are posting
- Knowing yourself and your audience
- Creating content buckets
- Creating a content calendar
Out of the four key components, I personally have found creating content buckets to be the key determinant in content strategy success. You certainly want to know yourself and your competitors before creating content buckets. However, without awesome content buckets, it is difficult to attain social media success.
Content buckets are categories or topics that speak to different aspects of your business, they are separated into main buckets and sub-buckets. For example, at ElementIQ, main buckets include company culture, our internship program, clients, and events. Within our main culture bucket, we have sub-buckets such as agency life, retreats, meals, and the team. Having well-fleshed out content buckets will facilitate the process of creating content and scheduling posts.
Engage & Use Hashtags
Being noticed in social media is not only about content. Interacting with other brands, customers, and influencers is also a key to success. In the social media world, users appreciate ‘love’ (likes, comments, and shares). The more ‘love’ they receive from you, the more ‘love’ they are willing to give back. Remember, the core goal of social media is to be … social!
Tagging and mentioning is the most common way of catching the attention of brands and users. By doing so, you are not only engaging with them, but also helping to amplify your content. Tagging and mentioning is a popular brand awareness strategy, mainly because brands or users can be targeted directly in order to begin a conversation.
Hashtags have become a popular exposure method across social media platforms. Different social media platforms use hashtags in their own unique ways. Despite these differences, it is clear that posts which use hashtags receive a higher level of engagement. This occurs because hashtags further expose your posts, simply by placing them in specific categories that are being searched by targeted users. Growing and creating your own hashtag, especially for small and new businesses, is a smart move from a brand awareness perspective. If done properly, over time more and more users will start using your personalized hashtag. Here are some quick tips to help you become a hashtag expert.
Remember this! Social media platforms are a playground for engaging with one another. Engaging with your customers has never been that easy and simple. Here are some additional tips to engage your audience on social media.
Consistency allows you to grow your engagement and reach. This includes not only posting regularly but also using a consistent voice and posting the same type of content. Consistency in social media is all about developing your brand, which is best expressed through your social media profiles.
Ideally, you want your images and captions to always reflect who you are. Once you have nailed the language, color, and images, you can focus on posting regularly.
Posting regularly does not mean you need to post twice each day. In the end, quality matters more than quantity. Figuring out the number of times you have to post per week, and at what time of the day, can be tricky. However, there are tools that help you identify the best times to schedule your posts across different platforms. At ElementIQ we use Sendible, a game-changer when it comes to scheduling posts, saving time, and successfully reaching target populations.
Pro tip: Try using the same handle on all social media platforms. This will make it easier for others to find you and tag you.
The Bottom Line
The world of social media is filled with competitors of all shapes and sizes. In order to consistently stand out, there are numerous strategies you can implement. First, make sure you begin by providing content. However, content is only half the battle, as you must also ensure that your content is unique and appealing enough to make users want to engage with it. In your quest for success, remember to focus on creating a specific, tailored experience for your target audience population, rather than providing a variety of general content in attempts to be the most popular brand. When in doubt, visit the ElementIQ blog for helpful tips on social media marketing, and digital marketing strategies.