With so many small businesses beginning to use social media today, how does your small business or brand stand out from the crowd.
Small businesses owners, consultants and entrepreneurs joining BizSugar or using other social media platforms across the Web to share their message, know instinctively the power inherent in talking directly to their customers and building networks of fans and supporters by sharing their expertise and creating value for visitors.
But with so many businesses and brands following the same path in an ever greater numbers how can your business stand out from others also taking to the Web and to blogs and other social media to tell their stories?
Here are some ideas for standing out from the crowd with social media:
Tell us about you.One thing that can’t be duplicated is who you are, your unique story and the story of your business. Many folks engaging in social media may try a flashy approach with outrageous content and other bids for attention. Though this may have worked occasionally in the traditional mass media of television, newspapers and radio, there are now far too many voices to try to upstage your competition with silly antics. Why not try being yourself instead?
Reach out to others.Connecting online can be the most powerful and effective method of standing out in social media. This means not treating your blog or other social media platforms as one-way communications, just a method of broadcasting your thoughts and ideas and nothing more. It means listening, responding and generally interacting with your network including potential customers and clients in a meaningful and more intimate way. These are the kinds of connections that will be remembered.
Be selective with your efforts. Don’t connect for the sake of connecting. Be strategic when deciding what groups, associations or even platforms are worth your time and energy. Social media can be a tremendous time sink. Make sure you are reaching out and networking with those who suit your brand purpose or interests. Think about how each connection will help your business.
Show you expertise.When interacting or sharing content, think about how it relates to your specialties or expertise. There may be many folks out there who share at least some of your knowledge or come from a similaer background. But few will have exactly the same combined expertise and experience as you. Perhaps you share a marketing background and knowledge of technological innovation. Or perhaps your skills combine sales experience and strong talent for writing. Find the areas that you excel. You are likely to find a combination of talents not easily duplicated, even by others in your field.
Don’t be a know-it-all. OK, so on one hand you should show your expertise but on the other hand not act as if you have all the answers. But aren’t these two ideas inconsistent? Well, not really. Often the smartest people in any field are quick to admit what they do not know or should be. They ask questions and are committing to expanding their knowledge dedicated to always learning rather than to preserving the idea that they know it all. Think about it. Would you hire someone afraid to admit when they’re wrong and insecure about taking the steps necessary to grow?
How about you? What do you think? How do you use social media to stand out from the crowd with your business or brand? We’d love to know. Just leave a comment below and let’s get a discussion started. Help us finish this post with a couple of suggestions from our community. We’re betting it will help you stand out from the crowd too.