Social media today is more than communicating and connecting with people. It is also about telling compelling stories, making an impression, and being a part of a wider community beyond your circle of influence.
From individuals turned content creators curating their lives for family and friends to businesses and organizations that use cross-platform brand positioning strategies, social media dominates the digital scene.
Therefore, social media branding is so essential in your digital marketing strategies. With intense social media competition, companies now need successful, efficient brand strategies. The right combination of social media optimization and branding techniques gives the followers, subscribers, and conversions you need.
Consistency is Key to Stay Competitive
It takes 5 to 7 brand impressions to create brand awareness with a person, and it takes about 10 seconds for you to make that impression. Consistent repetition of these impressions is key to successful social media branding.
It is how you overcome competition in a highly-competitive social media space. The world’s top brands have made their mark beyond visible representations of like logos and the like.
They are also consistent in providing excellent products and meaningful customer experiences. They add value to their consumers by responding to what they need or want. All these and more is how they also consistently get leads and conversions.
Can smaller brands or businesses compete? Definitely. Social media is a great equalizer. In the past decade alone, we have seen an impressive rise in influencers and content creators who have made their mark by establishing themselves as a brand over time.
We have also seen how small businesses can compete on a level footing with big companies just through social media branding.
Social networking is transforming the essence of rivalry, and competition is forcing the best, brightest, and most unique branding strategies out of brands seeking the people’s attention. Social media competition may be intense, but it is possible to overcome, whether you are a big brand or brand new one.
7 Ways to Outperform Your Competition in Social Media
1. Conduct Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis is a technique for identifying major rivals and researching their products, sales, and marketing strategies. By doing so, you will create sound business strategies that yield better results than it did your competitors.
Checking what your competitors are doing is a smart way to stay ahead in the competition. Your goal, however, should not be to copy what they are doing but to gain insight for your campaigns.
First, determine your brand’s unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competitors. Knowing who you are first is critical before you go doing a market analysis on the competition.
Identify next what your competitors are doing that is working. You can end up being separated in the competition if you miss your competitors’ significant leads. Focus on the ones within your target market. Pick up on trends, posts that perform well, and posts that had the most engagements.
This information is useful to remain relevant. It also guides you to keep both your product and your marketing campaigns above industry standards. It also sets a benchmark against which you can evaluate your progress.
Learn from posts or campaign strategies that did not work well too. Assess the data and see where you can avoid the blunders and maybe drop campaigns or posts similar to those to cut your losses as soon as possible.
Also, get data for the frequency of your competitor’s posts, influencers that they are collaborating with, and if they are also advertising on other platforms.
Competition leads most brands to boost social media output. You can quickly check your competitors’ actions with digital tools like SEMrush Competitive Research Toolkit.
2. Learn From Users
When you collect knowledge about what your rivals are doing to keep competitive on social media, you will need to research consumers and audiences. Analyze them to figure out what they’re buying from the competition and what kind of material they love best.
Make sure you learn from customers within your target market or niche, so your efforts target conversions and not just impressions. Audiences within your locality are the ones more likely to avail of your services or product or can support your brand at a more intimate level than those from a general pool of audiences.
One way you can learn from customers is by reviewing web analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool to start with. It shows you various data aside from page views, bounce rates, dwell time, and conversions.
You can also get data for how audiences navigate your website or if you are more popular with desktop or mobile phone users. If you have a mobile responsive website, then it should be reflecting in your analytics. Check your competitor’s rate to know if you are doing good or not.
You can also filter the analytics you get via demographics, like gender, age, shopping behavior, and the like.
There are many ways to learn from your customers, including social media monitoring, chat services, blogging, surveys, addressing customer complaints, and the like. You do not have to use so many, but make sure to use those strategies to help you get the closest to your target market and get the farthest in terms of conversions.
3. Reinforce Your Brand’s Personality
It is crucial to have a distinct brand personality, so your target market remembers you as a brand. A strong social media brand identity sets you above your competitors, or at least at par with the best in your niche.
Your brand identity should be the measuring stick for all of your digital marketing strategies. Your identity as a brand needs to seep through every aspect of your campaign, from your logo, web design, themes you use, content, and especially your customer service.
When your brand identity is clear and consistent, this is when you will see conversions roll in steadily. As you increase brand awareness, you become a top-of-mind brand. It means that whenever they think of a product or service from your niche, they think of your brand first.
You can immediately check your online presence by the metric tools that come with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Brands rely on this information to determine the influencers and affiliates they will be partnering with for advocacy marketing strategies. The most popular CMS tools today, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, can be enhanced with plugins that let you see which among your posts are trending.
4. Create high-quality content for your audience.
The co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, says that “the content you share with the world needs to offer a distinct benefit; otherwise, no one will care.”
Your content should be able to solve problems and serve your readers’ needs. When you make customers happy, those conversions and rank increases, you want will be easier to achieve.
Turn your attention to a needs-based and consumer-centric approach, so you can produce high-quality content that is relevant to your target audiences.
You can start by providing answers to your niche’s top search intent. You can tools like SemRush PPC Keyword Tool, Google Trends, AnswerthePublic,WordStream,and Ubersuggest, to conduct thorough keyword research.
5. Use powerful images and video that connect and increase engagements.
You need to leverage pro-grade images in social media marketingto outshine your competition. Adding high-quality images and dynamic videos make your content easy to consume and to remember. Most of the time, people dwell on a site because of an engaging video or a meaningful image.
You don’t need to be a professional graphic artist or video editor to create powerful imagery, but you need to be a good story-teller. Whatever content you produce for whatever type of social media campaign, you are telling a story.
So envision that story you want to tell your audiences throughout your campaign, carefully plan and map out what images will be best, or what kind of videos you need to drive your point across.
In the image above, Apple launched the “Shot on iPhone” advocacy campaign to source out pictures from Apple users worldwide with designated hashtags. The best images were chosen for the campaign and advertised strategically, like billboard ads and public transit.
Apple used the works of 77 iPhone users out of 24 different countries. With almost no editing required, the phrase “Shot on iPhone,” was superimposed over the pictures. The campaign was a resounding win for advocacy marketing just by using compelling and memorable images that appeal to the public’s emotions, especially current iPhone users.
Not only does this type of advertising nurture existing loyal customers, but it also encourages new leads to come in. In fact, 40% of marketers in a survey said content with pro-grade graphics performs the best in their marketing campaigns.
Among these types of graphics, infographics can generate the most traffic, leads, and engagement. Since visual instructions are 323% better than written instructions, you should be optimizing infographics into your campaigns.
6. Use Automation Where Possible
Digital marketing automation solutions help save your effort and time. It streamlines your social media tasks, which can be daunting, so you can focus on those high-quality tasks like strategizing content, selecting influencers, extending affiliate networks, and the like.
With automation software for digital marketing, you can easily plan, schedule, and run ad campaigns in one go. When your posts are consistently churning, it increases your viewer interaction.
It also gives you the ease of pulling out analytics of your posts, so you know which of your campaigns are ranking and which need to be dropped or edited. If you are working as an affiliate of more prominent brands, these analytics can help you establish your authority as an affiliate or influencer in your niche.
Get the tools that can help you determine the number of followers across platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and until recently, TikTok. You can now do brand positioning in TikTok just like you do on other major social media platforms.
One useful tool is the Social Media Toolkit of Semrush that can schedule posts, get insights, track competitors, boost your posts, and create ads for your various social media accounts in one dashboard.
7. Give Meaningful Customer Experiences
At the end of the day, excellent customer service is hard to beat. Offering excellent customer service must be the utmost goal of every business, big or small.
You can beat your competitors when your customer service is impeccable. It is your best advertising yet that works more than any billboard or ad placement could.
Create a conducive environment for your customers and consistently communicate with them. Always be mindful of how you respond to customers, or even those just calling to inquire. Every lead is a potential conversion, so you need to deal with every visitor as if they are your most valued customer.
Consumer trust is such an essential factor in today’s global economy. If your audiences cannot trust you, your digital marketing strategies will all be out to waste.
Providing unique and meaningful customer service every time sets you apart from your competitors as a trusted brand.
Conclusion: Keep Customer Experiences Meaningful
There are many other ways of outranking your competition on social media. No matter what strategy you use, it should be keeping your customers and followers happy.
Focus on building real connections with your customers because as you build loyalty among your audiences and clients, it will power any social media marketing strategy to success so you can overcome your competition in social media.