Facebook is 11 years old this year. YouTube is 10. Twitter was launched in 2006, meaning it will reach its 10th birthday next year. As these platforms contain to embed themselves in our marketing strategies, and are no longer ‘new’, are they at risk of becoming boring in the eyes of consumers?
By the end of 2013, Facebook had 1.23bn monthly active users. There are just over 7bn people in the world – so a seventh of the world’s population are using Facebook on a regular basis. With the sheer quantity of people posting content online, it is easy for businesses to be seen as boring, and for them to get lost in the noise.
So what can your small business do to make sure you stand out?
1. Never buy followers. Take your time to build an organic following of people who are local to you and are genuine customers or potential customers of your business.
2. Use humour. A funny tweet or status update is more likely to be shared. The mobile network, Three (@threeuk) are doing this well at the moment with their #holidayspam campaign.
3. Use images and videos. These work on most platforms now, including both Facebook and Twitter. They take up more of the screen (meaning you’re more likely to catch attention) and analytics show that viewers are more likely to engage with and respond to a tweet which uses photos and videos.
4. Make it interesting. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Even the most dull of businesses (sorry accountants!) can be successful on social media by offering an insight into their companies, providing useful tips and hints, or focusing on people rather than functions.
5. Link to, share and retweet other content. Don’t be afraid of sharing other business’ content, where it is likely to be interesting to your desired audience and is appropriate to your business’ goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean your direct competitors, but wider companies who share similar views and values to your companies. For example, a cupcake business may retweet a recipe from a diet company or celebrity chef, if it is of interest to their followers. Sharing content isn’t stealing, as it acknowledges the original location or source of the content.
You will find that more people are interested in what you have to say if you make it engaging and useful or fun for your followers, which will make you less likely to disappear in the noise of other social media users. It is worth taking the time to plan your content in advance so that you know what you want to say, and therefore how you want to say it.