It’s not easy to stand out among a million posts and messages on Twitter and Facebook these days. And it actually gets harder each day as these and other social networks continue to grow.
Luckily, I had the honor of interviewing some of the top industry leaders, and asked them to share their secrets for doing just that.
If your business is going to invest in Twitter as a social media marketing channel, you should make sure it is worth your while.
To get to the bottom of what really works on Twitter
Advice from 31 experts such as Jason Keath, Adam Braun, Britt Michaelian, Kim Garst and many more.
Here are some of the key lessons that I’ve learned.
1. Add Value First
Pay special attention to this point, because most of the experts I spoke with shared that you can’t skip this step. In order to stand out, start by giving back to your fans. “You have to constantly go beyond their expectations and deliver something of true value to them” says Jason Keath.
One of the ways to check yourself on whether you are offering value is to consider your perspective. Are you just “doing social media” stuff or are you behaving like a human?
Don’t Be Social, Be Human http://t.co/CCtTsyAN1w via @socialfresh
— Jason Keath (@jasonkeath) July 5, 2014
Humans help one another. Humans make each other laugh. Share things that are informative, instructional. Humans respond to questions and service issues. “Just doing social media” or “being social” is a mindset that quickly reduces the value you have to offer.
Value is what gets your audience to trust that you have something important to share. According to Jeff Bullas, you can create value by developing a memorable brand or great content.
2. Care More
Here’s a great tip by Britt Michaelian: “Treat your friends and followers with kindness and gratitude and show them you care about who they are. Do this consistently and you will not only stand out, but you will feel great.”
@joycecherrier thanks Joyce! How are you? Always love your photos on FB/Instagram! — Britt Michaelian (@BrittMichaelian) August 10, 2014
3. Ask Your Audience What They Want
Adam Braun, a New York Times bestselling author and the founder of Pencils of Promise, sends personalized messages to his followers every day. He makes an effort to learn more about his readers and build meaningful relationships with them.
I can personally attest to this: he was willing to take some time out of his busy schedule to respond to me. I learned from Braun that if you don’t know what your audience wants, don’t guess. Why not just ask them?
4. Reply To Questions
Don’t you get annoyed when you see people or businesses who don’t reply to some comments simply because they feel those people are “irrelevant” according to their “data”? Jenny Brennan has made being responsive part of her identity: “Make sure you respond to every comment, tweet and interaction.”
Your responses need to be meaningful, too.
Brennan explains, “it is also important to do your research” to “find out more about the person who has taken the time to reach out.” If you craft a tailored reply, you’ll stand out from anyone who simply responds for the sake of responding. When you respond, people appreciates it. Here’s an example from a happy customer of KLM.
Really appreciate the quick and realiable twitter customer service by @KLM – all queries replied within an hour. Other airlines, take note. — Lorna Tee (@lornatee) December 9, 2013
5. Have a Personality
Here’s a mistake most of us make: we share content without adding any personal touches.
As Marsha Collier puts it: “Sharing good content is a given, but that is not enough. Show your personality in your posts, don’t just quote titles, add interest!”
Seriously EPIC website from @TerrySimpson “From A Doctor’s Point Of View” http://t.co/y4npuq4O0p <–well done, doc! — Marsha Collier (@MarshaCollier) July 2, 2014
Add your personality by including a little of YOU and your story in everything you share.
6. Be REAL
Most of experts shared this tip, so listen up: Be authentic. Be genuine!
Kim Garst describes how there’s simply no faking this: “You have to be authentically passionate about what you do and who you serve. True passion is contagious.” Speaking of contagious, -you can tell that Kim’s passion really is irresistible.
7. Know the Trend
Here’s a valuable tip I learned from Mark Ivey: constantly look out for trending topics.
When Ivey (who co-founded gluten-free food company Ivy’s Garden) found out that Jimmy Kimmel’s digs at the gluten-free lifestyle were going viral, he wrote a post that would capitalize on the buzz. However, he didn’t just hop on the bandwagon–he showed that Ivy’s Garden cares about and provides value for people following a gluten-free diet. Snickers does this well, too
Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS pic.twitter.com/3RAO537HjW — SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
8. Think Visual
Five experts shared this tip: Play up the visual element.
According to Stacey Miller, “images catch our attention, keep our attention, and are digested faster than text.” Zach Kitschke from Canva says, “the best brands have a strong visual identity on social media” and advises us to be consistent in what we post and in our use of colors, fonts, photo filters, and icons or logos.
“We’re social creatures, not social media creatures.” –@robertfine quoting @bradoneill http://t.co/Il32uzAscI pic.twitter.com/HLD3lwdH0p — Stacey Miller (@staceylamiller) July 2, 2014
BONUS. Know What Works
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Here’s a secret that the team at Post Planner uses: We have a powerful feature in our app called “viral photos,” which allows us to find and share some of the most popular photos out there. Using this tool, we are able to increase our reach significantly. Here’s a sample of one of our recent photo that had over 4.7 million reach and 60k shares:
In addition to these eight tips that you can use to stand out, here’s yet another a bonus tip from me: be patient. It takes time to stand out, and it’s not something that you can achieve in a single day or even a month.
What’s YOUR best tip for standing out?