Everyone is on social media today.
We’re not exaggerating — according to We Are Social, there are more than 2.3 billion active social media users worldwide as of 2016 and that number is up by 10% compared to 2015. That continued growth makes social media a great place to share your content and get your message out, but it also means that you have to work harder on your social media strategy to grab the attention of your desired audience.
Maybe you’re following best practices for boosting engagement on social media like using pictures in your Tweets, but those tactics only help once you get in front of your target audience. And with all the content shared on social today, getting to that point isn’t always easy.
Rising above the increasingly loud social media noise to get your messages in front of the right people might not be easy, but it is possible. All it takes is developing the right strategy and maintaining a fierce commitment to executing on and regularly revisiting that strategy.
6 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd
As you develop your social media strategy, paying extra attention to these six tactics can go a long way toward helping you rise above the noise to get your messages in front of your target audience.
- Obsess over hashtags:Using the right hashtags can help amplify the reach of your post and ensure you show up in user searches. So what does it mean to use the right hashtags? You need to consider everything from number of hashtags to the combination of hashtags to which hashtags you’ll actually use. For example, if you have a post about customer experience, should you use #customerexperience, #CX or both? When it comes to hashtags, the devil is in the details and you need to do your research to see what users in your target audience and even your competitors use.
- Post in groups: Many networks, for example LinkedIn, allow users to join groups based on certain interests. Becoming an active member in relevant groups is a great way to get your message in front of an interested audience. Best of all, because users visit these groups for information on a specific topic and because these groups are exponentially smaller than the general socialsphere, users are far less likely to view your posts as “noise.”
- Mention users, especially influencers: Sometimes you need to go ultra-targeted, and in those cases you need to mention users. For example, if you have a specific list of people you want to target, consider doing so outright by mentioning them in your posts. In addition to grabbing those users’ attention, doing so also makes them more likely to re-share the post or the content it contains. This tactic can prove especially valuable if you’re mentioning influencers who have a large following and hold a lot of clout with that following.
- Join an existing conversation: A good social media strategy is a well-rounded one, and part of that is not just blasting messages at your followers, but also joining in on their conversations. Taking this approach can also help you rise above the noise because it allows you to tap into an already interested, already active audience.
- Tap advocates: There’s strength in numbers, and that means that tapping both internal and external advocates can do more than just lend credibility to your message — doing so can also help expand its reach and get it in front of new audiences. As a result, building a strong employee advocacy program and a powerful network of customers advocates are two of the most effective tactics for rising above the noise on social media. This tactic is especially important for networks like Facebook, whose News Feed algorithm favors posts from individuals over posts from brand pages.
- Run a paid campaign: Finally, you can take advantage of the paid advertising plans on different social networks. Networks that offer paid advertising allow you to promote your content to users in a way that stands out and to set parameters about who those users are. As a result, running a paid campaign allows you to target very specific groups of people and ensures that those users will, at the very least, see your posts.
Keep on Top of Changes
Finally, social media should never be set it and forget it, and that includes your strategy too. Just because you have a sound strategy in place that works well today doesn’t mean the same will hold true tomorrow. How the social networks work and what users do on those networks can change almost overnight, and that means you need to stay on top of those changes so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly as they happen. While regularly revisiting your strategy in this way is absolutely necessary to staying relevant on social media, the faster you can react to changes, the easier it will be to not only stay relevant, but also to rise above the noise.