Social Media

3 Ways to Use Social Media to Crush the Competition

Brad Smith
October 26, 2011

Social media marketing isn’t about the tactics you use or your daily posting routine. It goes much deeper than that.

So it doesn’t matter if you’re using Pinterest for your business.

What matters are the underlying beliefs and principles that set you apart.

Because there’s too many options for people today. And everyone is trying to get your customer’s attention. So separating yourself and standing out from the crowd is essential in today’s online marketing world.

And social media gives you the best chance to do that.


Guide-to-Social-Media-for-Business
Image courtesy of Social Media Max

1. Have a Voice

Each business needs a unique voice and personality, and this is especially true online.

People don’t want to connect with faceless corporations. They want to connect with real humans. But a lot of companies still don’t understand this.

A panelist at a recent conference told me that her Legal Department gives her “acceptable social media responses”, and she’s not allowed to do anything different.

That means if someone has a unique question or comment, she would have to go through her Legal Department first, before answering the person’s question.

That’s the complete opposite of the definition of social media. No one will like, trust or respect her company in the long run if they can’t get straight, honest feedback.

Businesses need to be more human, and utilize speed to your advantage.

2. Take a Stand

Any business can separate themselves from the competition by believing in something 100%. It doesn’t matter whether that’s a movement, a good cause, or just a way of doing business.

Because most companies won’t fully commit. They want to please everyone, and not ruffle any feathers. But if you’re a small company and you try to please everyone, then you’ll end up pleasing no one.

The key to marketing online is to build trust. Without it, no one will buy from you. So every blog post and email newsletter needs to emphasis the special qualities you believe in.

In his TED talk, Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

Think about the special companies that you like and admire. They start with “Why”. They tap into a bigger cause then themselves, and that emotionally connects with people.

If you only sell “what” you do, then you’re only selling commodities and you’ll always compete on price. Simon’s talk hits this point home and gives you pointers on how your business can create it’s own “Why” statement.

3. Identify Your Enemy

If you’re going to have a voice and take a stand for something, then by default there has to be examples of people, trends, business philosophies or companies you don’t agree with.

For example, Apple believes in beautiful design, simple interfaces and elegant products. So they’ve publicly gone after Microsoft and others companies for making cheap products that detract from the user’s experience.

Again, you’re not marketing to everyone. You only want to attract those who share your worldview.

And one of the best ways to get people to commit and emotionally engaged is through sharing a common bond, or defending yourselves against the same threat.

One of the best ways to connect with other people, and get them emotionally engaged, is by sharing a common bond and rallying against a common threat.

Because your first goal in marketing is to get their attention. You won’t be able to generate web traffic unless you can pique people’s interest.

Online, that starts with creating content on your blog, social networks, or email newsletter.

But no matter the tactic or method you use, it has to connect with your underlying business principles.

Because that is what’s going to set you apart.

And that’s why people will buy from you, instead of your competition.