Although you might not want to admit it, I bet you’re paying attention to how your competition is doing on social media. Have you noticed lately that their social media profiles are growing a lot faster than your company’s social media profiles? It might be because of one of these ten reasons:
1. Your competition has a presence on multiple social media sites. While you’re spending all your time updating your company’s Facebook page, your competition is busy sending out tweets, uploading YouTube videos, connecting with potential leads on LinkedIn, creating a new album of photos on their Flickr photostream, and updating their blog. Your competition understands the importance and value of building an online brand presence through the use of multiple social media platforms.
2. Your competition is updating their social media profiles consistently. Your competition’s social media profiles continue to grow because they continue to provide consistent, valuable content to their followers. They have maintained a loyal following thanks to the consistent updates they post on their social media profiles, and have even started attracting new followers.
3. Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers to connect with them on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Are you telling the customers who walk into your door about your social media presence? Is it in your brochures? Your quarterly newsletter? Your email signature? On the back of your restaurant menu? Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers and prospects to connect with them on their favorite social media sites.
4. Your competition is posting a variety of content. Your competition isn’t re-posting promotional text from their website. They are creating Facebook photo albums of their last corporate event. They’re finding interesting links that relate to their industry and sharing them with followers. They are uploading client testimonial videos and behind-the-scenes video tours to their YouTube channel. Your competition is posting content that they know their followers will like. They aren’t worried about leaving out the promotional text from their website, because they are attracting new customers by providing value.
5. Your competition is cross-promoting. Your competition is telling their Twitter followers about their Facebook page. They are ending every YouTube video by inviting viewers to connect with them on their other social media sites. They are embedding their Facebook page feed into their blog. They understand that their LinkedIn connections might not ever realize they have a Flickr account unless they occasionally share links to their Flickr photostream on their LinkedIn profile.
6. Your competition isn’t afraid to answer the hard questions. If you’re afraid to answer the tough questions that people might post on your company’s Facebook page, don’t be. Your competition isn’t afraid. In fact, they encourage their followers to ask tough questions, because they see it as an opportunity to strengthen their online reputation. Instead of ignoring or deleting tough questions that show up on their Facebook page, they’re being proactive. They’re taking the time to come up with a helpful, thoughtful answer that will show people how much they care about their customers.
7. Your competition is customizing their profiles with recognizable brand designs. You might understand the importance of presenting a consistent brand design when promoting your business in the physical world (you have a standard design or logo that appears on your flyers, your company shirts, your store sign, and your press releases), but you’re not (successfully) incorporating your company’s consistent design into your social media profiles. Your competition has taken time to design visually-interesting, customized designs for all their social media profiles.
8. Your competition is taking time to listen to advice, suggestions, and other helpful comments. Your competition is not only improving their online reputation by listening to advice and comments made by their followers, but they’re also using these comments to improve their business in general. They value the interaction that is happening on their social media profiles, and they are using suggestions made by followers to evolve their business in the physical world.
9. Your competition is utilizing social media tools to become the expert in your industry. Where are your potential customers going to learn more about your industry? If you think it is your website (or your competition’s website), you are wrong. Your potential customers are learning about your industry on places like Facebook and Twitter because it’s easy for them. Your competition understands that. That’s why they are going out of their way to provide valuable content and information to people on their social media profiles. They are becoming the experts in your industry.
10. Your competition has support from employees, clients, and other businesses in the community. Your competition is succeeding on social media because they have support from every employee who works for the company. Every one of their employees is promoting the company’s social media profiles in email signatures, at meetings with potential clients, and everywhere else. Your competition also has support from clients. They even have support from other businesses in the community who are interested in building a relationship online with them.
If you want to start seeing better numbers on your social media sites, implement some of the strategies that your competition is implementing. Use this list to beat your competition on social media. Become the expert in your industry. Invite your customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you use. Listen to what your followers have to say. Update your profiles consistently, and provide value. It’s worth your effort and your time.
Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.