6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The majority of brands focus solely on the number of social media followers they have and the level of likes and comments per post. While these are important metrics, focusing only on these metrics will keep you stuck in the mud rather than cutting through the noise to get your brand seen by millions of your target market audience. Believe it or not, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Well, then how?
The big-boy brands you see with millions of followers and high engagement have brand recognition in addition to a generous budget to throw at their social media efforts every month. Fear not, there is a way around it, and I’m here to share it with you.
1. Forget everything that you know
We are bombarded daily with new ways to hack social media algorithms, and if you believe half of the ads, paying that marketing guy in a Ferrari (that he doesn’t own) will make all of your wildest social media dreams come true.
Yeah, no! Now is the time to clear your mind and unlearn everything you learned via listening to others. The social media world says fit in, the universe says stand out. To stand out from the crowd and cut through the online noise requires standing up for what you believe in. Stop copying what everyone else is doing — it’s tiresome and will keep your social media efforts stagnant. The billions of users thumbing through millions of images daily want to discover new, exciting content, so yours has to exceed their expectations. It’s time to throw the rule book out of the window.
2. Find your purpose
We hear this saying all the time, but no one ever really explains what it means. In layman’s terms, build your brand around a mission that resonates with your target audience. For example, a fashion label may decide to become activists against slave labor or find a way to creatively solve the high level of seasonal leftover inventory, which usually ends up on the trash pile.
A creative brand could see the opportunity here — get some celebrities or artists to customize these items, throw a party and auction them off for charity. My imaginary label just nailed major brand awareness via the celebrities while also raising funds for good causes — helping to solve a global problem tormenting the fashion world. This is a win-win.
3. Be brave
Can you remember the last time you scrolled down your Instagram feed and saw something monumental from one of the brands you follow that blew you away? I can’t either. If you want to go big, you have to go bold. Think outside of the box. Think Budweiser at the Super Bowl.
Their decision not to do an ad for the first time in decades and instead donate the funds to vaccinations gave them more hype than any advertisement ever would. It was genius. Now, not everyone is a creative thinker, so it may be time to let go and delegate to someone who can take your brand to the next level with creative, innovative and thoughtful tactics.
4. Break the mold
Throwing money at the same dull ads everyone is doing is like throwing spaghetti at a wall. Users are bored. I’m bored. Even your grandma is bored. It’s time to ramp things up.
Invest in alternative marketing and PR tactics that set you apart from your competitors. Whether people like to admit it or not, the citizens of social media are generally sheep, and that’s never going to help them stand out in the crowd. Become the shepherd and boldly go where few others have dared to go.
There’s a reason why the top advertising agencies charge a fortune. They curate interactive user experiences over everything that submerges users into a brand. For example, I saw Steve-O on Instagram doing an interview with dogs on his lap in the AAA parking lot while they were changing his van’s tires. It was so unique and hilarious. We could all do with more of that.
5. Get strategic
While everyone else is spending money on magazine ads that no one reads anymore or generic social media ads that look the same as everyone else’s, you need to go in a different direction. A great example is video content.
Create daily videos to post on your social media, and if you truly want to stand out, put your brand on creative campaigns. Right now, you’re likely relatively unknown, so work hard until your name gets called, or you could try hiring a good PR company.
You can get seven million views for less than five figures with a good PR team that can get you the right connection. Get to work with your team to find the best campaign for you, or alternatively you can look online for the right contacts and start to work to get noticed.
The ideal show will put you alongside celebrity guests, reinforcing your brand image and winning you new fans. The best part about TV video panels is that everyone shares the content, multiplying your online reach faster.
Want to know something even better about TV content? It never gets old. You can keep repurposing it, cutting it up, taking stills, and using it across all social media platforms — including Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Just make sure that you have a strategy in place to convert viewers and followers to customers before the show airs.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Not everything you try on social media will be a hit. Even experts can’t always predict how content will be perceived and received. If a post you thought would go viral and make you an overnight success doesn’t work out, brush it off and let it go. Pivot and move on to the next idea. Social media is a game of hit or miss, and there are no big wins without fails. You got this.