Everyone’s Using Social Media, Now What?

social mediaIt wasn’t that long ago that brands using social media had a competitive advantage because many of their competitors were on the sidelines.

That has quickly changed as more brands embrace social media. As a result, the playing field has been levelled so it’s no longer enough to simply to be in the game.

So what does it take to rise above the crowd? How do brands separate themselves from the pack and all the noise created by brands battling for attention.

In my mind, it comes down to the five C’s:

1. Creativity. While updates, tweets and posts have become table stakes, the ability to be creative is more important than ever. It means doing things out of the box, pushing the envelope and taking risks. The classic example is Old Spice’s “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, which become a huge success by being different, innovative and entertaining.

2. Commitment. The brands that thrive using social media are ones that pound away day in, day out. They’re focused strategically and tactically, they have well-defined goals and objectives, and they have dedicated resources to make it happen. They keep going, engaging and moving forward, leveraging social media as an integral and engrained part of their marketing and sales efforts.

3. Community. The most successful brands see the creation and nurturing of a community as paramount. They are focused on bringing potential and existing customers into the fold, and keeping them there using a variety of approaches. Sometimes, it involves “carrots” such as prizes and contests; sometimes, it’s simply being involved and present such as offering great customer service.

4. Content. To me, content has always been king (probably due to my days as a newspaper reporter!). Brands that create compelling content (videos, blog posts, white papers, case studies, photos, etc.) on a continual basis have the best chances and opportunities to keep users coming back on a regular basis.

5. A culture of engagement. We talk a lot about engagement to the point where it has lost some of its lustre and impact. But the value of engagement can’t be under-estimated. Brands that really want to build community and a vibrant social media presence see engagement as a key ingredient. They’re involved with their users, maintain a constant and enthusiastic presence, and see their users as members of the community, not just potential or existing customers.

What do you think? How do brands rise above the crowd?

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