A Beginner's Guide
How to Stand Out on Social Media
(read time: 5 minutes)
In this blog, I will uncover:
- Why no one is engaging with your content
- How to grab attention in a noisy marketplace
- The two functions behind every good social media post
- The three non-negotiables for each post you publish
Sound good? Let’s get into it.
"How do I stand out from the noise of social media?"
Well, let’s start with the bad news: it’s only getting harder.
With more and more active users, and businesses catching on, it raises a valid question of what you can do to separate your business from every other business on social media.
The good news is that social media isn’t predicated solely on a large following.
Yes, you don’t need 10,000 followers on Instagram to generate sales on social media.
Instead, you just need to understand the science behind these platforms.
Despite the multitude of social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, etc – our use of all social channels comes down to two basic functions:
1. To be entertained (and/or)
2. To be educated
Think… cat memes, puppies and Love Island gossip.
They’re all entertaining, and because of this, it becomes all-consuming.
It’s the same with educational-driven content: interviews, news stories and calorie-counted infographics.
We love to consume educational content that informs us of the latest and greatest information going on in the world (and on your plate).
This obsession to continually check your Facebook feed and scroll endlessly on TikTok and Instagram is because of this ‘social media’ wiring that evokes us to stay updated with information and be entertained.
The growth of TikTok in recent years is a testament to this: why did we consume hours upon hours of people dancing to POP songs during lockdown? Because it was entertaining.
Entertaining to watch and entertaining to do.
It was the same during lockdown with the feed on information on the latest that was going on with COVID-19.
It is these two things, education and entertainment, which attracts us to consume more (and more) content on social media -and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
Human behaviour is human behaviour and the algorithm of your social feeds is predicated on these two social media principles.
Coupled with the brain chemistry that is involved every time we get a like, share or comment (dopamine, serotonin, endorphins), we crave more (and more).
Here are a few examples of education and entertainment centric posts we’ve recently created for our clients:
Bad Habits to Break
Love Island Meme
Finance Plans Available
Limited Edition Sandwich
Not one cat-meme included.
That’s because your content doesn’t have to be silly or even prolific.
It just has to be entertaining and/or educating.
What does this mean for your business then?
It’s time to start playing the game of social media.
I have no doubt that you’re putting out great content on social media, but unless you factor these two social media principles (Education and/or Entertainment) into your content, it’s likely that the posts won’t perform as well, hindering engagement and potential reach.
So here’s step #1: review your content over the last few months and analyse the narrative behind the post. Was it educating? Was it entertaining? Or was it neither?
“Okay” you say, “I’m ready to start putting out more education content on my feed”.
Hold fire, just before you download your new TikTok account, there are some non-negotiables to posting content that must be considered first:
1. Graphic Design
Across the six graphics I’ve used as an example above, it can’t be argued that these all look amazing. Ultimately, if your graphics look like a 5-year-old has designed them, then they won’t perform well.
Not a graphic designer? Don’t worry – you can hire us at Beyond to design all of your graphics for you (as a one-off or as part of a monthly package).
Or, you can hire a graphic designer of your own or use a freelance designer on websites such as Fiverr.com. Bottom line: in today’s social media world, there is no forgiveness for bad graphics.
I don’t mean ‘copy other people’s posts’ but instead the text you place with the graphic.
Often is it the graphic which will capture the attention of the reader in the first place, but it is the body of copy you use that keeps it. This is particularly important given that the call to action which follows at the end of the post won’t be read unless the copy you write is good.
We’ll save that for another blog, or alternatively, you can sign up to our digital marketing course, Blueprint, and learn how to write better copy that converts – that’s for you to decide, but ultimately if your copy is unappealing to the reader, then guess what? They won’t read it and you’ve just potentially lost a sale.
3. Call to Action
Every post you create should have a call to action (CTA) at the end of it.
A call to action doesn’t always mean to push a promotion or sale. It could simply be around creating engagement.
For example: “If you enjoyed this post, share it on your story (and tag me, so I don’t miss it!)”. Or as another example: “Tag a friend below who needs to read this”. And when you are going for the sale: “Send me a DM” or “Click the link in my bio to claim this offer”.
The world’s your oyster – but it ain’t going to eat itself. Use a CTA on every post.
Got the fundamentals sorted? Great – let’s bring it all together then.
Reminder: people only go on social media to either be educated or entertained.
If your content is as boring as watching paint dry, then guess what?
People are just going to scroll past your post – and if they like you, then maybe like your post, but seriously, unless you consider these two principles: education and entertainment – your engagement will continue to be low and your content will drown in the noise of social media.
On a final note, it should be stressed that creating good content takes posting a LOT of content before it becomes good – because unless you do, you won’t understand your audience: who they are, what they need help with and which content they respond best. It can be concluded then that at the heart of your content creation strategy, you should create content for your audience, based around solving problems, being personable and building a community/tribe of raving fans.