how to stand out on social media
Marketing your services / and or brand on social media has become very intentional. How will you stand out from what is already out there? These few pointers I give will help you make a dent in the social world, but a lot of it will come from your consistency in posting and refining and defining your brand. I wrote this post specifically for Instagram, but it will also work for the other social media platforms. The layout will just look a little different. Remember, everything has to be consistent throughout every social media network you use. Being consistent will help with your brand identity and story.
Your profile picture
The profile picture is the first attention grabber for your audience. When they are searching for you or come across you in the search bar, your profile picture is the first thing they see, then your name. There are many different ways you can set up your profile picture. I am going to talk about two methods that are effective.
The logo or icon as your profile picture. If you’re a brand, this helps your audience start becoming familiar with who you are. The logo that they continuously see will become known when they see it anywhere (even if they don’t remember the name).
Some striking designs I have seen that stand out is a logo or icon on a solid color background. The profile picture space is small, so you don’t want too much going on. Having a lot going on can be very distracting or too hard to read. Here are a few examples below of some well-done profile pictures and some that are a little harder to make out and a little distracting.
Here are a few profile picture that are a little harder to read;
A striking profile picture is the first and one of the most important ways you will stand out on social media. Especially Instagram because Instagram profile pictures are tiny.
The second profile picture that works is an image of you. A picture of you, preferably close up, helps your audience familiarize themselves with who is behind the brand or business. I suggest using an image of yourself if you are a freelancer and you represent your brand. If you have a business account as well as a personal account and use a picture of yourself for both accounts, this can become confusing. I have seen some companies do this when they are just starting out. Once they grew their following, they changed the profile picture image to a logo. If you decide to use an image of yourself make sure there is a pop of color in there somewhere, so you stand out. This pop of color can either be the background color of your picture or an item in your image, like a hat, a top, sunglasses or a jacket.
With all this said, it is up to you how you want to portray your business to your audience.
Photography is of significance for your brand on social media. Your logo is what attracts your audience to your page, but photography is what keeps them there.
Here are three questions to ask yourself.
1. Do your pictures speak your service/brand?
2. Are the images you are taking and posting representing your company?
3. When your audience visits your social media page do they understand what it is you do, is it easy for them to know before reading your caption?
The saying goes, “Quality over Quantity.” Please don’t just post anything to fill a gap. It helps when your posts are planned out. I use Later for my social media posts and for a few of my clients too. It helps so much and frees up space to get working on other things.
Are your images of brand quality? (will your audience take you seriously) Quality is key to helping your brand stand out from the other 1000 companies just like you. If you look at a few companies you follow, you will find that they have themes to their Instagram feed. See below for a few examples that will show you what I mean.
Another way to help you stand out with your pictures is the way you edit (your brand aesthetics). Are you posting your images bright, dull or with a tone?
You don’t have to hire a professional you just have to get creative. Look at a few other brands that have done what you like and give it a try. Don’t be afraid to use color cardboard for a background, use real products - reach out to companies for products (or buy some) and start shooting. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask them to model either. You can also talk to people you know. People are always willing to help.
Try and mix up your picture posting on social media. Don’t always post people. Give it some depth. Post some lifestyle images, then some product and maybe some words in there too. Make it exciting and have your audience anticipate not predict. Keep them excited!
Information in bio
Bio information is a little tricky, but you can have fun with it. The bio section is where your mission statement goes. What you do, and who you are. Some brands and people have been very fun and some very to the point of what they want to say.
Here are some examples:
Once I have found a company or person I am interested in following, I want to find out more. The bio section on social media (especially on Instagram) is where I will look. The bio section has helped me connect with others on social media. If you put all the correct information up, you can grow tremendously. Please make sure you have these following things in your bio. It will help you;
What do you do?
Describe in a short sentence what it is you do. Be precise. Write this out a few times and ask yourself what the key points to your business or brand are. I usually put the mission statement here because that tells you what you do in a few words.
Where are you located?
Ah! Location. Location is one most people leave out. Adding a location has been a crucial part of my social media growth, especially on Instagram. Locations help connect people with brands, and people with people. If you just met somebody or want to reach out to somebody, knowing the area they are in is incredibly helpful. For a few of my clients when having to set up photo shoots, I have searched for potential models on Instagram and got in touch with them based on their location. The location also helps when planning an event. It is easier to use local vendors than far. You end up supporting local businesses.
Oh man! The website address is the doorway to your virtual online store (as I've said before). Whatever you want to link to onto your website, make sure you place a link in the website space in your bio. If it’s a product you are featuring or a blog post you just put up, replace your web address with the link to the blog post or featured product. Once that is done with, you can always put the web address back. Please make sure your web address or link is always up. If you are still working on your website, place in the space www.comingsoon.com and that will let your audience know that you are working on one.
Posting to social media
When posting your image on social media, please make sure you are taking note of these few things before you hit to publish.
Are your posts informative?
Do they spell out what this post is about or what you are trying to convey? Many people post an awesome picture to grab the attention of people so they will read the caption. I have done this a few times, but it doesn’t work. If you are talking about an event, post an event picture, if you are talking about your product, post a product picture, etc., etc. Most of the time when your audience sees your photographs they want to read what you’ve written. If you keep posting a picture with random captions that don't match to the image it doesn’t give it credit.
Are you placing a location in your posts?
Remember to add a location to every image. This has so many benefits in doing so (especially on Instagram) There are now Instagram stories around locations, so you could be featured if you tag that location. When people are from an area, e.g., Los Angeles and tag Los Angeles their explore filter will pull up other Los Angeles images. I love this feature. It plays on your behalf.
Are you tagging people or companies in your posts that are in your pictures?
Let’s give them credit. Creators are geniuses so let’s share who made and created what. I think it’s fair. Not only is this fair but this is one of the ways that will help you with brand awareness. Brand awareness, one of the hardest things to do in the world of social media. Tagging companies or people bring their attention towards you. Tagging also draws attention to the people that follow that person. It’s like a big vortex. We follow each other but don’t know it until we find out who’s tagged or if you pop up in each other's explore feeds. People that follow these companies like you do see your posts in the explore feed. That’s just how Instagram works. Thank you, Instagram! You might even pop up in the suggested follow feed too. Make sure you are always tagging for credit! Not only on the photo but in the caption. Tagging helps the world go around and for people to discover others and possibly create a work connection. You never know.
Are you using Hashtags?
This concept = GENIUS! What better way than to have a pool of similar minded images in one spot, where you can scroll through and discover new brands or people. See who is into the same things. Hashtags are my passion. I know this sounds crazy, but brand awareness is my jam and hashtags is the by-product to discovering new things. I am working on a post about hashtags. Once it is up, I will link it to this post. Do your hashtag research. Don’t just post what you are seeing others use. Hashtag according to your brand or business and what is in your photo.
Knowing when to post on social media.
Insights for social media is another great tool to grow your business. Insights allow you to know when your followers are engaged and active. It gives you an audience profile broken up by age, gender, etc. You can post according to understanding all this information. The best part is posting according to the specific day, and time your audience is on.
This feature is exciting, but the only problem is that you will only gain access to this once you have 100 followers. Until those 100 you have to guess post or try work out when you get the most engagement.
See an example here:
Now that you've read through this long list of to-do's and checklists make sure you are consistent. Your brand will always and only ever grow more with consistency. Consistency in posting is vital!