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5 tips to make your social media presence stand out

Being on social media sites isn't enough. Learning how to stand out in the social media world involves learning how to be successfully social.
Written Aug 20, 2010, read 1201 times since then.


In social media, it's easy for your message to get lost in a crowd of other messages that people are sending out. And when many people are just on social media to push out information, you can also encounter information overload. So what can you do to make your own social media presence stand out and also develop relationships that lead to business? The following five tips can help you make your social media presence stand out in a positive way, while also helping you to create relationships that build community and lead to business.

Tip 1: Social media is a two-way street of communication. Communication doesn't occur one way in social media. Social is a social medium, which means that people expect to have conversations. Many businesses treat social media as a method for pushing out information. You can easily identify them by the lack of responses and also by all of the status updates with links in them. The problem with this strategy is that it creates no sense of engagement or an interest in investing in a relationship with people.

For social media to be effective, businesses need to remember that social media involves two way communication, and also that the communication is occurring in a public environment. Instead of just pushing information out, it's important that businesses recognize that they are in a conversation with people that want to be acknowledged in terms of the concerns and issues they have. Businesses that make an effort to engage in the conversation stand out because they show that they care about what people have to say and recognize that being on social media isn't about them, but is about their customers.

Tip 2: Make a point to comment on your clients' news regularly. It's not hard to keep track of your clients. You can use a Social Customer Response Management (SCRM) system such as Batch Blue or you can use a site such as Gist, which presents you the gist of the social conversation in your network. Make it a point to create specialized lists on Twitter for your clients and follow their fan pages and then make a point to comment on their news, regardless of whether it has anything to do with you. By making that effort, you show them you care and you stay visible to them, so that when they do need you, they think of you first instead of your competition. You also stand out via your social media as someone who is concerned and interested in other people.

Tip 3: When you connect with people, explain why you want to connect. So many people will send generic invitations without explaining why they are interested in connecting with you. The result is a meaningless connection that doesn't benefit you or the person sending the invite. By taking the time to explain why you are interested in connecting with someone you create a social context that can help people understand the value of actually pursuing a relationship with you, which in my opinion is the reason you use social media. Create relationships, not just connections. Also if you get a generic invitation instead of accepting or rejecting it, write a message back asking why the person wants to connect with you and then make the connection. By taking the time to either create social context or ask people to provide it, you'll stand out because you'll show people the value of establishing a relationship with you.

Tip 4: Engage in Proactive customer service. When I talk about proactive customer service, I'm not just talking about monitoring what your customers are saying and addressing problems with your service or product when they first complain about it. Proactive customer service involves developing a relationship with your client that goes beyond just meeting a need with your service or addressing a problem. Make it a point to comment on client news, to forward information they post and to otherwise interact with them even and especially when they don't have a problem. By making this effort, you'll make it much easier for them to approach you when they do have a problem, because they will know that you care about them. They will know this on the basis of the relationship they have with you. You will stand out to them by making an effort both in social and other media to connect and develop a relationship is based on supporting them, even if it doesn't directly benefit you at the time.

Tip 5: Be consistent in your activities. If you are erratic in your activity on social media sites, people will notice. It's important to be consistent in your activities on social media so that people will also know they can reach you on those sites. By posting regularly and also actively making responses to people you show them that you are on the sites. That kind of consistency helps establish relationships with people. It shows them that they can rely on you, which is important if you want to establish a business relationship with someone. Be consistent in your time on social media and in your activities and you'll stand out.

Social media works if you are willing to invest time into it. These five tips can help you get more out of your social media presence by being successfully social. Learning to stand out in the social media world involves learning more than just the technology. You've also got to learn the social norms and behaviors that make other people want to learn more from you. What other tips would you include to help a business stand out in the social media world?

Learn more about the author, Taylor Ellwood.

Comment on this article

  • Web Design Consultant 
Portland, Oregon 
Charles Montgomery
    Posted by Charles Montgomery, Portland, Oregon | Aug 26, 2010

    This is a solid article! 5 great tips... 10+

  • Herbalist Astrologer Tarot Reiki Master Flower Essences 
San Diego, California 
Lisa Allen, MH
    Posted by Lisa Allen, MH, San Diego, California | Aug 26, 2010

    Hey there Taylor! You know, just Tip #3 is a big deal on its own. I get so many people who don't say why they want to connect and I end up not paying attention. If a person takes a couple of seconds to tell me, I often will add them. That is time well-spent just on its own! Thanks for posting your awesome expertise - again! ;-)

  • Certified Cat Behavior Consultant 
Nashville, Tennessee 
Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC
    Posted by Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, Nashville, Tennessee | Sep 02, 2010

    Great reminders. I also agree that tip #3 is a huge issue. I often turn down requests from unfamiliar people on Facebook because they send a friend request without any explanation of who they are or how we know each other.

    Tip #5 is one I contstantly struggle with. I know how important it is to be consistent but I don't always maintain a good schedule when it comes to social media, most especially Twitter. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Sep 02, 2010

    Hi Pam,

    I think # 5 is one everyone struggles with. I find setting aside time each day really helps out, but I also make sure to really focus that time on specific activities, which helps me make sure its productive time.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
Muhammad  Bey
    Posted by Muhammad Bey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Sep 05, 2010

    Dear Sir

    Great Article, Very Useful to Me....Thanks Very Much!


  • Herb Specialist/Certified Iridologist 
San Francisco, California 
Christine Uomini
    Posted by Christine Uomini, San Francisco, California | Sep 11, 2010

    This was very informative and illuminating.