Social media is important in today’s day and age – there’s no doubt about that – but as important as it is, it can come with a sense of desperation and panic. How am I supposed to make myself and my business stand out in the endless world of social media when everyone else is trying to do the exact same thing? It can be tempting to be the loudest and most intense, but this often doesn’t give the desired result.
Yes, being loud and intense gains attention, but it isn’t the kind of attention you want. A more subtle approach is far more effective in gaining the right kind of attention.
Show How You Help
Telling people how you can help them is very important, but showing them how you can help is even more important. For example, Amazon created a holiday commercial that features a young girl working on her ballet routine. She works hard in every spot imaginable. She eats, lives and breathes ballet. As she prepares for the big recital, she receives notification that it’s been cancelled. She’s despondent until her family creates a homemade recital for her on their apartment’s roof. Neighbors watch the girl perform lit solely by flashlights ordered from—you guessed it—the mega retailer. She finishes the dance in a beautiful moment and the words, “The show must go on” come across the screen with a well-placed logo. This commercial only features a fleeting glimpse of the brand and never talks about it in any way. But it shows exactly how Amazon can help and they do so with story. Which brings us to…
Tell a Story
Everyone claims to be the best, most efficient, and best priced, but all those superlative claims can get lost on social media since everyone is saying the same thing. Have you ever once heard a business claim to have adequate customer service?
Of course not! It’s always the best. They put the customer first.
But if everyone claims to do that, how does the customer figure out who really is the best? They don’t. They ignore those claims and look at something else like reviews. But what is the one thing about you that is different?
It’s your story.
No one has the same story that you do. You are unique in that way. And no one has the same customer stories that you do. You can differentiate yourself from the other businesses by getting personal and telling your story of what motivates you and how you help your customers.
Again, telling your story is not you writing sentences about how you got into your business. That’s only part of it. Think about that Amazon commercial. Amazon told a brilliant story about how they are there for people when others aren’t (the show must go on) but they never said those words. They implied it through story.
Tell about your customers’ struggles and how you fit in to help them be their best selves. You needn’t say the words “we helped them.” But you must show how you did.
Is there some problem that plagues your business or industry? Something that everyone dismisses with a “well, it is what it is”?
If so, fix it.
If you do, you’ll be a hero. If you don’t, you’ll fail. But you’ll fail big because you took on something no one else has. They’ll talk about your efforts. Car dealerships did this when the first one went to “no-haggle” pricing or Carvana went to selling cars sight unseen through a virtual vending machine.
JCPenney’s tried to provide a good value environment by lowering its everyday prices and doing away with sales and coupons. It tried to give consumers an inexpensive buying experience whenever they wanted it, not just during sales.
It turns out, people love sales and coupons and Penney’s failed. But they failed big and they got a lot of press and people talking about them. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, but you have to admire their gumption.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to play up your uniqueness. Do this through story and sharing your life with your audience. Don’t be afraid to fail. Through it, you’ll learn something about you and your audience.