Social media networks are crowded places. Find out how to stand out.

Everyone’s on social media networks these days. Businesses may struggle to stand out from the crowd so every possible advantage is needed. Not only is everyone on social media but everyone is also doing much the same thing. However there are possible ways to make your business’ social media posts stand out and be read by a large audience.

Not every social network works the same way though so in this article we’ll consider some strategies relevant to a number of different social sites.

Social media formatting is important and it can help a business to create unique, standout posts. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are some of the usual suspects so let’s consider how to create memorable blog snippets worth sharing (and worth clicking).

How to use Facebook to your advantage

Most marketers will agree that Facebook is a difficult arena to share content within. However Facebook has released an update to its targeting options recently ensuring that it’s much easier to reach a specific audience and to tailor your posts to that audience.

It’s worth considering though that Facebook’s most recent algorithm changes mean less exposure for brands. For any business using this social network it’s worth ensuring that posts stand out. To aid you in that pursuit here are some tactics to consider and perhaps implement.

Use emoticons

Emoticons aren’t generally used in a professional context but Facebook provides the opportunity to use them to add some colour to a status update. Emoticons can work really well within status updates and a brand would do well to consider them in more depth.

In general when it comes to writing online copy length is key and the context that those posts exist within completely influences the content itself. On Facebook longer posts don’t perform very well and it seems that posts of around 100 to 119 characters drive the desired interaction. If a post includes a question then this often drives interaction up by around 10 to 20 percent.

Pin Posts

This is a new(ish) feature that is also seen on Twitter and a number of other social networks. This is a good tactic for sharing crucial information or posts that you want to receive the most attention.

A pinned post is an update that you manually select to keep at the top of your timeline even when other posts are added to the page. A pinned post will stay at the top of your timeline for 7 days.

Ensure that photos are sized correctly

Facebook automatically resizes photos if they don’t match its specifications when it comes to size and aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is very specific and images need a width that must be 1.91 times the height of the photo. Ensuring that photos meet the required aspect ratio mean that images will scale perfectly in both News Feeds and on smaller mobile screens.

Use Google+ successfully

Google+ is a social network that’s had a slow start but is now gaining the necessary traction to make it a viable platform for a business to promote itself and its services on. There are however some very specific elements that make G+ different to other social networks. Here are some tips to help you stand out.

Google+ likes images

If you browse through Google+ you’ll notice that it has a reliance on strong visual content so make the most of this. Post useful, interesting and engaging images at full size – infographics are a good way to share and promote content on G+.

There are enhanced options for image sharing and it will give a post priority in a specific user’s feed. To get your post to be a priority and to increase its exposure and shares Google suggests that:

“…a variety of factors determine what becomes an enhanced post in your stream but we try to surface content and people that we think you wouldn’t want to miss.”

Google likes relevant content so make sure that your posts are earmarked for your niche and audience. You can increase your chances by uploading and posting lots of high-resolution photos and video.

Use hashtags to increase your exposure on Google’s networking service and remember to use the group’s feature. Find groups of like-minded people and utilize this pre-existing audience option to increase your brand saturation and reach on G+.

Consider using GIFs as well as this very eye catching image types work very well on G+. In fact the social network itself uses GIFs as tutorials when it introduces new features. Also remember that Google+ lets you post longer length updates – aim for two to three sentences.

How to do well on Twitter

This is a social media service well known for its transient nature. Posts on this networking site are very short (standing at a tiny 140 characters) and these Tweets don’t last for long. Twitter is perhaps the hardest social media site to stand out on.

With Twitter being so short and stingy on length it can be a good idea to use emoticons to convey added depth and complexity. Emoticons have always had a slightly bad reputation, perhaps one of laziness, but in this fast social media landscape their worth can’t be underestimated – they provide a quick visual way to read and understand content and context.

Twitter does offer 140 characters but users would do well to fall slightly short of the maximum length. Somewhere between 120 and 130 characters allows for space for retweets and for other users to add their own voice when sharing your content.

Like on Google+, photos do very well and Twitter is no exception. Photos grab attention and direct people towards your content (often over others). People like visuals and your business can do well to promote itself further through well picked and designed relevant imagery.

Social media sites are very popular and crowded spaces. Any business that wants to stand out must carefully tweak and target its content for optimal exposure, reach, and saturation. The context and the type of content being shared must be considered too. Use some of the above tips and advice to ensure that your social media posts stand out.