Every spawning season, the giant Mola Mola fish lays 300 million eggs, of which may be a dozen hatchlings will grow to adulthood. Many online marketers follow the Mola Mola method, pushing out post after tweet in the hope that something develops a life of its own. Unfortunately, most of that frenzied social media activity gets swallowed up by bigger stories and never goes viral.

How do you use social media to create maximum impact? Here are four tips to help you stand out.

1. Think Fast

In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, timeliness is more important than ever before. Your content could literally become obsolete in a matter of hours.

"Many brands are still having problems with this because the whole business has to be behind a message and putting it out so quickly," says Gabrielle Boland, manager of content strategy and communications at Newswhip.

"Before the internet, if you were going to share a story, you would need to cut it out of the newspaper and physically pass it around or ask your friends if that have seen it. With social media, fake news has the chance to travel around the world before the truth even has time to put boots on," Boland added.

Whether the news is real or fake, if it's related to your brand, weighing in is essential. That means having a system in place to quickly respond in real-time. Waiting 24 hours to go through a gauntlet of approvals minimizes impact, reduces and chances of engagement, and, once you've accommodated a dozen opinions, likely dilutes your message.

2. Try a Little Trend Hopping

MarketingProfs tells us over 2 million articles are published on the Internet every day. Facebook estimates that 4 billion pieces of content are shared within a 24 hour period. Not only is it difficult to get noticed, but all the content clutter dilutes the effect of your message.

This is why you need to get trendy. Taking a popular trend and making it personal to your brand will help your brand stand out, bring in more impressions and boost engagement.

Just remember, the connection to your brand has to make sense with your brand promise. If you find yourself trying too hard to connect a trend to your brand, it's probably a forced fit.

3. Analyze Your Analytics

Social media has always been hit or miss: you either get great engagement with a post or you don't. You can look at what is not working and start eliminating from there. One technique is to see what your competitors are doing and what the temperature on social is in general.

While it might not be fun to look at the data points and break down why your posts failed, you will get to know your audience and understand when and how they respond to content. Start identifying what does and doesn't work. What do the popular posts have in common? Is it the hook, the tone, the topic? Factor your learnings into your strategy.

4. Create a Reason for People to Get on Social Media

Paid advertising is everywhere. Not only is it showing up in news articles, it's popping up on everyone's social media feed, on every platform. Develop reasons for your users to come to you on social media. Learn how to best position your own content and not just do paid advertising. Remember, on social media, people want to have a conversation with you.

If all you do on social media is paid advertisement or self-promotion, people are not going to visit your site. The best way to get - and keep- people's attention is to make sure that you sprinkle original content in with your self-promotion. Then, you can market like a boss - instead of a Mola Mola.

Published on: Sep 29, 2017
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