How to Use Your Differential Advantage on Social Media
January 16, 2017 | Hannah McNaughton
As businesses, we seek a competitive advantage—meaning that competitive advantages provide an edge over rival competitors and an ability to generate greater value for a firm and its shareholders. The more sustainable the competitive advantage, the more difficult it is for competitors to neutralize the advantage.
So, there are two types of competitive advantages: comparative and differential.
Comparative vs. Differential Advantages
A comparative advantage is a company’s ability to produce its product or service at a lower cost than the competition.
A differential advantage aims to create different products and services from its competitors that are seen to be superior. Differential advantages can be driven by more advanced technology, processes, or a strong brand identity.
What if your business’ differential advantage was its engagement online? A little abstract, but consider the fact that we live in a digital world where collateral marketing material will seemingly become obsolete. Social media has become one of the best ways to engage, connect, and create experiences for prospective customers. So, how can your business effectively use social media to market themselves?
The answer is engagement.
Social engagement is about involvement & commitment.
To engage is some form of emotional involvement or commitment. We want our customers to feel highly valued and invested in—which in turn motivates them to purchase our product or service.
Research has found that customer engagement is considered a behavioral manifestation toward the brand or firm that goes beyond transactions. Customers who are engaging with your business on social platforms aren’t just seeking a sale; it’s the start a relationship.
Creating an engaging connection digitally can be challenging, but here are some tips and tricks to become more effective social media marketers:
Exchange value & boost engagement with unique content.
It is paramount that you are generating content that is valuable to your targeted audience. By posting content that offers value, you are showcasing both your skills and industry knowledge that’ll come to be the most beneficial.
One of the most effective ways to boost audience engagement online is by blogging. Blogging gives people a reason to look deeper into what you actually do as a business. The goal is to give your audience an outlet to discover what you do well, all while being a relevant and valuable asset to their life.
Ask & answer questions.
Give people a reason to engage with you. For example:
Post intriguing (and relevant!) questions that start a conversation
Be strong in who you are as a brand, and stick within those guard rails
Don’t hesitate to be controversial, and stand out if you believe it’ll give you the upper-hand
It is important to be transparent, raw, and real, but keep in mind that people will have an opinion of their own. The customer is always right, whether you agree with them or not. Regardless of if you’re posting a status or a tweet, know your platform and how to use it.
Cater to aesthetics & visuals.
Use visuals! It will be beneficial for your business to use, create, and design visual content to post. Posting visual content creates your digital footprint and increases your visibility.
People are more likely to interact with photos or videos that you post on Facebook versus a long-form status. It’s a quick and easy way to digest information and boost engagement.
Be your clients’ rock.
In boosting your customer engagement, it is going to be crucial that you are supporting your clients. Share, like, and retweet any latest achievements, interesting posts, or articles that your clients post. You want to show them that you are in support of their mission and that they are very important to your success. This not only continues to build a loyal business relationship but also shows potential clients in similar industries that you are reputable.
Be the rock and the ultimate cheerleader for your clients, and success will be seemingly organic.
Confidence is attractive.
Don’t be afraid to post content in your own voice. Your brand will never gain visibility online without taking risks. Customers don’t want to see the same boring material being recycled through their feeds. Show what you know, but also don’t hesitate to create fun and witty content. Use your resources and tools to help create taglines, statuses, and captions. Don’t overlook the power of the caption. It takes time and energy to create well thought out posts, but in the end, it will be worth it.