1. Renovate your social media profiles
It’s never a bad idea to make sure your online image is up to snuff. One of the ways you can do that is give all of your profile pictures, cover photos, and company bios a makeover. As a bonus, some sites (like Facebook) notify your followers when you update you profile photos. That means extra exposure for you!
2. Create and share original visuals
Almost nothing will get you noticed faster than creating some sort of image or video that people want to share. Visuals are the lifeblood of the internet, and you would do well to start taking advantage of that fact as soon as you can. Create quote images, infographics, funny videos, tutorials—whatever works for your product and target audience. People eat that stuff up, I promise.
3. Interact with your followers
Want your followers to notice you? Talk to them! Instead of just waiting for people to retweet and +1 you, go out and be proactive about building relationships. A simple way to do this is to regularly go through your followers list and make it a point to comment on a few of their posts. The comments don’t have to be the next Great American Novel, either. People are happy to just to know that they’ve been noticed and appreciated.
4. Collaborate with an influencer
Jealous of people who have thousands of committed followers? Well, by collaborating with these influencers, you too can have a large audience (at least for a little while). The internet makes it easy to collaborate with successful people, and while not everyone will say yes to your requests, it can’t hurt to ask! Here’s one way to do this: Write a blog post highlighting 5 people who are excelling in your field. Conduct a short email interview with each person, and then have them share the post when it is published. You’ll increase your audience and your credibility in one fell swoop.
5. Put on a giveaway or a contest
Let’s be honest: Everybody loves free stuff. It’s pretty much a requirement of being human. So if you decide to put on a giveaway, you’ll be tapping into that innate desire to get stuff. Make sure that your prize is something relevant to your audience, though, or else you risk drawing in people who will never interact with your brand in the future. Stay away from the free iPads and choose something that your ideal customer would love instead.
6. Tap into controversy
This is a scary one, but there’s no doubt that tapping into a current controversy can skyrocket your page views and followers. People love to read and share posts that support their strong opinions, whether they’re about politics, pop culture, or religion. Just be prepared for the inevitable negative comments that will come your way—you can’t expect everybody to agree with you when addressing a touchy subject.
7. Bring people behind the scenes
This depends on your followers, but from my experience people love seeing behind-the-scenes posts from brands. It can get tiring for people to scroll through all those self-promotional posts in their social media streams. Show them that you’re having fun! Post pics from the latest company BBQ. Wish your CEO a happy birthday. Have a contest to see who can identify employees from their baby pictures. There are tons of possibilities, so start experimenting.
8. Ask for feedback
Make the effort to ask your email list and social media followers what you can do better. They’ll appreciate that you’re taking the time to do so, since many brands seem to think they’re infallible or just don’t care about their customers’ opinions. Plus, you may actually get some good feedback out of it! Never underestimate the power of the crowd.
If you want to stand out in the huge Beauty-and-the-Beast library that is the internet, you can’t just keep doing the same old thing you’ve been doing. Try out a few of these tips, but in the long run, you’re going to have to make a consistent and coordinated effort to be unique and valuable. You’ll find that standing out online really is possible—it just takes a bit of luck and lot of hard work.
*These are actual headlines from Buzzfeed, I’m not even kidding.