The same set of problems that plague a brand from getting noticed offline are the same in the digital world. The only difference is that in the digital world, you can get easily lost or you can get easily found. It can go to extremes.
Your other problem: social media is now mainstream. Everybody’s is in the game, and if they aren’t, they can do so at any moment.
Here’s an actual scenario for you:
Let’s suppose you help people get out of credit card debt. Do a search on Google for credit card debt relief and you’ll find millions of results. Now go to Twitter and do the same. What do you see?
A lot of people talking about credit card debt and tons of others that supposedly help you get out of debt. What else do you see? A lot of people who’s Twitter handles could have been written by a kid, accounts that have no pictures and vague descriptions. And, accounts that promote links to websites that look like they are going to rip you off among other things.
I’m not perceiving a lot of trust there. So if you plan on standing out, you better not act and look like them.
Conclusion: You have a lot of work to do.
Your problem then is how do you stand out in the sea of sameness and become a credible source.
Here’s what I recommend:
Do the opposite
Sounds obvious but really do your homework. If you’re flying below the radar and feel you have something important/different to say, consider developing content that addresses your prospects needs. In other words, you need to develop a content marketing strategy. We’ve talked about reputation management before and a content strategy addresses your credibility online.
Also, for dear God put a picture of yourself on your Twitter account. Or at least a respectable looking logo of your company. First appearances matter online as much as they do offline.
Find out what’s not being said and focus on that
Doing the opposite doesn’t stop there. Also look at how all these copycats behave online. Look at how their websites look, what they post on their Twitter and Facebook Fan pages, what words are they using in their content. When everyone is copy and pasting financial content from the Wall Street Journal to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, do you honestly think that’s going to help you stand out from the rest of the pack?
Copy and pasting the same stuff creates more noise for prospects, more confusion. They’re more likely to block you out if they perceive you as just another Twitter account.
Don’t copy, be copied
It goes back to my last point. As part of your content marketing strategy you can simply start by setting up a blog on your website and create 10 to 15 articles that address people’s needs. This sounds easy because you can just go a copy the guy with the highest search ranking on Google and, voila right?
You need to create your own content, with your own voice. Your own angle on things. One of the best articles I’ve read on how to put yourself in this mindset is CopyBlogger’s 21 rock solid principles on ‘How to be interesting‘. Read it. And then read it again. And when you’re done writing ask yourself:
Is this buzz worthy?
Simply posting status updates and retweeting the same articles everyone else does isn’t going to cut it. Anybody can do this and already do. Turn the tables and go the opposite way. Your prospects are already afraid of who they should believe because of all the crappy content they see out there.
Your mission is to save them from this unfortunate situation.