How many companies are there on social media, jostling for audiences’ attention? So many that we’ll never have an exact figure. Which ones have the upper hand? Again, it’s difficult to say. On social networks, the advantage goes not to those companies with the largest capital, the longest history or the highest market rank, but rather those that seize opportunities and express themselves. Regardless of age or size, this is within all companies’ capabilities – which is what makes social media a level playing field.
Social Media: Where Character Trumps Spend
Many companies don’t have the budget to regularly pump thousands into sponsored social media campaigns. But this doesn’t mean they can’t compete. When used effectively, sponsored campaigns can indeed have a significant impact on brand communication. However, they remain just one aspect of the big picture. What’s more, if the foundations of a good social media strategy aren’t in place, sponsored campaigns are unlikely to pay off.
So what are the foundations of a great social media strategy? They are closely tied to the foundations of the organization itself. On social media, companies should start by demonstrating their core values; through the content and messages they share, they should focus on what makes them different.
The companies that stand out on social media have one key thing in common: they are unique. They use humor and creativity to create a personality, capture audiences’ imagination, and drive visibility organically – often to the point of going viral. Here are some great examples of this.
Leaps of Faith
Social media allows companies to be truly original, which is why small, plucky businesses can really compete with the big guys. It’s no coincidence that startups are thriving at the same time that social media is dominating business interaction – the latter levels the playing field, lends itself to creativity, and gives all companies the same chance of success.
All that remains for companies to do (and this is no easy task) is to make the most of this chance. Virgin is now one of the largest companies in the world, but in a recent blog post Richard Branson recalls how it began: as a leap of faith, with a focus on imagination. This is the attitude companies must have on social media if they really want to get ahead.