Social media is just like your business: you have to get ahead to stay ahead.

With so many people taking advantage of social media in 2018, you have to be smarter and faster than your competition in order to stand out, lure in new customers and keep your current audience engaged. Fortunately, that’s not all that hard to do. Here are some ways to get ahead on your social media platforms.

Pay attention. One of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition is to study what they’re doing and either do it better or jump ahead of their game. Make sure you follow their business pages and check in regularly—just do it unobtrusively, not as your brand. Use a third party site—set up a Google alert, for example, or look for them through socialmention.com. Once you see what works for them, you’ll know what will—and what will not—work for you.

Learn from your customers. Facebook analytics continues to evolve. If you use Google Adwords—and you should—you already have a wealth of information through Google analytics. With your competitors, pay attention to review sites that mention them, for good or for ill, to get an idea of what customers are going to them for.

Add value. From day one, we’ve advised against using social media as a broadcast tool. The quickest way to turn off a potential customer is to talk blatantly about yourself. If you want to kill a sale, be obvious. The idea is to interact and engage, to provide information or something that enriches the lives of your customers. Make them feel wanted, and they’ll return. Blogs are good way to show off your expertise, and they provide continual content. Ask your customers what they want to read about. Ask frequent questions of your audience, like: how can we improve your experience? Or, more bluntly: what can we do for you?

Get visual. Graphic content is still the most compelling content. Video blogs are becoming more and more prevalent, but you don’t need to step into those waters if you’re not ready to. One good way to catch your audience’s attention is with a compelling infographic. There are sites that allow you to create them for free. Canva is about the easiest, making a compelling infographic is simply a matter of dragging and dropping.

Those are a few of our ideas on how to get ahead of your competitors. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!

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