It’s hard to be a believer in social media when you’re not seeing results. Even with all the promises out there – it works for you if you work for it – it’s hard to be optimistic when your posts generate little engagement. So, where does success come from in social media? How can you use this channel effectively to generate leads, increase sales and grow your brand?

The reason why social media is tied to success is because it does work. The trouble is that it’s so competitive, it’s difficult to be seen or heard. You can probably relate. Do you notice everything on your news feeds? Are there posts you skip over because they’re barely noticeable? Chances are, most posts start to look the same after a while.

Improve Your Social Media Strategy with Creative Thinking

To be successful on social media, you must stand out. You must create the post that makes people stop scrolling because it’s brilliant, beautiful, funny, controversial, etc. Many brands are afraid to do this because they don’t want to bring the wrong attention their way. While this is understandable, you can’t let fear stop you from being great.

To help yourself stand out without compromising your brand integrity, here are a few of the best practices to follow.

  • Be human. We can’t stress enough how important it is to be human. Use language that people relate to. Hit home with important topics or emotional stories. Wish your followers a happy Friday.

  • Separate your channels. Yes, we know it’s easier to post the same updates to all your channels, but don’t do it. Each channel should be treated separately with custom content.

  • Use live streaming. With new live streaming features, it’s easier than ever before to show a different side of your business – one that’s raw and human. Use these streaming services to showcase special events; unveil a new product or host a Q&A.

  • Run a contest. Every so often, run a contest on your page and give away something special such as a gift card, a discounted event or a free product. People love the idea of getting something for free.

  • Offer a quiz or survey. Quizzes and surveys are smart marketing tools. They are highly interactive and open up new engagement opportunities. Design questions that will intrigue your audience and provide you with insight.

  • Develop a hashtag. Social media hashtags are a great way to generate buzz around your brand. Create a custom hashtag that will help get your brand noticed and use it on your marketing materials.

  • Create a Video series. With better camera equipment and internet connections, it’s not difficult to produce quality video content. Viewers can engage with your brand in a new way, while a series of videos keep traffic coming to your site.

Social media is a bit of an enigma, but don’t let it intimidate you. When used effectively, you will see the results you want. For fresh, out-of-the-box ideas, we highly recommend these 20 social media post ideas that you can customize for your own brand!