Marketing is all about upstaging the competition. To be successful in any marketing campaign you need to have a competitive mentality and the goal to be the best in your defined market. It's the equivalent of being an athlete and playing on a championship team. Here are three ways to play the social media game like a champion.

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1. Scouting Report

Like most championship teams, they know just about every move their competition is going to make by scouting them beforehand. The same concept applies to social media marketing. Successful social media campaigns know how to reach their market in a way that the competition isn't.

What applications is the competition using?

Is the competition's main strategy to interact with customers or to inform customers with news feeds and status updates? 

What is your competition's primary social media outlet - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter? 

For example, our company just discovered there is another company in Asia operating under the same name and providing more or less the same services. We believe our competitive edge could be in social media marketing where we are already engaging the market by posting relevant news articles, asking followers to participate in polls and sharing photos from events we attend. 

The basic rule of marketing scouting reports is to always know your competition's best move and how to defeat it.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

You may be wondering how you can practice social media. Well the truth is you're practicing and improving all the time. The beauty of social media is that you delete a post just as easily as you added it. So, if you add a post that doesn't fit with your strategy, delete it. And if the damage has already been done and people have seen your post, the other beautiful thing about social media is that it's fast moving. Keep posting new content!

Another form of practicing is making sure employees within your organization know how to use social media. Social media training is becoming more relevant. It's amazing, despite almost 700 million Facebook users, how many still can't upload a link or a photo. 

As most championship athletes know, fundamentals are key to being a champion.

3. Go Big, or Go Home.

Browsing through LinkedIn or Facebook, it amazes me how many companies will set up pages and then never update it or fill it with information. If you are going to be on social media, do it big. Set the goals you want to achieve through social media, know how you are going to connect with your audience and analyze your performance. If you are going to be a social media champion: 

  • Complete your social media profiles with complete information
  • Contact information is a MUST
  • Update regularly. That is the basic definition of social media. It's fast and information changes often. Keep your company in the loop.
  • Know your competitive strategy: are you looking to interact or inform? 
  • Interact regularly with your audience whether it's through status updates or even inbox messages.
  • Analyze your work: Are you reaching your goals? What is your ROI for social media?

Social media is generally just one aspect to an overall marketing campaign. The competition for a consumer's attention could be endless. But in the end, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.