Get the Competitive Advantage Using Social Media
We all want it! To be selected. To win the big deal. What will it take to set us apart so that we are selected? What can we do to create the opportunity to win?
In sales and marketing, you hear that term “competitive advantage” thrown around a lot.
Competitive advantage is defined as the strategic advantage one business entity has over its rival entities within its competitive industry. Achieving Competitive Advantage strengthens and positions a business better within the business environment. (Thanks Wikipedia)
Part of identifying your competitive advantage is understanding what the needs are of the company or individual you are pitching. The other part of the solution is creating the advantage, or actually making it happen. One way to do this is to be likable/authentic/memorable.
How can you do all this? We both know that’s not the easiest question to answer. But by trying new things, you may find your success.
I’ve been using Gist for many months and while I know I am not taking full advantage of it, I have recently become a fan of their Gmail integration feature. It shows me the social media updates of the people in the email address.
As I send an email, I can see what they person or people are saying on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Imagine using this in the email message I send to them:
“Hey, I loved the article you shared on how to find a job on Facebook”.
Sometimes, it is that personal touch that can be your advantage.
Consider the other types of updates people share on their social networks:
- New contracts
- Upcoming events
- Travel plans
- Motivational quotes or news updates
- Sometimes even what they had for breakfast!
While I love how Gist is working for me, I know others are using a tool called Rapportive. It works in many of the same ways, however, I think what makes it better/different is that it finds the social media updates of people even if you don’t have them listed in your “network”. Now that is pretty smart!
Gmail Add-on Makes Email Smarter from Mashable reviews the features of Rapportive. I have just started using it. One reviewer said it wasn’t about using Gist or Rapportive, but using both! They have redundancy but complementary intelligence!
Knowledge is power. These tools can help find the data/information. Remember, using it appropriately is also critical. While we live in a world that is becoming very transparent, not everyone is completely comfortable with sharing and understanding. So the words of caution here are, don’t get too personal.
We are living in a connected world and having easy access to information that will allow us to better manage our professional relationships; that’s what this is all about.
Career Sherpa can be found on Twitter at @careersherpa, feel free to follow if you like what you see here. You can also find her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon. Hannah Morgan, aka, Career Sherpa provides advice and information related to reputation management, social media strategies and job search/career mapping. Her website is: www.careersherpa.net
Knowledge is indeed power, when used appropriately. Knowledge, especially that gained through tools such as these help to add that something extra to the conversation but shouldn’t be the reason for communication.
Thanks for highlighting this as I will try out both.
I am really impressed… I don’t have any words to appreciate this post, the person who created this post surely knew the subject well..thanks for sharing this with us.
The move towards a more social business environment makes it imperative for companies to be able to adapt to the changing tides. Whether your company is a late adopter or an innovator in this area can mean a lot in the next 5 years, since social is expected to become “mainstream.” The incorporation of social media strategy to the traditional marketing and customer service mix is where we can see SMM’s presence. The question whether it will be competitive advantage or not would depend on what perspective you are looking at it from – and how you are going to act on it both in the short term and long term. If you’re going to use social media for lead generation, customer service and competitor research while marketing with your customer in mind, then you’re well on your way towards building a competitive advantage.
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