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Wyoming Business Tips for Feb. 23-March 1

February 14, 2014

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Mike Lambert, Wyoming Market Research Center manager

“I’ve been trying to do this social media thing, but how do I make my posts stand out from the hundreds or thousands that hit people’s accounts every day?” Melanie, Sheridan

I think this is something that everyone who is trying to use social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter faces. It’s a challenge to keep your efforts fresh and interesting.

A recent article in by Sadie Cornelius discusses “Seven Ways to Awe Your Audience With the Element of Surprise.” The article notes that everyone -- you, me, our customers -- is trying to keep up with hundreds of emails, multiple publications and endless social media posts.

How do we stand out from the crowd? The answer: Try surprise -- the surprise that helps your marketing efforts stand out without tarnishing your brand or reputation. Be creative in how to market your own personal product. Tease in advertisements or be creative in your slogans.

Also, make mistakes and don’t be afraid to fail. My father used to say that he was “perfect in every way, and modest, too.” If you’re not my dad, then you’re going to make mistakes. If you do so, admit it and fix it. Consumers today hate faceless corporations and love the personal approach. A mistake now and then makes you human. Don’t fear mistakes; fix them.

Make it personal. People love it when you make it personal. A restaurant might have a special sandwich named for a longtime customer. How about a sign on a booth saying “This booth is owned by Bob.” Look for ways to personalize your products or services.

Create something lasting. Create a lasting impression by doing things such as inserting a “Happy Anniversary, Joe and Mary” into a tweet or even an advertisement. Don’t overthink this, and don’t do it by rote. Trust your gut, and you will find new and unique ways to connect.

Try a little surprise -- you might be surprised at the results.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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