If you want to be successful on social media, you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Of course, with the millions of people on social networking sites this is easier said than done, but even thought it might be challenging, it's still possible.

Below are several actionable tips that you can use to stand out and rise above the competition:

1. Aim for Alignment

Make sure your URL and page name features the terms you want people to use when they're searching for you. If you do landscaping, for instance, your URL on Facebook should be something along the lines of Also, when it comes to your social media pages and your website, consistency is crucial if you want to be easily found by people.

2. Don't Neglect the Background Info

On each of your accounts, fill out the section categorized as "About." Keep your keywords identical to the ones you use elsewhere and provide a link directing people to your website. Write a summary that not only informs the audience, but also engages them, and if you run a locally owned business make sure to include the location.

3. Create Posts That Encourage Interaction

You know that saying "a picture is worth a thousand words?" Well, it's true: words are great and certainly have their place, but there's nothing like a picture to draw people into your post, page, or website. Along those same lines, infographics and videos also work wonders.

A Case Study in Stand Out Behavior

In February of this past year, Mike Lewis headed to the airport in Tampa, Florida for his return flight home after guest speaking at a conference. Upon his arrival, he found out he had the day wrong and wasn't actually booked for a flight.

He called Delta's Customer Service to get everything figured out, and after a few minutes on hold, he was able to rebook a flight for that evening. Before powering down his electronic device, he tweeted a positive remark about Delta's customer service. The next morning, he saw that @DeltaBlog left him a response saying, "Thanks for your comment. We hope you had a great trip home to that new baby!"

Mike was surprised that they knew he had a baby, until he figured out that a member of their team specializing in social media must have come across his comment, gone to his Twitter profile, and gave a personal reply message using information they extracted from his profile.

Mike was so intrigued by this that he called the manager of social media at Delta, Rachel Rensink, to find out what really happened. She explained that the day he sent the tweet was the same day a huge blizzard hit Washington D.C. and caused substantial travel delays. That whole day she was bombarded with negative comments and tweets, and Mike's tweet stood out as the only positive remark she heard that whole day. Rachel was prompted to go to Mike's profile, then to his blog, and inferred that he must be anxious to get home and see his child.

The way Delta approached this situation was truly remarkable, and it's what makes them a stand out company when it comes to social media. Rather than issuing a generic response to Mike's tweet, Rachel went above and beyond to make her interaction personalized, and Mike was touched. And you can bet that Mike is now a Delta customer for life. With this simple, single interaction Delta Airlines offers a perfect example of how social media can be used to develop relationships and establish enduring customer loyalty.

Key Takeaways From Delta's Approach:

1. Listen and Show That You Care

Not only did Delta listen to Mike's tweet, but they also put time into understanding his circumstances.

2. Interact

Delta responded quickly and in a personalized way.

3. Show That Your Brand is Humanized and Approachable

By connecting with Mike on a personal level, Delta showed a humanistic side of their business that, with many companies, wouldn't be seen.

4. Have the Right Procedures in Place

Excellent backstage management and effective procedures prompted an instant reaction from the brand.

If you want to stand out on social media, hopefully the suggestions listed above and the story of Delta Airlines have given you some ideas and inspiration. It might seem like a competitive playing field, but standing out really isn't all that hard. When all is said and done, the willingness to show people you care and the drive to go the extra mile will take you further than you ever imagined.