If you’re a small business owner hoping to expand, social media marketing may be the answer. With over 2 billion people actively using social media, it’s an excellent way to acquire new customers and make your business thrive.
Small businesses have increasingly turned to social media marketing over the past decade to reach customers, create brand awareness and drive sales. Whether you’re just starting or have been in business for a while, using social media strategically and effectively can help your small business reach its potential without investing too much money in marketing. Here are nine tips for successful small business social media marketing:
Social media marketing for small businesses requires an agile, nimble, and creative approach due to limited resources and time compared to large enterprises.
You can’t just use the money to solve a problem; you need to be strategic about using social media to target the people who will see it.
Why should small businesses use social media?
With 4.2 billion people actively using social media today, compared to only 2.5 billion five years ago in 2017, it is worth researching how small businesses can capitalize on this growing trend. On average, people spend two and a half hours each day engaging with different platforms. As a result, many companies now use social media for marketing – 71% post daily. Continue reading to understand how to grow your business on social media.
Using social media is essential for businesses that want to be competitive. Here are five reasons why:
Reach more people who could become customers.
Attracting new customers can be a challenge for small business owners. To make their business successful, they need people to know it exists. Social media allows them to do this by creating exciting and engaging content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It helps them have the same competitive edge as larger companies and attract more customers to buy their products.
Increase people’s recognition of your brand.
A successful social media marketing strategy can help your business become more visible. Create content that people want to share and will spread among their followers. It will increase your brand’s reach, making more people aware of it and potentially leading to sales.
Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Customers.
Using social media, you can better understand your customers, including their interests, needs, behaviors, and desires. With our demographic information for all major social networks, you can tailor your marketing strategy to target these customers more effectively. This data is only a general overview, but it can help you figure out where your audience spends their time online.
Gain a better understanding of your competitors.
By looking at what businesses like yours are doing on social media, you can get ideas for your strategy and see what’s working well. A competitive analysis is essential to develop an effective social media marketing plan. Go beyond analyzing just your main competitors; take inspiration from the successes across different sectors.
Develop lasting connections with your customers.
Social media is a way to make your brand look attractive and an opportunity to build relationships with customers and potential new leads. Showing you care about customer experience and interaction will help create a lasting bond. Additionally, when people share and like your content on social media, it helps to increase your visibility for free. On average, users have 8.4 accounts – use platforms such as Facebook for growing followership and Twitter for customer service.
Tips for Small Businesses Using Social Media
Once you have identified the best social media platforms for your business, it’s time to begin posting. Here are some tips to help you get started with your social media marketing.
1. Plan your content.
Planning can save small businesses time and stress when posting content. Creating a social media content calendar is a great way to plan your posts so you don’t have to scramble for something at the last minute. Additionally, it will give you more time to think about the best types of content for your audience, such as blogs, images, and infographics.
When making a content calendar, make sure to include the following:
- The type of content you will post, such as blog posts, images, infographics, etc.
- The date that the post will be published.
- The social media platform you intend to use for posting.
- A link to the content, if available.
- A summary of the content.
- Include this in the post body.
- Are there any campaigns, holidays, or important dates to be aware of?
- List any links, tags, or hashtags you would like to include in your post.
If you’re unsure where to begin, look at our free content calendar templates to get started. Alternatively, watch this helpful video for a visual guide.
2. Schedule when you post.
Create a calendar using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to plan and post social media content in advance; this will make it easier to manage your social media while freeing up time for other essential tasks. Additionally, chatbots and AI-based content creation tools can further reduce the time spent on social media marketing by automating specific processes.
3. Commit to managing a community.
Creating engaging content is essential for successful social media marketing for small businesses, but managing your online community actively involves:
- Interacting with customers on social media platforms and responding to their comments.
- Answering questions.
- Building relationships with them.
Actively engaging with them will help establish a loyal customer base. Consider it an extension of your customer service approach and create positive connections to demonstrate that you value their patronage.
Community management is critical to improving your visibility on social media platforms. Algorithms on these platforms reward those who are active and have a dedicated following, so the more you interact with your followers, the more likely they are to see your posts. Utilize Hootsuite Streams and Inbox to stay engaged with your intended audience. Streams let you like, comment and reply to posts, while Inbox keeps track of all conversations you should be involved in.
4. Pay attention to changing patterns.
Pay attention to what’s trending on social media, so your content resonates with your followers. But don’t get caught up in jumping on every popular meme – it’s not worth it!
Social listening is a powerful tool for businesses to gain insights from their customers and potential customers. Hootsuite is an intuitive platform that can help you monitor conversations about your brand on social media. You can create a stream to track when people mention your business, allowing you to respond promptly to both praise and criticism, as well as understand how people perceive your business.
5. Sell products using social media.
Social media marketing has recently evolved to include social commerce, which allows companies to sell products directly on social media. By 2022, the global market for this kind of marketing is expected to reach $492 billion. Popular platforms now have options for social selling, such as Facebook and Instagram Shops, Pinterest Buyable Pins, and the TikTok Shop.
Social media is an effective strategy for small e-commerce or retail businesses. It eliminates the hassle of customers visiting your website, navigating around, and finding your products. Instead, you can meet them where they are already active on social platforms and have a higher chance of making a sale.
6. Use data from analytics to inform future posts.
Small businesses should track their success on social media using analytics tools. Analyzing past posts will help identify what content resonates best with their audience. Good-performing posts should be replicated, while those not doing well can be replaced with something new to increase engagement.
Analytics can help you understand which social media platform is most effective for your business. If you get more engagement on one platform than another, switch over. You don’t have to be present everywhere – focus on the platforms that work best for you.
Let’s look at how small businesses can benefit from using each platform.
Which social media platforms are most beneficial for small businesses?
Before creating a social media strategy for your small business, don’t assume which platforms your audience uses. For example, if you’re targeting Gen Z, you may focus on Instagram and TikTok; however, 25% of Facebook users are also within that age range. Consider this before deciding which platforms to use.
If you want to reach out to baby boomers, focus on social media. Facebook and Pinterest are the most popular platforms for this generation. People over 65 are now the fastest-growing users of Facebook. You don’t need to use every social media platform; you can select which suits your target audience and business objectives best.
Which social media platforms are most beneficial for small businesses?
Facebook remains the most popular social media platform worldwide, with over 2.9 billion monthly active users and 200 million businesses.
Facebook is beneficial for small businesses because:
- Facebook’s users come from various backgrounds, ages, genders, and interests.
- You can use Meta to create a Facebook page, run ads, track audience data, and set up an online shop in one place.
- Facebook can provide a complete customer service experience, from initial contact to final purchase.
Before using Facebook for your small business, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is the group of people that you are trying to reach? If your target audience is not 18-44, Facebook may not be your best platform as it caters mainly to this age range.
- What are your objectives for your business? Understanding your goals can help you decide if Facebook is the right platform for your business. Your goals may include increasing brand visibility with a Page or selling products through Shops or ads.
- How much time can you give me? According to research, posting on Facebook 1-2 times per day is the best way to get results. If you don’t have the time for this, you should reconsider your resources.
If you’re in the fashion, food, or film industries, Instagram is a great tool to reach your target audience. It’s beneficial because it focuses on specific topics rather than being a general platform like Facebook. Most of the users on Instagram are between 18 and 34; if your focus is baby boomers, then you should consider other methods.
Instagram is beneficial for small businesses because it provides them with an effective platform.
- Instagram offers an in-app shopping feature that conveniently lets users purchase items in posts, Reels, and Stories.
- The platform is visually oriented, making it well-suited for fashion, beauty, travel, and food businesses.
- The average Instagram user spends 11 hours per month using the app, showing high levels of engagement.
Before using Instagram for your small business, ask yourself these questions:
Does my brand look good visually? Posts on Instagram need to be visually attractive to be successful.
Can I commit to posting regularly? It is recommended to post on Instagram 3-7 times a week to maintain an active presence.
Do I have enough time to make exciting content? If you don’t have the time or resources to create good content, Instagram may not be the right platform for your business.
Twitter is a popular platform with many active users. It is the ninth most visited website globally and has over 200 million daily active users. On top of that, 16% of internet users aged 16-64 use it for brand research, and 54% are likely to purchase new products. For advertisers, among powerful platforms, Twitter offers one of the lowest Cost Per Impression (CPM) rates.
Twitter is an excellent tool for small businesses because it provides the following:
- Twitter is about talking to people. You can use it to communicate with your customers or other businesses.
- Twitter is an important platform where people can keep up with current events; this is why news organizations and journalists are so interested in it.
- Using hashtags is a great way to make sure your content reaches people who are interested in the topic.
Before using Twitter for your small business, ask yourself these questions:
- Do your customers use Twitter? If your customers don’t use Twitter, it is not worth investing time into building relationships on the platform.
- What type of information will you be posting? Twitter is an excellent way to share news and updates quickly. Another platform might be more suitable if you mainly post pictures or longer pieces of content.
- Do you have the means to invest in Twitter? We suggest tweeting 1-5 times daily if you want to use Twitter for your small business. If that’s more than you can handle, Twitter may not be your best platform.
Even if you don’t think TikTok marketing is the right fit for your brand, established brands with an audience outside of Gen Z are still trying it out.
TikTok is beneficial for small businesses because:
- You don’t need much money to make good content; everyone has an even chance.
- If you are creative and come up with unique ideas, you will succeed on TikTok.
- If you create good content, it has the potential to reach millions of people through viral sharing.
Before using TikTok for your small business, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have time to make TikTok videos? Creating TikTok videos and posting regularly takes time, even if you don’t have an entire production team to help you.
- Does the group of people that your product or service is aimed at use TikTok? TikTok’s primary audience is 18-24-year-olds, so it’s a great platform to consider if you’re targeting Gen Z or young millennials.
- Do you have any ideas for making creative videos? If you’re not sure what type of content to post on TikTok, take some time to browse the app and get ideas.
Pinterest has evolved over the years from simply being a collection of ideas to becoming one of the web’s top visual search engines. People not only enjoy discovering fresh ideas on Pinterest but are also increasingly using it to make buying decisions.
Pinterest is beneficial for small businesses because:
- Eight of ten Pinterest users report that the platform makes them feel good, making it a positive space. Being on this positive platform can help to improve your brand’s image and reputation.
- Images are very appealing to people, as 90% of the information taken in by the brain is visual. Pinterest is a great platform to showcase attractive visuals related to your product or service.
- Using Pinterest can help you reach new audiences. It acts as a visual search engine, meaning people looking for products and services like yours can easily find you.
Before using Pinterest for your small business, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have enough images to use Pinterest? You’ll need high-quality photos to make your pins stand out on Pinterest.
- Is the group of people you are trying to reach using Pinterest? Women between the ages of 25 and 34 make up 29.1% of Pinterest’s ad audience, while men only account for 15.3%.
- Do you have items for sale on Pinterest? 75% of weekly Pinterest users always shop, so ensure your business has something for them.
YouTube is a popular video-sharing social network with a potential ad reach of 2.56 billion people. It is an effective platform for advertising products and services to its large audience.
YouTube is beneficial for small businesses because:
- You can get people to visit your website by adding a link to your YouTube videos.
- Adding YouTube videos to your website can help improve your SEO since they often appear in Google searches.
- You can use YouTube to increase your brand’s visibility. Post videos on the platform to capture viewers’ attention and raise awareness about your business.
Before using YouTube for your small business, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have the means to produce content? Creating YouTube videos takes more effort than making TikTok videos. It would be best if you had a good camera and some editing skills (or someone to help you with them).
- Do you have something unique to say? Before starting a YouTube channel, consider whether you have something special or exciting to offer that other businesses in your industry don’t. Ask yourself what sets you apart.
- Can you commit to uploading regularly? To create a successful YouTube channel, you must post new videos regularly; this could mean posting once a week, once a month, or even daily – make sure to stick to the same schedule.
Small businesses understand that social media is an essential part of today’s world, which can be seen in the demographics across various platforms. However, many lack the resources to create and maintain a strong presence on main networks.
Save time and grow your small business with social media. This simple dashboard lets you post to all your social media channels, interact with followers and track what people say about your business.