Social media marketing

10 social media marketing tips for small businesses

If you’re looking for ways to improve your small business social media marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 simple social media tips to boost your performance.

Social media when used correctly, can be a very useful channel for small businesses to connect with existing and potential customers. Consider the fact that there are now 4.2 billion active social media users. Those users are reported to spend an average of 2.5 hours on social media, every day.

Used smartly, the 2.5 hours of daily social media time can be used to grow any business to success. Small businesses can use this time to build and increase brand awareness, build customer trust, generate quality leads, and increase sales.

Here are 10 social media tips you need to effectively market your small business and maximize your social media impact in 2021.

1. Start with a strategy

Getting started with using social media to market your business is easy. We’re all familiar with the popular social media platforms, and we use them every day. Plus, creating business accounts and sharing your content on these platforms costs nothing.

But before you get started with posting your business content, you need a strategy– A plan. Without a solid plan, you have no clear goal for what you’re trying to achieve. That means there’s no way to know if you’re getting a return on your social media investment.

So, before you jump in head first, create your social media plan upfront. Here are some strategic social media tips to creating a good social media marketing plan:

Set your social media goals

Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely social media marketing goals. Your goals should be based on metrics that will have a real impact on your business. For example, instead of focusing on likes for your Ads, you should focus on improving your click-through-rate (CTR).

Perform competitive research.

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. There are businesses in your industry that are bigger than yours, and who have been successful with social media marketing. You don’t have to copy them. But you can learn from them, reduce your learning curve and potentially be more impactful than them.

A competitive analysis is a great way to learn what practices work best on social media for a business like yours.

Audit your current social media situation

Chances are you’re already using social media to market your business. If this is true for you then now is the time for you to look at what’s currently working for you, and what’s not. Document and take notes, and make the necessary adjustments.

Create a social media calendar

This is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. Businesses that have a social media calendar report seeing more productivity and audience engagement. That’s because a social media calendar helps you post the right content at the right time.

2. Don’t always promote yourself

Your audience will get bored and grow tired of your brand if you’re constantly promoting your product or services, and how great you are. The majority of people do not like that. They are not on social media to get sold to.

Think about it — the brands you love and follow on social media aren’t always promoting themselves and tooting their own horn about how good they are.

small business social media tip

Hootsuite actually recommends starting with the 80-20 rule. That means 80% of your content should focus on your audience and be less about you. While the other 20% should be used to promote your business. 

Your audience needs a reason to follow your brand on social media. They want valuable content that helps and entertain them. They don’t follow you just to hear you talk about how great you are all the time. Would you keep a friend who just spoke about themselves all the time, and never listened or helped you? Probably not. You wouldn’t like them very much.

Use social media to build your brand — create content that your audience will want to see and share with their network.

Here are some content ideas that are focused on your audience.

  • User-generated content
  • Giveaways
  • How-to guides and tutorials
  • Blog posts
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Infographics
  • Interviews
  • Quotes
  • AMA sessions (ask me anything)
  • Responses to local or national events

3. Identify your most suitable platforms

Social media is one huge universe of its own. There are so many social media networks that small businesses can take advantage of. We recommend starting with just one or two. Once you’re established on those two platforms, you can start joining other platforms.

Now, you don’t have to get signed up on every platform. The first thing you need to do is research your audience. Find out what platforms they like the most, and why. Your platform choices should be backed by real data.

For example, say you’re targeting Gen Z with your marketing. your instinct might be to ignore Facebook and focus on Instagram and Tiktok. But data shows that about 25% of all Facebook users are aged between the ages of 18 and 24. In this case, leaving Facebook out of your social media strategy would be a costly mistake.

Source: Statista

Here’s an overview of the top social media platforms and what they’re best for.

Facebook

Facebook has over 2.8 billion users and is dominated by the age groups 18-24 years and 25-34 years. The Facebook platform can be used to share a variety of content – from images to short videos and long-form videos. Unlike other social media platforms, Facebook is good for both B2B and B2C marketing and offers the most advanced targeting capabilities for paid ads.

Twitter

Twitter is best for companies that frequently share daily or hourly updates and wants to build industry authority. Use Twitter as part of your social media marketing strategy to stand out from your competition by consistently engaging with your audience, by sharing links to blog posts and other content.

LinkedIn

With over 760 million users, LinkedIn is best used for B2B marketing and build thought leadership in your respective industry. Industry experts and businesses share industry-related content to establish their thought leadership and authority in their industry. LinkedIn users don’t access LinkedIn to get entertained, they go to LinkedIn to learn about their industry, see what their professional contacts are up to, and look for career opportunities.

Instagram

Instagram is best for B2C marketing, especially for products that are visually appealing. You should prioritize Instagram if your target audience is between the ages 18-24 and 25-34. Today Instagram is more than a photo-sharing platform. They’re added a bunch of other features such as IG TV, stories, and recently, Reels. These are all the available features businesses and brands can take advantage of.

Pinterest

Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is ideal for businesses with a mainly visual offering, like fashionistas, artists, or make-up artists. Also, 93% of users go to Pinterest to plan for purchases, discover new things, and be inspired. So, make sure that all your pins link back to your website for people to purchase.

Choose the right social media platforms. Always remember that the audience mindset is different for each and every platform. So post appropriate content.

4. Know your audience

Okay, this social media tip probably should’ve been the first one we talked about but hey, here we are. Before you can get started on posting amazing quality content on social media to market your brand, you need to first understand who your audience is.

The best place to start is to look at your current customers. Figure out who they are, and why they need or want your product or service. Then you’ll need to back this up with data you gather from analytic. Analytics will tell you who buys from and interacts with your brand on social media.

The reason you’re doing this is so that you can create buyer personas. By learning what motivates them and what their interests and hopes are you will understand how to best communicate with them. That’s not all, having a better understanding of your audience also helps improve your targeting thereby increasing your click-through-rate, and engagements.

5. Use CTAs

Basically, a CTA (call-to-action) is you telling the person reading your marketing message (be it a social media post, website page, email, or advert) what to do next. Your marketing message could be a social media post, web content, or an advert.

When you’re using a CTA in your marketing, make it clear. It’s recommended to always use one CTA. If you have two or more, your customer will get confused and may end up not taking any action.

The point is, let your audience know what is it that you would like them to do next. Should they visit your website? View your video? Take a quiz? Buy your product? Make a decision, and stick to it.

6. Run social media ads.

Look, we’re going to be straight with you. Social media is great but you will have a very hard time getting people to notice your brand organically. Why? Because social media platforms have changed their algorithms and as a result, your content only reaches a maximum of 6.4% of your followers or fans.

There is something you can do about this. It involves spending some money.

Enter social media paid ads. Paid ads on social media are a sure way to get your brand or content in front of your target audience. For as little as R50 spent on Facebook, you can reach up to 1000 people in one day!

Now, simply setting up an ad campaign and putting a chunk of money in it won’t help your business. You need to set your advertisement’s goal. What do you want to achieve? Is it to get more followers? To make a sales? Or to get feedback. You need to have a set goal for running an ad, and your ad needs to include a strong compelling CTA.

Set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

7. Stand out

There are thousands of other small businesses that use social media to market their products or services. It is estimated that 71% of small businesses use social media. You are competing with all other businesses on social media for audience attention.

In order to get noticed, you have to stand out, and no you don’t necessarily need a viral piece of content to separate your business from the rest and get in front of more people.

What you need to understand is that social media is personal. It’s your personal brand first, and your job or business second. To cut through the noise you need to show personality, be different, and be remembered.

Here are a few small business social media tips on how to stand out.

  • Theme your accounts – Theming means sticking to a distinct color palette or approach, using the same filters and the like to create a distinct look and feel for your brand.
  • Use strong and consistent visuals – Keep your images and video clear and as high quality as you possibly can.
  • Start conversations – the whole point of social media marketing is for you to connect with your audience and fans. So, try starting conversations instead of just speaking to your audience. Get them involved.
  • Be yourself – This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to help your business stand out on social. Just be yourself.

8. Balance quality and quantity

This one is tricky, but it’s still worth mentioning. Some say quantity is more important than quality, and others argue that it’s actually the other way around. We say they’re both equally important. Especially when it comes to social media.

Our first small business social media tip included having a content calendar to help you become more effective with your small business social media plan. What we didn’t mention before is that you need to find the right frequency for your posts.

Source: Asset Digital Communications

Unless you have a dedicated social media team or agency, you probably should not be attempting to post multiple times a day. Your content quality will suffer greatly. Instead, you could opt to post 5 high-quality posts per week, instead of 2-3 very low-quality posts per day.

By high quality we mean, interesting, enjoyable, and informative social posts that offer value to your audience.

To avoid stretching yourself and your resources, focus on using one or two social channels really well in the beginning. Once you’ve mastered them, got your grove, and have figured out the right balance between quality and quantity, then you can build from what you’ve learned and expand your efforts.

9. Make use of hashtags

Most people look at hashtags as just a way to grow on most social media platforms. But hashtags are more than that. They are a great targeting mechanism if used the correct way. Hashtags allow your content to get discovered by people following trends or looking for specific topics on social media.

Here are a few quick small business social media tips on how to use hashtags properly:

  • Don’t hashtag each and every word on your social post copy
  • Don’t use generic hashtags like #business or #Marketing.
  • Discover popular hashtags in your niche and jump on them only if the content you’re sharing is relevant.
  • Consider how your hashtags look when written. For example, avoid things like- #amananalbumparty
  • Don’t use more than 4 hashtags in one post

10. Track performance and optimize

Our last social media tip for small businesses is all about improving your social media marketing efforts. Now that you’ve done an awesome job developing a social media strategy, choosing the right platform for your brand, and basically followed everything we’ve recommended. Now is the time to review your progress.

Constantly check how your content is performing on social media. Are you engaging your audience? Is your following growing? Are you reaching your SMART goals?

Keep up-to-date with your goals and your metrics. Analyze what works for your brand, what doesn’t, and use those insights to fine-tune your efforts and improve your performance.

There are many analytics tools you can use to get a good picture of your social media efforts. You can get signed up at Buzzsumo to see how many people are engaging your content and how many shares you have. You can use social media tools such as Hootsuite or Sproutsocial to handle all your social media scheduling and analytics.

Finally, Have Fun!

Social media is meant to be fun and enjoyed by all those that are using it. This is our ultimate social media tip for your small business. Be different. Be interesting. Be genuine. And, Have fun! If you do this right you will gain tons of followers who’ll eventually become your customers. So enjoy!

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