Easy Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses: The Ultimate Guide

31 August, 2021  

Some years back, to have a website and maybe a blog was enough online presence for a small business. Today, though, those alone are but half of the equation.

Nowadays, people are increasingly reluctant to leave the comfort of their usual platforms to engage brands somewhere else. So, if you want to dive into more direct marketing strategies, social media is the way to go.

But with so many popular social platforms established already – and new ones popping up every other year – it can be really tricky to figure out where and how to start!

And that in itself can have a huge difference in the results your strategy gets.

So, to help with all that, we have come up with a list of the top platforms to focus on and paired them with some cool ideas that anyone interested in social media marketing for small businesses should find useful.

The Power of Social Media for Small Business

Just in case you’ve been reluctant to do so thus far, it’s a good idea to start by taking a quick look at why people might be interested in social media marketing ideas for small businesses.

The truth is, social media as a marketing platform should be a no-brainer for many reasons. Still, the two key aspects relevant for small businesses are instantaneity and potential reach.

  • Instantaneity. It means immediate engagement with your content, fast results, and opportunities to improve your marketing strategy on the go.
  • Potential reach. Also called virality, if your content hits the jackpot, it will spread like wildfire giving you a marketing boost. 

If your marketing strategy can successfully master both, your small business has better chances of seeing conversion increases at all stages of the sales funnel.

But of course, as with every plan, social media marketing for small businesses has its risks. So, there are a couple of pitfalls worth keeping in mind as we move forward if you want a successful social strategy: 

  • On the downside of instantaneity, social content tends to be very topical and will not stay in the audience’s mind for long. So, you’ll have to keep up with the current. A rigorous posting schedule should be at the top of your priority list.
  • Social media audiences can be harsh. If your brand demonstrates to be out of touch or makes a faux pas, the virality of social media could spread it all over the internet. Therefore, better be careful and mindful to avoid a PR crisis that might set you back considerably.

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Tailoring Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Tried and tested by many social media marketing services for small businesses, this basic layout to get your social media campaign going can yield good results in a short time to boot.

As it is usual in marketing, it all starts with your goal and your target. It’s not the same to try to convince 20-year-olds to purchase something as it is to make 40-year-olds aware of your brand.

So ask yourself, what are you looking to accomplish? Who are you targeting? The answers to those two questions will shape half your marketing plan. The other half has more to do with how much you are willing to invest – both money and time.

In this article, we’ve focused on platforms and strategies that can work for all different kinds of budgets. You could even start small and work your way up, as most social media marketing companies for small businesses recommend.

Best Social Media Platforms for Small Business

To accommodate your brand’s goal and target, we prepared a veritable buffet of social media marketing ideas for small businesses. But don’t worry – used right, you can fit more than one on your plate!

Be Found on Youtube

YouTube has a reputation as more of a video-hosting platform than a social media one. It is probably due to its limited means of direct interaction – which is mostly tied to the comments section of every video – and the fact that a lot of businesses use it as their online video portfolio

However, YouTube could be a key player in any social media marketing for small businesses, as it is the second biggest search engine after Google. The perfect setting for brand discovery and authority building. 

But how to work it in your favor?

  • Produce useful video content with good SEO. If you make the top search results and cater to your viewership needs, you could be facing brand recognition growth in little to no time.
  • YouTube also has the strongest ad game of all social media, with many options for all budgets and relevant metrics to better target and develop your campaigns. If your budget allows it, you will not regret it.

All in all, YouTube is not very time-consuming as a marketing platform, but it can be a bit on the expensive side as you will need to meet some production standards. 

According to many social media marketing companies for small businesses, you could – and should – produce a small variety of content, such as tutorial videos, explainers videos, customer reviews, etc.

To make the most out of your investment, cross-share your video content not only on other social media platforms but your webpage and blogs as well! There isn’t a page that can’t be improved with video content.

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Be Seen on Instagram

This social media platform focuses almost solely on visuals and aesthetic appeal to users between 18 and 25 years old. If your product is visually compelling and your target audience is in the range, Instagram might be perfect for you. 

But what about goals?

Instagram marketing is at its strongest on brand awareness and community building. It has many features useful for social media marketing for small businesses, but let’s focus today on your best options:

  • Engage your audience with live content and calls to action. Instagram offers CTA buttons for your bio, digital gift cards, and many features to encourage audience participation, such as polls, Q&As, and live guests.
  • Play the long game increasing conversions with sweepstakes and Instagram shopping.

As you can appreciate, Instagram can be very time-consuming because it focuses on live and ephemeral content. But don’t let that scare you – on the plus side, you can connect your business profile to Facebook, repost content there, and hit two social birds with one stone.

Build Community on Facebook

The grandfather of social media, Facebook, is still going strong among millennials (25-35 y/o) and older. Facebook is better for brand recognition and paid advertisement, but not so much for actual selling. 

One of its big pros is its balance of text and image content. Let’s see how to best market on Facebook:

  • Set up a fan page for your small business and keep your community up to date on events. Nurture your fanbase with groups and engaging discussions.
  •  Build your authority by regularly posting news related to your niche. Most Facebook users get their information there!

Connect on LinkedIn

Relatively new as a social media platform, LinkedIn is best known as a professional network, so its strongest suit is B2B marketing. It has a nice balance of text and image content, although favoring text a bit more.

On LinkedIn, the best social media marketing for small businesses relies on centering on brand authority and company culture:

  • Build community among your employees and let them reflect positively on your brand.
  • Post relevant and highly informative content related to your area of expertise.
  • Engage in discussions to keep the brand relevant and informed.

On LinkedIn, you’ll be targeting professionals 30-years-old and up, which means a high-quality standard for content. Better be prepared to make a modicum investment to be sure your output is up to par.

Listen to Your Customers on Twitter

This text-based social media enjoys the preference of Millennials for expressing themselves. Therefore, if the target audience fits, Twitter can be great for customer feedback, social listening, and tackling FAQ – the whole customer satisfaction package.

Not only can you work that end of your sales funnel, but you can also use Twitter to attune to your target audience – its interests, problems, and concerns. Remember to let them know you understand them and are here to help!

As you can see, there’s no budget required – but it can be very time-consuming, so be ready to tackle every and all interaction coming your way. Twitter requires a high engagement level and to keep up with trending topics and current news to stay relevant.

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Tips for Small Businesses Social Media Marketing 

Before we go, we wanted to leave you some important considerations. If you are ready to embark on a long-term strategy of social media marketing for small businesses, check them out and keep them in mind – they will do your small business nothing but good.

  • Go with business accounts whenever you can. Not only makes your small business look more professional, but they usually offer more options like metrics and calls to action.
  • Check out the best days and times to post on each social media, according to your niche. Believe it or not, social media posting is now down to a science – educate yourself to maximize your posts’ impact and reach.
  • Be consistent in your posting frequency and your visual identity. After some time, your audience will get accustomed to some standard for your brand, and you must keep it up.
  • Follow related brands to expand your business’ presence, and engage in conversations. No matter the social media platform, it is good to reach out to similar brands – if nothing more, to check the competition. It could at the least give you some insight into your target.

Parting Words

When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, there are as many reliable strategies as there are fingers in your hand, at the very least. The better fit for your business will depend solely on the goal, target, budget, and time willing to invest.

If you find yourself in doubt, you can always focus on a couple of the proposed social platforms – the ones better aligned to your business marketing plans. But be careful: trying to be active on all of them will spread your resources too thin and affect the final result. 

And finally, take social media marketing as a responsibility as much as a tool. Online presence is not something you can carelessly abandon or neglect without repercussions on your brand image. So roll up your sleeves, and let’s go!

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