Social Media Marketing for Small Business: 12 Top Strategies

From audience and competitor analysis to social media calendars and hashtags, there are numerous strategies that you can implement today to drive engagement and boost your return on investment.

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However, at the same time, you need to use the right social media tips for your business to generate better results. And that’s exactly what we will discuss today. Let’s get started!

Optimize Your Social Profiles

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is adding only basic details to their social profiles and bios.

Make sure you’re not amongst them. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow you to personalize your company profile, so your customers get all the information about your business.

1. Optimizing Your Facebook Page

Here are a few tips to optimize your Facebook Business page.

  • Add your contact information, including phone number, email address, website link, and physical address.
  • Create a personalized username and URL.
  • Add your company logo to the cover image.
  • Add a call to action button.
  • Customize your page tabs.

2. Optimize Your Instagram Business Account

Make sure you have the following details:

  • Add a profile picture (preferably your company logo).
  • Choose the right category.
  • Write a personalized bio.
  • Add your website link.
  • Add your contact information (phone number and email address).

3. Optimize Your Twitter Business Account

Add the following details to your Twitter user profile:

  • Customized username
  • Banner and profile image
  • Website link
  • Tailored bio

4. Optimize Your LinkedIn Business Account

If you’re a B2B company, follow these tips to optimize your LinkedIn account:

  • Choose the right picture for your profile (you can add your logo)
  • Add a banner image highlighting your services
  • Write a compelling headline about the section
  • Add your website and other contact information
  • Highlight your specialties

Understand Your Social Audience

The key to successful social media marketing for small businesses is understanding the target audience. Though you may have a broad knowledge of who your audience is, you can pull social data to verify your understanding.

You can also analyze data on your current social audience. You can find this information on the analytics of the platform. For instance, when you go to Instagram insights, you will find audience demographics, locations, when they’re the most active, etc.

Find your social media competitors

Source: instaboom.eu

Similarly, you can analyze the audience data on all the social media platforms. This will allow you to post the type of content that they love.

Research the Competition

Yet another crucial social media marketing tip is to understand who your competitors are and how they’re using social media. This will help you craft a tailored social media strategy to outperform them.

Begin with identifying and analyzing the big fish in the market. They are doing something right to get the kind of followers and engagement they have, so it’s worth spending time on their profiles.

Not sure who exactly your competitors are? Not a problem. There are tools that help you find the social media competitors that you might not be aware of. For example, SimilarWeb is a free tool that allows you to enter your website URL, and it will automatically highlight your top competitors.

This report highlights the companies that are investing heavily in marketing and who have a good online presence, so they’ll be the good ones to check out.

Tip: Never skip competitor analysis, especially if you’re serious about social media marketing.

Create a Social Media Calendar

As a small business owner, you wouldn’t want to spend hours every day on social media. That’s perfectly fine. All you have to do is create a social media calendar and stick to it.

A social media calendar highlights what you will post in the upcoming days. It saves you time and ensures you don’t miss (or forget) posting content on social media.

A social media calendar usually includes

  • Copy and creative assets
  • Links and tags to be included
  • The date and time they’ll go live
  • The platform where they’ll be posted

Here’s how you can create a social media calendar:

  • Determine what resonates with your audience: You can do this by analyzing the engagement metrics of the existing content on your social channels. If you’re just starting out, do a competitor audit to check what drives the maximum engagement.
  • Create compelling content: Use the information gathered in the previous step to craft great content for your audience.
  • Decide how often to post on each social network: Depending on the industry you’re in, some social channels might bring better results. For instance, if you’re in the food or fashion industry, Facebook and Instagram may work better than Twitter.
  • Leverage a social publishing tool: Free tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Crowdfire allow you to schedule posts in advance, ensuring everything goes as planned.

Don’t Just Promote Your Products and Services

Your customers need a reason to follow you on social media. And it’s definitely not to hear you talking about yourself all the time.

In fact, social media for small businesses is not only about promoting products and services. If you’re constantly posting content regarding your products or how great you are, customers will get bored and might even lose faith.

Sure, you should post about your products or achievements once in a while, but ensure that to mix it with quality content.

For example, Bewakoof, an Indian clothing brand, posts memes and reels on its Instagram page more often than it promotes its apparel.

Here are some examples of content that you can post (that aren’t self-promotion):

  • Behind the scenes
  • User-generated content
  • National days
  • Polls and quizzes
  • Infographics
  • Interviews of influencers in your industry
  • Ask me anything (AMA) sessions
  • Responses to local and national events (but never comment on controversial topics)
  • Milestones (1000 or 5000 followers? Share a post)
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Partnerships

Tip: When in doubt, follow the 80:20 rule. 80% content, 20% promotion.

Post Content At Optimal Times

The most underrated small business social media marketing idea is prioritizing the time when you post the content.

While the best time to post on social media overall is Tuesdays to Thursdays between 9 to 10 a.m., each social platform has its own best time to post content.

For instance,

  • The Best times to post on Facebook are Mondays through Fridays at 3 a.m. and Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
  • The worst days to post on Facebook are Saturdays
  • The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays at 11 a.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • The worst days to post on Instagram are Sundays

While these are general studies and research, you should also look at your social media analytics to find optimal times to post content. You can find when your audience is the most active on Facebook and Instagram analytics. This will help you post when most of your audience is online, thereby increasing your engagement rate.

Best time to post on Facebook

Source: eleventygroup.com

Build Relationships With Your Audience

Everyone remembers the big brands. Nike, Adidas, McDonald’s, Calvin Klein, you name it.

However, when it comes to small businesses, the case is not the same. But the good news is that you have social media to talk directly to your customers and followers. You can even build long-lasting relationships over time and foster loyalty.

Statistics show that 44% of global internet users use social media to research brands. A part of that research is knowing who you are and what you stand for.

Therefore, it is crucial to respond to your audience when they engage with your posts. You can also initiate conversations using polls and quizzes on stories or asking for feedback.

Another advantage of nurturing relationships is that it helps build a loyal community that will lead to regular sales over time.

Here are some more strategies to help you build relationships with your audience (beyond comments):

  • Connect with influencers in your industry: Macro and nano influencers with as low as 1,000 but dedicated followers can help you establish trust in your industry. And if your business is location-specific, make sure to partner with influencers in those regions.
  • Mention followers in your posts and stories: User-generated content acts as social proof for your products and doesn’t look over promotional. Besides, when you share your followers’ content (while tagging them, of course), it makes them feel valued and fosters loyalty.

How to build relationships with customers on social media?

Source: instagram.com

Leverage Social Commerce

Social commerce allows you to sell your products directly from your social media handles. And the business is booming, with a global market value of $727.63 billion in 2022.

When you’re testing social commerce, here are the platforms that you should try:

1. Facebook

Facebook has the lowest barrier to entry. Facebook Shops are free to set up and are hosted within your Facebook business page.

You can even automatically sync your entire inventory from your website (if your eCommerce solution is supported as a partner platform).

The best part about Facebook Shops is that it features products based on the users’ interests and preferences to boost organic brand discovery. Customers can also complete the purchase within the platform (or on your website).

2. Instagram

Instagram Shopping is linked to your Facebook Shop (if you have linked your Instagram business account to your Facebook profile). You can use the existing catalog or create a new one for Instagram.

Best social media tools for small businesses

Source: socialsamosa.com

The visual nature of the platform gives you more opportunities for creatives and promotion. You can even create shoppable posts and stories that allow customers to purchase products instantly.

3. Pinterest

With people using Pinterest to find new products, using it to sell your items makes sense. Although it is worth mentioning that Product Pins are not a direct social commerce tool, it redirects users to your website where they can complete the purchase.

Try Different Content Formats

Social media marketing for small businesses is all about trying different types of content formats and analyzing what works the best.

Whether you’re starting out or have been following social media marketing tips, here are some ideas to amplify your efforts.

  • Try a combination of link and linkless tweets.
  • Use GIFs and emojis to show your human side.
  • Convert your blogs into short posts for Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Create infographics to share your blogs on Instagram.
  • Post a combination of photos and reels on Instagram.

Tip: Ensure all your videos have captions, as most people watch them on mute. Also, never use stock images you find online.

Don’t Ignore the Latest Trends

Social media is where trends happen. We’re not saying to hop into every meme that goes viral. But it is a good place to pay attention to the latest industry trends. This will help you understand what people are looking for when they use social media.By keeping your audience’s current needs and expectations in mind, you will be able to create better content and increase engagement.

You can also leverage social media listening tools to track keywords and mentions that are important to your business. This will help you understand what people are saying about your brand, enabling you to ensure they’re happy with your service. If not, you know what to do (yes, solve their issues). 😉

Use the Right Social Media Tools

Yet another ignored social media tip is using the right tools and technologies to simplify much of the work. One possible reason for it is that small business owners think these tools are expensive and not worth it.

However, there are numerous free tools that allow you to automate and streamline your social media marketing (but with limited features).

Here are two types of tools that you should use:

  • Engagement Management: Track your mentions and messages from across social networks in one place. You can even respond to comments and messages without logging in to each social network separately. The best social media management tools are Mailchimp, Sprout Social, and Zoho Social.
  • Content Curation: Creating content every day can be overwhelming. That’s where content curation can help. It allows you to find and share quality content from others (with credit, of course). Tools like BuzzSumo and Pocket can help you find content from your industry that you can share on social media.
  • Analytics: You cannot improve what you don’t know. Therefore, it is vital to measure your social media performance (in detail in the next step). You can use the platforms’ in-built analytics to understand how you’re performing and improve accordingly. You can also use third-party analytics tools, such as Snaplytics, Keyhole, and HubSpot, to track your performance from across platforms.

Measure and Optimize Your Performance

The last one on our social media marketing tips list is measuring your social media performance. It helps understand what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to fine-tune your strategies.

The analytics tools mentioned above give you a 360-degree view of your social efforts and allow you to track the social metrics that matter the most to your business.

Once you have an idea of what’s working, you can start working on optimizing them to generate even better results. You can even do A/B testing to boost your success over time.

Also, keep an eye on your top competitors to understand what they’re doing the best and to avoid the mistakes they’re making.

Tip: Never stop experimenting with the content formats you publish. People’s views change with every trend, making it imperative to jump on the bandwagon.

Concluding Thoughts

Social media marketing for small businesses requires additional efforts (as you’re still trying to get your name out there). However, with the right strategies, things can get a little easier. Make sure to use a combination of social media tips mentioned above to drive the best possible results.

Did we miss any best small business social media marketing ideas? Let us know in the comments.

With more than two years of experience in writing, Rohit Rajpal has been helping brands improve their online presence with easy to understand content. When he is not writing, he's busy reading about digital marketing and copywriting. On the other side, he runs his own blog called Learn SEO Pro.

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