How to Leverage Social Media as a Small Business
Updated: Jan 14
It’s no surprise how much social media has taken over the world. 46 percent of Americans even admitted to checking their smartphones before they even get out of bed in the morning. Beyond personal use, 90 percent of businesses use social media for marketing strategies.
But what percentage is leveraging social media to the fullest extent?
Endless opportunities for profit and worthwhile connections exist on social media if you know where to look. Here are a few ways to best utilize social media and make those bountiful opportunities a reality.
Reimagine Social Media
What do you see when you hear “social media”? Is it grandma showcasing her grandchildren’s spectacular Christmas concert? Or that one person from high school still posting their breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Whatever you see, it’s time to paint a new picture.
Social media went from a means of entertainment to a multi-million dollar marketing tool. Today, 90 percent of all Instagram users follow a business account. Personal social media pages and business pages are separate entities — treat them as such.
Leverage the Social Media Omniverse Piece by Piece
Each piece of the social media puzzle is viable and important. Let’s break down what you need to know about these platforms.
This Facebook-owned social media platform is famous for its #selfies, Instastories, and aesthetically pleasing accounts. But beyond that, it’s a profitable business venture. With 1 billion monthly users, Instagram projects to make reach 18.16 billion U.S. dollars in annual ad sales in 2021
Leveraging Instagram for your small business means showing off what you do in the most creative way possible. Create behind-the-scenes videos of the process, curate pictures to fit your brand image, and live-stream tutorials on IGTV.
Beyond posting pictures and videos, make your profile top-notch by optimizing your Instagram bio. Bios are where potential customers can find quick information about the business.
Be sure to include:
The key to success on Instagram is authenticity and visual creativity. Let’s dive into other platform success secrets!
As the world’s largest social media communication tunnel, there is undoubtedly room for success on Facebook. Without investing in Facebook advertisements, there are a handful of ways to optimize your business page to increase views, followers, and in turn, customers.
Keep Information Updated
Facebook is a direct extension of your website and brick-and-mortar store so be sure to keep your followers updated with everything going on. Post about new products, current hours of operation, and seasonal sales. Facebook pages are full of juicy information for you to fill out so be proactive in keeping things current!
Check Messenger Often
More than 20 billion messages are exchanged between businesses and users on Facebook Messenger every month. Respond early, often, and professionally! It’s important to note that your responsiveness rate also appears on the top of the page, keep that time within a few hours.
Understand the Facebook Algorithm
The Facebook algorithm decides when and where an organic post from your account will appear. To summarize an interview with Dan Zigmond, head of Facebook News Feed analytics, the algorithm favors posts with obvious interaction, posts that are in-synch with a trending topic, posts from a page that gets high volume traffic, etc. Click-bait, misleading news, spam, and all too promotional posts get sent to the bottom.
While we can’t get the full 411 from Zuckerburg on a fool-proof Facebook marketing plan, consulting with a digital marketing firm that specializes in social media management is just as brilliant.
A 2020 study done by Cisco shows that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. If that’s not an indicator that now is the best time to get started on Youtube, I don’t know what is.
Producing content on Youtube gives a fun, trendy twist on your brand and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Focus on sharing your origin story, making how-to tutorials, and releasing product promotional material. Reach out to customers and allow them to film clips showing their admiration for your brand.
Inspire, entertain, and educate viewers. A little birdy told me that, funny cat videos are on the downslide and small business videos are bound to take over!
LinkedIn was created with young professionals and businesses in mind. While it may seem like a college fair job board at first glance, there are a handful of facets on the platform that you can use to market your brand and extend your outreach.
With a company and personal account lookin’ fine, it’s time to:
Join Relevant Groups
LinkedIn allows users to join small circles of like-minded individuals. The Entrepreneur & Small Business Forum and other similar forums are great places to get networking started.
Research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Select a top-notch, high-resolution photo for the cover and profile picture slots. If you link your personal account to your company account, make sure your account also features a professional headshot, no selfies allowed!
Contribute to conversations, promote events, and share blog posts. Utilize hashtags and keywords to increase visibility.
Make Virtual Connections
Making connections is as easy as hitting a button but making targeted and quality connections take a little more combing through. Focus your search on connecting with companies/people that will be mutually beneficial and enriching for your brand.
Check out the recently unleashed new features on LinkedIn that cater directly to small businesses. If you fall down the rabbit hole of LinkedIn, there is always a social media management team ready to throw you a rope.
Take Our Advice and Run
By leveraging social media you can be the first thing social media maestros see at the crack of dawn. Navigating the ins and outs of each platform is a dedicated practice but one has the potential to skyrocket your company.
So, onward small business marketers — go forth and deploy these skills onto every platform! If you get stuck in this pursuit, be sure to contact our team of social media experts for additional guidance.