Amber DeFabio Aug 4, 2021 10:34:10 AM 16 min read

The Ultimate Guide for Using Social Media Tools for Small Businesses

First and foremost, congrats to you! Big round of applause for considering the addition of social media platforms into your overall marketing strategy. Nearly 40% of small businesses don’t have social media accounts despite their impact on consumers. With more than 2.89 billion monthly Facebook users, 1 billion monthly Instagram users, 2.74 billion monthly YouTube users, and 310 million monthly LinkedIn users, that’s a lot of potential customers with whom you can create connections. I didn’t even mention the billions of users on TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Plus, new social media platforms are rising in popularity every day like Clubhouse and Houseparty.

However, as a small business, you might not have the time nor the budget to research each platform, let alone create and hire your own in-house social media marketing team to do it for you. Plus, if you’re here, you already know that managing your social platforms isn’t as simple as posting a photo here and there with some relevant hashtags every now and then. Each platform requires its own plan to create a larger impact and results in an increased return on investment.

That’s where we come in.

Which Social Media Platform is Best for Your Small Business?

With such a large reach, social media can become a black hole for your bottom line if you are posting without a purpose. First, you need to consider two things: Your business’ goals and your target audience. Not every social platform is worth your time. You’re here to push your dollars further, so you’ll need to find the appropriate platform that gives your brand the recognition it deserves while also creating the opportunities to generate new leads.

Build Relationships with Facebook

If you haven’t heard of Facebook, you’ve been living under a rock. As the largest and most dominating social media platform, it’s no wonder it’s the go-to for small businesses to build brand recognition. If you’re using Facebook, the content of your posts should have the goal of creating your brand’s personality. You’re not just showing your target audience why they should be doing business with you, but you’re also showing them your impact and value before and after they’ve made a purchase. It’s all about building relationships. Additionally, this is a great environment for user-generated content to thrive. Running contests is an effective way of engaging with your audience over this platform.

Facebook ads can be highly customized to target your specific audience, which increases the chances of lead generation. However, there is a downside. As the biggest platform, it also has the most competition. You’ll need to optimize your content, audience, and ad spend—at least weekly—to compete with other brands that also want recognition.

Distribute Timely Information with Twitter

If you have some breaking news, announcement, or an important message that you’ll need to blast out quickly, Twitter is the platform for you. As most of its users are under the age of 50, Twitter isn’t the right platform for everyone. Images and easily digestible textual content perform best here. Hence, the character limitations of a Tweet. If you’re developing your PR program, most of the time, Twitter is a must-have.

Develop Credibility with LinkedIn

If you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn is where it’s at, especially if your goal is lead generation. LinkedIn is generally known as a more professional social platform. Instead of gym selfies and dog photos (for most businesses), users utilize LinkedIn to build themselves and their brands as trusted leaders in their field. Since most of its users are professionals who are more than 30 years old, the content created that performs well is centered on developing brand authority. How can you help your target audience solve their problems or bring value to their professional lives? Growing into this role of thought leadership often requires using trade publication article sharing (from non-competitors, of course) to join in the conversation your followers are having as a valuable, trusted participant and resource.

Share Beautiful Content with Instagram

From gathering insights to improving the ease of use for business accounts, Instagram is continually elevating its features for business owners. This platform centers around visually appealing content, whether that be static photos, a fun carousel, short reels, or full-length IGTV videos. The more stunning and artsy your content, the better it performs. Generic photos won’t cut it. As with all social media platforms, your goal on Instagram should be to build relationships, whether that be enticing someone to dive into your content further with bright pops of color or follow your account with meaningful hashtags. If your niche is in an industry that is visually intriguing, people want to see and interact with it. This is another great place to run contests and work towards high engagement with your audience.

Gain Subscribers with YouTube

Video content reigns supreme, and YouTube has created a platform where someone can go viral overnight with the right type of content. If your brand has an authentic, entertaining, in-depth story to tell, this is the platform for you. This is the perfect place to address customer questions, promote brand messaging, and extend your reach. 9 times out of 10, customers would rather watch a video than read content. For this reason alone, creating a YouTube channel is vital to your brand’s success. Plus, with 76% of users more likely to buy a product online after watching a video, conversions are inevitable.

Will New Social Platforms Work for Your Small Business?

While still important, social platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Tumblr, and Reddit aren’t as well used when it comes to marketing efforts. However, this can be a good thing. With less business advertising and interacting with their potential customers in these spaces, it creates less competition for you to achieve the outcomes you’ve been looking for. 

Snapchat is wonderful for giving viewers a “behind-the-scenes”, authentic look at your brand. It allows your audience to connect more personably with your brand.

Pinterest is great if your target audience is DIYers and those looking for inspiring ideas. The content that you pin to your boards matters. It allows your audience to not only be captivated by the story you’re telling but also find out more when it comes to your brand’s mission.

If you have a younger audience that enjoys humorous video content, TikTok may be the secret ingredient your social strategy has been waiting for. This isn’t a professional platform. This is a place for your business to create an entertaining experience for your audience.

How Do You Begin Using Social Media Tools?

With more social platforms emerging each year, it may seem overwhelming to begin your social media strategy. My advice: start small. Find one platform that you feel your target audience uses the most. Create your profile and optimize it before the best performance. Measure, analyze, and optimize your brand’s content more. Once you get a feel for the interactions you have with your audience, you can begin to branch out.

Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? We’re here to help. Our social media experts would love to sit down with you and dive deeper into your current marketing strategy. Book your free 30-minute strategy call with us today, and take the next step toward bettering your bottom line with your social presence.

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