small business

As a small business owner, chances are, you turned to social media within the last year to engage with your customers. But with limited time and resources, it can be difficult to know where and how to invest your time strategically on social media.

To help you get ahead of the competition, I’ve listed a few ways for you to successfully market your small business on social media. By applying these lessons, you’ll be able to effectively connect with your customers, build brand awareness and brand loyalty, and most importantly, increase revenue.

1. Determine what social media platforms are right for your business

One of the first and most important steps is finding out what social media platforms are right for your small business.

If you already have a presence on social media, do some research to make sure the platforms you are investing time in are reaching your desired audiences.

Before you dive in and analyze audience data across social media platforms, define your target audience. What age groups do your customers fall in? What are their shopping patterns? What gender do they identify with? Having this data on hand will help you find out what social platforms will deliver the most value for your small business.

While there is no one size fits all approach to social media, some of the most popular platforms among small business owners are Facebook and Instagram, with TikTok on the rise. What do all of these platforms have in common? They all offer solutions to help small businesses connect with and grow their communities on social media.

2. Create eye-catching social media profiles

Social media is often the first place users go to find out more information about a business. To make a strong first impression, update your social media profiles to clearly and accurately represent your small business and the values your brand stands for. One mistake you’ll want to avoid is overloading users with too much information on your social profiles. Keep it simple otherwise you risk people not understanding what your small business is all about.

To stand out from other businesses on social media, ensure that branding across all of your social profiles is consistent. This means using similar images and color schemes so users can easily identify your brand on different social networks.

Another way to stand out is to show off your brand personality on your social profiles. If you don’t already know what your brand personality is, think of all the adjectives that describe your brand as if it were a person. From there, use that distinct brand voice to drive the description of your small business on your social profiles and the tone you strike when drafting social content.

Wendy’s has used social media to create a personality for the company and generate Tweets that continue to circulate across the internet due to their sassy replies to both customers and other companies. Not only have their Tweets gone viral, which enables them to benefit from users sharing their posts to further generate more brand awareness, but they also showcased a personality that humanizes the company and makes them more relatable to customers. It also increases the desire for many customers to tweet at Wendy’s Twitter profile, which builds more conversations around the brand and engages audiences to create and develop relationships between customers and the company.

Making your small business more relatable will help you foster strong engagement. According to recent research, half of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that have a strong personality online.

Creating engaging content across your social media profiles is another way to help your small business stand out online. There are many free marketing tools out there to help you create and select engaging graphics that you can use for your social media profiles including Canva and Unsplash.

3. Get social on social media

Engage in conversations on social media to insert your small business in multiple online spaces.

One way to do this is to stay on top of trending hashtags across different social media platforms.

On Instagram and TikTok, you can head to the Explore page to check out what content and hashtags are the most popular. To save time and streamline your efforts, try using social media monitoring tools. Social media monitoring helps you find relevant hashtags, easily stay on top of brand mentions, and trends that apply to your small business.

Before you begin adding trending hashtags to any of your posts, ask yourself if you’re adding value to the ongoing conversation. If your small business doesn’t fit in with the conversation, it’s better to sit it out and only participate in the trends that align with your small business focus and brand personality.

Beyond engaging with trending contests or campaigns on social media, as a small business owner, it’s critical to engage with your followers. Let them know you care by responding to their comments on posts or asking them to repost any content where they tagged your small business. Staying active on social media and engaging in positive discussions with your customers can go a long way in increasing brand loyalty.

4. Share valuable content and avoid being overly promotional

On social media, it can be easy to post promotional content about your small business. But, that isn’t the type of content users on social media are looking for. They want to view educational and informative content that delivers value.

If you’re running a local coffee shop, instead of posting about membership discounts, post a video where you talk about where your coffee beans are sourced from or do a demo of your most popular drink. The trick is to find out what you can teach your followers about your small business focus and use this to fuel the type of content you post. Shifting from posting promotional content to posting educational content will help you increase your engagement on social media. It can also open up the door for more people to learn about your small business on social media.

5. Experiment with new social platforms that are right for your small business

With new social media platforms rising in popularity, as a small business owner, it can be difficult to find out if it’s worth your time. There can also be a steep learning curve for new social media platforms. However, if these new platforms check all the right boxes—the right audience demographics, your community is already using it, and the focus aligns with your small business—it’s worth experimenting.

Clubhouse, one of the buzziest new social media platforms, has grown in popularity within the past year among small business owners. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right platform for every small business. If you’re not sure if this platform is right for your small business, request an invitation and start to join rooms hosted by other small business owners. After you join the platform, carefully listen to how other small business owners network with people in their community. From there, search the platform to find out if your community is active on the platform. After a bit of experimenting, you’ll be able to find out if the platform is a fit for your small business.

Staying on top of the latest social media platforms and trends is a great way to stay in tune with changing consumer habits.

Are you ready to take your social media strategy to the next level?

With summer right around the corner, now is an opportune time to take your social media strategy to the next level.

Remember to be personal yet strategic and draw a fine line between educational and promotional content. Above all, test your strategies and keep investing in the content and social media platforms that are delivering true value for your small business.

If you follow all of these lessons, your small business will thrive on social media.

Steffen Schebesta is the CEO of Sendinblue.

Social media stock photo by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock