By Adrienne Erin
You can have a small business and still have a large presence on social media. In fact, in many ways it’s an advantage to be one of the little guys. When you have a big business, you have a lot of limitations. Small businesses have fewer people giving input on decisions, and that makes it easier to actually implement ideas instead of getting stuck debating them for days.
Here are three surprising ways small businesses actually have the edge over bigger ones on social media.
1. You Can Experiment
This may be my favorite thing about working for a small business. Big businesses are known for their many, many layers of management. If you want to try something new on your social media account at a big business, you will need to get many approvals from multiple managers. If you are a publicly held company, they will inevitably worry about how the new strategy will make you look.
Not when you are a small business. Small businesses are willing to experiment with social media to see what works. They are often the first to try out a new service or do something non-traditional with their Facebook or Instagram page. They can abandon a new strategy if it doesn’t work and not worry about upsetting millions of people that big businesses are beholden to.
Example: Eteaket Tea Boutique posts something a little different on its Facebook page every day, avoiding the stale feel that can undermine bigger businesses using prescheduled posts.
2. You Are More Effective
Many big businesses are Tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming all day long. But, it’s smarter to really target what you are saying, and use your time smartly rather than just saturating people with words and photos. One study found small businesses actually include more links and hashtags in their tweets than bigger ones, which means you’re giving your followers more chances to engage and connect.
Example: Nearly every tweet on 12 Keys Rehab’s Twitter feed has a hashtag or link, encouraging people to explore beyond the 140-character message.
3. You Have a Personal Touch
As much as you love pumpkin spice lattes, you would never claim Starbucks has a personal touch to its social media feeds. It’s a huge company with locations across the globe. While its feeds may have personality, they are not personal.
A small business, however, can get personal. The manager in charge of the Twitter feed may be the company founder or head salesman. That opens up a wide range of possibilities for social media. They can tweet about how their day is going, who won the big game last night or even about a family matter— giving the feed an intimate nature that will help potential customers feel like they really know you.
Example: It’s very obvious that Ruby Receptionist is owned by and operated by women and that’s an image the company cultivates carefully on Twitter.
Don’t feel like you have a disadvantage because you are a small business. With the right strategies, small businesses’ social media feeds can actually be even better than their bigger rivals.