Every small business owner has struggled at one point in their career when trying to find the capital to fund a big marketing project.
Paying for all of that creative manpower can get very expensive.
When you’re running a start-up business, you start with a much smaller budget than the corporate powerhouses that run our world.
When you’re not only limited to your budget, but also team members, then you need to get creative with your marketing plan.
The most effective way to market your products and services online without breaking the bank is through social media.
It’s a free platform used by almost every company in the world to effectively market their business.
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 social hacks for small businesses to take advantage of.
These tips will help you get the most out of your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
But first, let’s answer a very important question – why is social media important for small businesses?
The Importance of Social Media For Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you’re always searching for new ways to get your brand on the Internet radar.
If you don’t have an online presence, then it’s time that you get one!
Social media is an excellent way to get on the radar.
It allows you to engage with current customers while also attracting new ones.
Small business social media strategies boil down to engagement.
If a business doesn’t engage with its customers, then chances are that they won’t have as much success as they could.
Interacting with customers using social media helps you to build brand awareness, increase your customer engagement, and connect with more customers on a personal note.
Social media can even be just as important as your website since that’s where most of your web traffic comes from.
So, you must establish yourself on social media so that you can attract more local customers, as well as potential customers all over the world.
Make sure that you incorporate many of the same strategies as you did with your marketing plan for your website.
Spend time on your social media profile to get it where you want it to go.
Make it look appealing and use compelling content to get people interested in your product.
Showcase lots of photos of your products and include images of your team.
People respond well to real pictures instead of stock images, so make good use of this information.
Take a day or two to take photos of your office and staff members, as if they’re a big happy family.
Now that we understand how important social media is for small businesses, we can move forward to discover 10 ways to promote your business on social media.
By executing all 10 of these strategies in your social media marketing plan, you’ll soon be well on your way towards a successful future.
1. Get Organized With A Schedule
Scheduling your posts is much more time-efficient than posting manually each day.
Invest in a social media organizational tool to help you manage your posts by a neat, organized schedule.
These tools allow you to post at specific times per day on specific days of the week.
They also allow you to post on multiple platforms simultaneously, freeing up your time to focus on other matters while your social media content is being posted.
Make sure to write out your posts for the week in advance.
You can even be so bold as to write your posts a month in advance and schedule them out day by day using your all-in-one social media management tool.
If any holidays are coming up, be sure that your post for that day coincides with the theme of that holiday.
2. Utilize Hashtags Often
Hashtags are an excellent way to attract customers via social media.
They could even work as a platform of their own, uniting all kinds of people and businesses to specific pages assigned to that specific hashtag.
For instance, if you share the hashtag, #appletree, then you can click on that hashtag and it will take you to a page where others have posted the same #appletree hashtag.
This works on several different platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Make sure that you never underestimate the power of hashtags.
However, nor do you want to overdo it either.
Maximizing your hashtag use can bring you to a hashtag overload, which can be unsightly and look as if you’re “trying too hard.”
You never want your customers to perceive you as trying too hard to get their attention.
It only makes you seem desperate.
Don’t think too broadly when creating your hashtags.
Using popular hashtags that are relevant to your post content will surely put you in the mix with other related posts.
You may also want to consider utilizing niche hashtags that are more directly related to your industry.
Whichever hashtags you choose, make sure to do your research.
Find out how popular these hashtags are, and choose them based on their level of popularity.
Remember, the more popular the hashtags are, the more customers are likely to see your post.
3. Boost Your Blogs
Blogs and online articles are a fantastic way to build your business online and expand the horizon of your customer community.
If your website does not have any blogs, then it’s time to jump on that bandwagon immediately.
Blogs boost your SEO and online visibility.
Customers are more likely to trust in your brand if you have blogs incorporated into your website.
To increase your web traffic, publish lots of blogs, and post your best blogs into your social media feed.
Showcase your blogs each week by scheduling posts that incorporate links to your blogs.
This will help social media users find your posts easier, and boost your blog views once they click on them.
4. Be Timely with Your Posts
It’s not enough to just post social media content each day of the week.
You must be posting at specific times during that day.
Customers are more likely to see your posts at certain times.
According to SocialSprout, posting on Wednesdays at 11 AM and Friday at 10-11 AM are the best times to post on social media.
However, the most consistent engagement happens Tuesday through Thursday from 10 AM – 3 PM.
Keep these times in mind when posting your next social media post.
Take holidays and other occasions into account when scheduling daily post times.
Holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving might require content to be scheduled at earlier times throughout the day.
Pay very close attention to these time changes as they fluctuate and adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
5. Partner Up With Micro-Influencers
Parenting up with micro-influencers can give your small business the opportunity that it needs to tap into influencer marketing without breaking the bank.
Research hashtags related to your brand (just like in social hack # 2).
Look for popular people, like celebrities or business CEOs, that are passionate about the same industry that you’re in.
Once you’ve identified these candidates, reach out to gauge their interest in your specific brand.
You can pay these individuals to help you promote your brand, or you can even trade some of your products or services in exchange for their help.
With the help of a micro-influencer, you can reach so many more people and all of your business goals.
Even just one post by a popular person can significantly improve your website traffic and social media visibility.
6. Tell Us Your Instagram Story
If you haven’t added Instagram stories into your social media strategy, then it’s time to do so.
Instead of only creating standard posts, Instagram stories allow users to post photos and videos that appear and disappear at the top of your social media feed within 24 hours.
Instagram stories are a goldmine opportunity for interacting with followers, gathering important feedback, and promoting your business on social media.
And, the best part is that they’re free! Post a story 2-3 times a week.
Add things like questions, quizzes, polls, or stickers.
Be aware of over-posting.
Users will rarely click through dozens of Instagram stories from one single account.
Use this tool sparingly, but strategically.
Make sure that your stories are ones that are worth being heard.
7. Make it Stick With Stickers
To make your Instagram stories a bit more eye-catching, you can add stickers.
These stickers are designed to bring more web traffic by keeping users engaged in a fun, creative way.
The sticker feature even gives you options to add stickers that include buttons for purchasing gift cards, donating to a charity or fundraiser, or ordering food online.
These buttons allow you to click on links that are relevant to your industry or website, thus creating more online visibility and website traffic.
There are so many possibilities with these stickers.
Take advantage of these fun-filled stickers and optimize your social media presence.
8. Integrate Your Tools
Invest your time in looking into automated scheduling tools to save you time on posting your social media content.
There are also tools that you can use to help you choose hashtags, curated content, and images!
Many of these social media tools are free to use.
Create a workflow that works best for you, your team, and your small business.
It can save you huge amounts of time, energy, and money.
Utilizing these tools will ensure that your social media profiles never get neglected. Refer to social hack # 1 to help you with this hack, since they’re both referencing your scheduling.
Along with scheduling, make sure that you’re using other tools to help you with your grammar and spelling.
You can never be too careful when proofing your work before you post, so make sure that you’re reviewing your work and utilizing spelling and grammar tools before you publish anything.
9. Choose Your Platforms Wisely
There are many social media platforms to choose from. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are your most popular platforms.
Choose your main platforms to post your social media content on each day.
Make sure to spread your content throughout your social media profiles to create diversity amongst your social presence.
You don’t only want to post your content on one account.
If you have multiple social media accounts, then put all of them to good use every day.
Do your market research on which platforms would work best for your business.
Study your demographics and discover who your customers are, what they like, how much they make, and which platforms they are most likely to use.
This will help you to make an informed decision on which platforms you should choose to showcase your business.
10. Follow the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule was formulated to manage your time and resources effectively.
You want to make sure that 80% of your content is engaging, entertaining, and informative.
20% of your content should be a direct product or business promotional material.
So, this means that 1 post per week should be in the 20% category, while the remaining 4 posts should be in the 80% category.
This will ensure that your audience is engaged without getting bored with overly promotional content.
Consider Other Factors
Along with the 10 social hacks for small businesses mentioned above, you may want to consider other important factors to optimizing your online presence.
These other factors include SEO, content marketing, PPC ads, branding, and competitor analysis.
All of these factors will help to bring more traffic to your website and social media profiles.
Remember this – SEO is your best friend.
SEO is how your customers are going to notice you on the search engines.
If you’re SEO is good, then your business name will appear at the top or on the first page of the search results.
Invest in SEO. It could mean the difference between having a successful business and a failing one.
Everybody is online nowadays.
This is why you have to make sure that your business is relevant online since that’s where your target audience is.
If your customers can’t find you online, then you’re in big trouble.
Invest your time and money into maximizing your SEO efforts, which in turn will maximize your ROI.
Your social media profiles will help you to boost your SEO, though you should take advantage of all other SEO tools to help you further.
Content marketing is an integral part of your social media marketing strategy.
Pay attention to the words that you use, since you’re telling your story.
Make sure that you’re using high-ranking keywords in your content.
Google favors websites that use relevant keywords in their content, so take advantage of this as much as you can.
Create compelling content that keeps readers interested and engaged through every scroll of your web pages.
Make sure that your web content is engaging so that customers can enjoy the ultimate user experience.
Incorporate video content throughout your social feeds to attract customers.
Video content is highly recommended for keeping your target audience engaged, so make good use of this.
Create original video content that showcases your products, services, and employees.
This is a fun, creative way to show the world what you’re about.
It’s also a great way for your target audience to get to know you so that they can decide if doing business with you is the right choice.
So, ensure that your content marketing strategy is up to par with what’s to be expected in today’s online world.
Get creative and be aggressive with your content marketing plan.
Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are powerful tools used to gain more web traffic.
Use PPC ads to help promote your products and services online.
They say that you have to spend money to make money.
Think of PPC advertising as an investment in your future.
Every dollar that you spend on your Facebook ads could be tripled in profit when you gain more costumes using PPC ads.
Invest some of your marketing budgets into PPC ads to optimize your online visibility.
Many small businesses don’t have the resources needed to develop branded content for their social media platforms.
Even the biggest marketing budgets aren’t helpful if you don’t have the right strategy to establish your brand.
Ask yourself the right questions, including:
- What does my brand look like?
- What message do I want to send to my customers?
- What is my brand voice?
- What is my brand style?
- What makes my brand unique from my competitors?
Take a moment or two to reflect on these questions.
Consider experimenting with your answers, showcasing different strategies into your social media plan so determine which moves work the best.
Once you’ve decided which brand messaging works best for you, then make sure that you’re consistent.
Brand consistency is very important when it comes to making your business memorable to your customers.
Remain consistent in your posts, as well as your messaging throughout all of your content.
Mold your concept to fit the context of your business brand.
Pay attention to what your competitors are doing with their social media strategy.
You don’t want to copy exactly what they’re doing, because then you’ll just look like a copy-cat.
Instead, study what their strategy is and design one for yourself that’s better than the competition.
Performing a competitor analysis will give you the competitive advantage that you need to stay ahead.
We guarantee that your competitors are also performing competitor analyses to make sure that they stay a step ahead of you, so it’s crucial that you beat them at their own game.
Look At What’s Trending
Just like the rest of the Internet, social media is constantly changing.
Its algorithms are always updating and online trends are evolving every day.
Incorporate online trends into your social media posts so that you can stay with what’s trending!
Become a part of the ever-changing current of the digital world.
Do your research.
Read articles and blogs, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and discover new and exciting online trends to give your posts that extra boost!
Create Your Social Media Strategy
When creating your social media strategy, you want to consider all of your platforms individually.
Create strategies for all of your platforms, whether you’re choosing to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or others.
Think about what your goals are when creating your social media strategy.
Think about what you want to accomplish, including:
- Driving more web traffic
- Increasing brand awareness
- Boost brand engagement
- Generate more leads
- Provide social customer service
- Grow more revenue/maximize ROI
- Build an online community
- Increase more social mentions
- Improve follower count
Revolve your strategy around your goals.
Think about what you want and strategize how to achieve it.
Make sure that you have a top-notch team to support you in achieving these goals, as well as to ensure that you’re running a smoothly operating business.
Incorporate digital marketing and content marketing concepts into your strategy.
These two concepts will help you to expand your strategy on two separate wavelengths.
Also, incorporate web design and development ideas into your plan so that you can visualize what your social media profile will look like.
When talking about Instagram, for instance, your profile is laid out like a grid with three boxes in each row placed on top of each other.
So, think about how you want this grid to look.
Pay attention to colors, patterns, photographic subjects, tone, mood, personality, and other visual elements that will create your overall theme.
You want to make sure that you’re consistent with this step since your entire profile will be seen by potential customers and business associates.
Choose a color scheme and stick to it.
Don’t deviate too far from where you want your theme to go.
And, don’t forget, you don’t need to accomplish this all on your own.
There is professional help available.
Consider hiring iDig Digital to help you through this process.
We’re a digital marketing agency specializing in web design & development, digital marketing, branding, content marketing, and social media marketing!