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Acumen Connections » Blog » 8 Steps to Use Social Media Marketing for Small Business

8 Steps to Use Social Media Marketing for Small Business

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Want to leverage social media for small business? Keep reading!

The thing about marketing is that it is an ever-changing landscape with a myriad of new platforms. Businesses worldwide have benefitted from stellar marketing techniques. Social media marketing for small businesses has proven to be vital. In this article, discover how you can effectively use social media for your business in 8 steps from a Social Media Specialist.

Running a small business is constantly having to juggle multiple functions without compromising on quality. It can be overwhelming at times. Like all businesses, you want more leads, higher conversion, and more sales.

Social media marketing for small business is an excellent way to fish where the fish are – market where your target audience is. 62.3% of the global population uses social media. Social Media Specialist, Emily Johnson explains, “It only makes sense to use social media for small business when a large portion of your target audience spends hours a day on various social platforms. Go to the place where your audience is.”

Photo of Social Media Specialist Emily Johnson. Smiling young woman dressed in plaid blazer folds hands in front

Along with consumers spending a lot of time on social media, your competitors are also doing the same to target potential buyers. Not leveraging small business social media can hurt your business. That’s why businesses are always looking for effective social media tips and tricks.

Dark background bears a social media statistic in white text: 96% of small businesses use social media as part of their marketing strategy. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

There is value in social media marketing for small business as people do make purchases when influenced by social media. You want a slice of that pie and so, having a robust social media strategy should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts.

Why is social media marketing for small business so important?

Social media marketing for small business has a plethora of benefits. Businesses spanning across industries have reaped rewards by effectively executing social media marketing strategies.

Emily shares, “Majority of businesses have and use social media. Not having social media for small business can be crippling in this day and age. Businesses can’t afford to miss opportunities in this way.”

You want your business to get all the help it deserves so that it continues to grow. There are many benefits to small business social media marketing. Emily shares her top nine social media benefits.

Dark background bears heading in white text: Benefits of social media for small businesses. The benefits of social media for small business are listed as: customer relationships, wider reach, brand recognition & awareness, easy communication, quick promotions, higher leads & sales, targeted paid ads, control brand narrative, keeping up with competitors. A person in a denim jacket and black shirt holds up a social media heart icon in one hand while pointing at it with the other. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

Let’s explore these small business social media marketing benefits in more detail:

  • Increases brand recognition and brand awareness so more customers recognize your brand name.
  • Reaches a wide range of audiences, regardless of age, gender, location, or other factors.
  • Fosters relationships with buyers since they’re able to meet the team and learn more about the brand’s values and goals.
  • Makes it easier for customers to reach out if they have questions or participate in discussions.
  • Offers a platform to promote deals, events, sales etc. which can be shared in groups interested in them.
  • Gets more leads and higher sales. When partnered with analytics and insights, small businesses can see what content is converting the most leads.
  • Allows targeting specific demographics with paid ads. Small businesses can tailor their content towards multiple audiences at the same time.
  • Controls the brand narrative, tone, and voice, keeping a positive brand appearance.
  • Helps brands keep up with competitors by seeing what the competition is doing.

Emily adds, “Several businesses I have worked with get the bulk of their customers from social media. Consumers engage and interact with brands on socials and eventually make a purchase. If they like it, they keep coming back”

8 steps to use social media marketing for small business

Having a social media presence on multiple platforms is terrific. It helps build brand awareness and increases visibility. This has been confirmed by businesses and marketers. 44% of small businesses use social media to build brand awareness.

Let’s take a look at our 8-step social media marketing for small business strategy, provided by Emily:

1. Identify your target audience

This is the first thing to do when devising a small business social media marketing strategy. You need to know who your primary consumers are. For example, if your business is providing childcare services, your target audience is parents of young children. If you own or manage a restaurant, you have a much broader target audience because everyone loves food! We’re joking haha! With a restaurant, your target audience may be based around how close in proximity they are to your business, culture depending on what food you serve, or even household income depending on your pricing. Knowing your consumers and understanding their needs will help you market your product or services more effectively.

2. Use platforms frequented by your customers

It has been observed that different social media platforms are preferred by different target audiences. For instance, 68% of TikTok users are women and 52% of all TikTok users are in the 18-29 age group.

Emily explains, “If your product caters to women in their late teens and 20s, it’s high time you use TikTok to promote your business along with using Pinterest which has a female user base of 76%!”

Similarly, let’s say your product is student loans. LinkedIn is a great place to market student loans as it is directly related to career growth. You can also utilize platforms like Facebook and Snapchat which have the highest percentage of users with “high school or less” education level as they’re more likely to seek further education.

3. Create quality content

Brands everywhere are marketing their products and services on social media. You want to be seen and heard just as much as the next guy. What will set you apart is good quality content. Research social media tips to gain ideas and learn new hacks. Invest time and resources into creating content that will spark interest and encourage engagement. Images may work better on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, whereas short-form videos can perform better on TikTok and Facebook.

Use our image below as a sort of cheat sheet to see where and how you can promote your product or services across social media platforms. Not every social media platform works the same way. Likewise, different types of content or messaging may work better on certain social media platforms more than others. Take a look at our examples.

Dark background bears various small business social media prompts for posting on different platforms. Headline in white text says: Social media cheat sheet. The rest of the graphic is divided into six blocks, each of which contains examples of posts that will perform favorably on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

Even the dullest of topics (like payment processing – let’s be honest now), can find their place on social media, and we’ve been able to do that while reaching almost 60,000 people in a single month!

4. Start posting and engaging

Once you have content, the next step is to post. When you start posting, you open the door to engaging with your audiences. “90% of users use social media to communicate with businesses. You want your customers to have that,” Emily shares. And posting consistently helps you get noticed.

Dark background bears small business social media statistic in white text: Social media marketing is leveraged by 44% of local businesses to increase brand awareness. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

5. Give people what they want — a human connection

This is possibly the most underrated of all social media tips. We’re human and we seek human connections. It is as simple as that. Your brand needs to have a voice that makes your customers feel heard and acknowledged. Building customer relationships is important to the sustenance and longevity of any business. 68% of consumers claim that they’re able to connect with a brand on a deeper level through social media.

“We all want to be seen when it’s so easy to get lost. Adding a human touch to your marketing helps draw consumers in and promotes customer relationships,” reflects Emily.

6. Consider paid ads

Did you know that 28.8% of all digital advertising spend is attributed to social media ads? Emily shares, “More and more businesses are investing in paid advertisement on social media to boost sales. It can be worth your money to use paid ads depending on your budget.”

Dark background bears social media statistic in white text: 74% of consumers use social media

to make buying decisions. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

A survey states that 69% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations. That’s why if your business has the budget, we suggest working with a social media influencer to get more people interested in your product or service. Influencer marketing brings a wide range of benefits, and we want you to know that it is an option. 70% of businesses confirm that influencer marketing generates the best business traffic.

7. Offer problem solving and take accountability

When you have a social media presence, it helps channel conversations with your customers. Sometimes, they might reach out with a problem regarding one of your products or services. In fact, 63% of customers expect businesses to offer customer service via social media. Set up your social media inboxes to send automated replies and remember to address customer concerns as soon as possible.

Another important facet of small business social media is accountability.

Dark background bears social media statistic for small businesses in white text: 81% of buyers believe that social media marketing increases accountability for small businesses. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

“When a customer is dissatisfied with a brand or business, they may vocalize that through a review which is public and for the world to see”, says Emily. 53% of such customers expect the business to respond to a negative review within a week. This is where social media becomes a tool for reputation management. Businesses need to take accountability and make things right, within reason of course.

8. Check your numbers

Emily clarifies, “It’s a numbers game. Make it a point to check analytics of your website and social media handles to track your performance.”

You will be able to see how much reach and engagement your content has, user demographics, traffic to your website, and so much more.

Dark background bears social media statistic on business traffic in white text: 90% of marketers confirm that social media marketing has increased business traffic. The Acumen Connections brand name and logo feature at the bottom.

Use this information to establish patterns and set goals for your small business social media.

Plus, social media is a great affordable platform to test out themes or imagery for search ads or TV ads, before spending larger amounts of money on those strategies.

Like, share, subscribe – all the good stuff!

Social media brings the world closer and makes it easier for businesses to connect with their audiences. However, getting heard over the noise is important because viewers are constantly bombarded with marketing content on social media.

Emily confirms, “There is an overload of content on social media. You want your target audience to pick you over your competitors.”

That’s why you need succinct messaging to get your point across. Our only disclaimer: Be consistent when posting because you can’t expect to see results overnight. Want more insight on social media marketing for small business? Discover how you can boost your business with these social media tips in our other article.

Social media marketing for small business is the key to finding, attracting, and keeping your customers. But is your business ready to take payments once your customers start rolling in from social media to make purchases? Whether you’re a storefront needing in-person payments or an e-commerce business taking online payments, we have solutions for you.

Get more business tips with Acumen Connections.

Anna Reeve, MBA

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Hello! I am Anna with Acumen Connections and I love assisting small businesses in any way I can. I have worked in marketing for businesses of different sizes and industries. I believe that creativity and imagination are the hallmarks of content building. I enjoy creating blogs, social media posts, marketing emails, press releases, website copy, responding to reviews etc.

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