How to Utilize Social Media Platforms as a Small Business

Sep 6, 2023 | Social Media

In the current digital age, most businesses are aware of the importance of having an online presence to push their business forward. With the overflow of information online, and the multiple different social media platforms that have been deemed “necessary” by some digital marketing experts, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Even worse, the small business owner may make the mistake of diving into all available platforms without an intentional social media strategy. Making this mistake could actually harm your online business growth and turn away potential clients. 

It is important to recognize that social media is an essential tool for business growth. However, having this knowledge is not enough in itself. You must employ an intentional strategy specific to your business and catered to reach your target audience. 

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few tips to help get you started with social media platforms. 

  1. Consider Your Audience

Being an effective business owner starts with understanding your target audience. YOU know your audience better than any consultant ever could. Ask yourself a few simple questions to identify your ideal client: 

-Who am I trying to reach?

-What income bracket will purchase my product or service?

-Where are my clients located?

-What are their pain points (problems they are trying to solve)?

-What is my end goal? 

Understanding your audience is the primary first step before you can begin on social media. After you have a detailed description of your ideal client, you can ask yourself a vital follow-up question: “What social media platforms are my clients most likely to be active on?” The answer to this question will provide you with an excellent starting point. If you serve an older clientele who spend a majority of their time on Facebook, consistent Facebook posts and ads might be a smart move for your business. If you serve a younger clientele, Instagram or TikTok may be more ideal. The bottom line: do not waste time on social media platforms that your clients do not utilize regularly. 

  1. Determine Your Type of Content

Determining the type of content you will post regularly depends on your ability to maintain that content creation. For example, if videos are difficult for you to record, edit, and post regularly, you will lose consistency, and eventually the attention of your audience. If this resonates with you, YouTube and TikTok, or even Instagram Reels, may not be the platforms for you to begin with. Instead, consider still images or creative designs to post. If this communicates your business message more effectively, you may want to focus your attention on Instagram posts and Facebook instead. The bottom line: if you cannot maintain consistency with a type of content, do not attempt to create that content right out of the gate. 

  1. Compare How Popular Platforms Can Benefit Your Business Needs

Different platforms offer a variety of opportunities, and which one you utilize depends on your specific business needs. Here are a few benefits of each platform to help you determine which is right for your business:

-Instagram: This platform offers both still images and short video (reels) options for businesses. The algorithm is constantly changing and affects who will see your content once it is posted. Engagement is vital for Instagram growth–commenting, liking, and responding to others on the platform. If you are able to utilize both photos and videos and are willing to spend time engaging with others in your field, Instagram may be an excellent tool for you.

-Facebook: Despite being considered an “older” platform, Facebook is the most versatile of all the social media platforms. Facebook offers written posts without photos, or posts with photos and videos. Facebook ads are an effective way to increase your reach by boosting your posts to reach a larger audience. Setting up a business page for your small business can help a brick-and-mortar business reach a wider audience. Facebook also offers short-style videos through Facebook Reels. Despite its benefits, Facebook reach has become more difficult to achieve, and requires a more intentional social media strategy. 

-LinkedIn: This platform was created for businesses and professionals. It is an excellent resource for connecting with other professionals and colleagues, as well as building rapport in the professional community. LinkedIn offers availability for written posts as well as photo images. You can also participate in industry-specific groups to make connections and build a larger network. 

-YouTube- YouTube is a video-only platform and allows long videos (up to hours in length), or short-form videos with YouTube Shorts. These shorts are a mimic of Instagram Reels or TikTok videos. YouTube has 2 billion users worldwide, and in the United States, individuals spend an average of 45 minutes daily on the app. If you have the resources to record, edit, and post video content regularly, YouTube may be a great opportunity for your business.

Don’t Attempt the Process Alone

Even with these helpful tips, we understand that social media can be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to maintain on your own. As you run your business and handle the ins and outs of your business needs, your social media presence can fall to the wayside. This will harm your business growth! We are professionals in the social media and digital marketing world, and we have the resources you need to build an effective social media strategy. Contact us today for a consultation so that we can begin building the right strategy for you.