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Social Media for Small Business: A Guide for 2023

account_circle Web.com Team

With people spending an average of 147 minutes daily on social media, 70% of small businesses invest in it as a marketing strategy.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of social media marketing for small business. We’ll also discuss the top social media platforms you should be on in 2023 and the different strategies your brand can follow. 

Importance of Social Media Marketing for Small Business

You get to reach your target audience

59.3% of the world's population — that’s a whopping 4.74 billion people! — use social media. With these numbers, it’s safe to say that virtually every business can now find its customers active on social media.

If social media isn't a part of your digital marketing plan, you're missing out on a fast, affordable, and effective way to connect with more than half of the world's population.

Understand your target customers and competitors better

Social media platforms hold a massive amount of data on their users. This includes basic information like age, gender, location, and an array of demographic interests and behavioral data.

Such information helps you understand how users interact with your content. It also helps you optimize your strategy to improve engagements and click-through rates. 

Social media helps you determine how you fare against competitors as well. With the help of social media analysis tools, you can monitor your performance against your competitors.

Engage with your audience

What was first a platform to hang out with friends online has become an avenue for brands to engage with their followers and customers. This unique attribute of social media humanizes a brand by giving them a unique voice, creating meaningful connections with its audience and ultimately building trust.

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Business

Let’s look at how each social media platform can help you connect with your target audience, engage with customers, and grow your business.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the OG social media platforms. It has over 2 billion monthly active users, where majority of them are between the ages of 25–34. This means that there’s a large potential market to target. 

Think of it this way: If your target audience is on any social media platform, there’s a high chance it’s Facebook.

What to post on Facebook

Facebook is ideal for more engagement-based content and softer selling. Showing behind-the-scenes updates, like names and faces of real people behind your company, and photos and videos perform well.

How often to post on Facebook

No one wants to be bombarded with business posts, so it’s important to keep your posting frequency low. The ideal is once a day. In fact, sharing too many posts is one of the most common reasons people “unlike” a Facebook page.

Tip to boost engagement on Facebook

One of the many ways to reach and connect with your target audience is through Facebook Lookalike Audiences. It's an advertising tool that allows you to target users that share similar interests and demographics with your existing customers. It’s also a low-cost way to get better results from your posts, find high-quality leads, and get conversions.

Instagram

Instagram, the most visual out of all the social media platforms. If you run an aesthetic business, such as a cosmetic business, photography business, or travel agency, then Instagram can work in your favor.

What to post on Instagram

As a business owner, it’s worth switching from a creator account to a business account.  
 
A business account provides extra features that help you promote your business to the best of its ability. For example, you can sell products directly through the Instagram Shopping feature. To expand the reach of your brand on the platform, you may experiment with the newer content types such as Instagram Stories and Reels or work with Instagram influencers.

How often to post on Instagram

Keep your in-feed posts to one per day at maximum. Posting Instagram Stories can be more frequent if you have engaging moments you’d like to share with your followers.

Tip to boost engagement on Instagram

Keep in mind that Instagram is all about “curated aesthetic.” To stand out, you need interesting and uniquely composed images that will make people stop scrolling and pay attention.

Want to know how to take a good Instagram photo? Here are 13 helpful tips you can try.

Twitter

You may already be using Twitter for personal networking. But in recent years, the site has also evolved into a marketing tool for businesses to reach a broad audience and develop a loyal fan base for their small business. The number of people visiting Twitter every month is almost three times more than the number of registered users. This means your tweets can potentially reach a wider audience of non-members.

What to post on Twitter

Tweets about sales and new products are important, but followers are less likely to retweet promotional materials. Mix it up with some wit and humor. It helps humanize your brand and boost engagement. 

Take it from Wendy's and MoonPie, two brands that mastered the art of social media sass. In fact, these two created a wholesome online lovefest that gained a lot of retweets and attention.

How often to post on Twitter

With over 6,000 tweets sent every second, it’s easy to get lost in the feed. Posting three times a day will allow more opportunities for your followers to see your tweets. After the third tweet, data suggests a drop in engagement.

Tip to boost engagement on Twitter

The best way to reach more people on the platform is by using hashtags correctly, especially trending ones. You don’t need to use them all—get creative, but choose wisely. Also, be on the lookout for trendy topics. If a topic relates to your business, join in on the conversation bringing in relevant information.

LinkedIn

As the suit and tie of the social media world, LinkedIn is an ideal place for you to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. With over 630 million professionals, it’s the most used social media channel for business-to-business (B2B) marketers for their content efforts.

What to post on LinkedIn

People on LinkedIn value information and insights that can help them improve in their area of expertise or make themselves more visible to employers, clients, and business partners. Thus, share your business’s strengths, wins people can get inspiration from, and insights only you can provide. You can also announce career milestones, employee culture, and new partnerships. 

How often to post on Linkedin

While the maximum for posting on LinkedIn is considered once a day, it’s ideal to post two to five times per week. The platform suggests that posting during business hours gets the maximum reach.

Tip to boost engagement on Linkedin

One surefire way to increase engagement on LinkedIn is to join LinkedIn Groups. It's a place for professionals in related industries or with similar interests to gather and discuss topics they want to share, ask for advice, and extend their network.

YouTube

Today, YouTube is the most popular video platform, with over a billion hours' worth of video views daily. From 30-seconder advertisements to educational content to behind-the-scenes looks at your brand, you can successfully promote your business on YouTube.

What to post on YouTube

People are searching for content to show or explain something to them. You can repurpose infographics into videos or create short tutorials or product demos. 

When to post on YouTube

Three times a week is ideal. But post only as often as you can create high-quality videos. And how much you post will also depend on the average length of videos you can make. For longer ones, the frequency would be much less.

Tip to boost engagement on YouTube

Informative content doesn’t have to be long. Leverage the use of YouTube Shorts to create fun, engaging, and informative content. You can clip segments from your existing full-length videos to make minute-long Shorts. It's a chance for your content to earn views, which can result in gaining subscribers.

TikTok

With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has quickly become one of the largest social media platforms in the world. What started as a hub for challenges, dance videos, and pranks has completely evolved into a platform where brands can connect with their audience.

What to post on TikTok

TikTok will never run out of ideas for new videos. You can look up trending hashtags, sounds, filters, and dance challenges, then join in! Or, create your own hashtag challenge to generate social media buzz and publicity.

One good example is the #ChipotleLidFlipChallenge by the popular American fast food chain Chipotle. As a way to drive interest in online ordering via their app, they challenged users to record themselves flipping a burrito bowl, and adding their own spin on it. Now, the hashtag has more than 337 million views and resulted in a record amount of Chipotle app downloads and delivery orders.

How often to post on TikTok

TikTok themselves recommends posting one to four times a day. Some established accounts post up to 10 times a day, but this may be too much when starting out. 

Tip to boost engagement on TikTok

The first three seconds of your video are critical. Make sure it's interesting enough to stop someone from skipping to the next video on their feed. This type of user engagement signals to the algorithm that viewers enjoy your content, and as a result, it should be pushed to more “For You” pages.

How to Use Social Media Marketing for Small Business

Identify the right platform for you

Not every social media platform is created equally. To develop an effective social strategy, focus on the channels that best suit your brand. Twitter is great for participating in trending topics, while LinkedIn is good for sharing your knowledge and expertise. Facebook is for connecting with your customers on a personal level, while Instagram is for providing style resources and discovering new artists.

Spend time understanding the platforms you’re considering and go for the ones with strengths that can benefit your business in the long run.

Plan your content in advance

Here’s the truth: you can have the best social media marketing strategy, but it won’t succeed without having a good plan in place. Having a social media content calendar can help you stay organized and on track and avoid last-minute scrambling. Plus, it allows you to take your time and craft a mix of content (e.g., blog posts, images, infographics, etc.) to produce.

Use analytics to guide future posts

While all platforms have their best practices when posting, you know your audience best, so be sure to do your research! Remember the user data social media platforms gather? This is the time to utilize them. You might find your Instagram users are more active during the afternoon, while your Facebook users are active in the evenings once their kids have gone to bed.

Using social media analytics will help you understand which platforms are performing best and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Get Started with Social Media Marketing

Now that we’ve got all the details you need laid out for you, you can start identifying what platforms to use and planning content to help you nail your social media strategy and improve your chances of succeeding on the platform.