As a small business owner, your time is valuable, but so is your social media presence. How can you balance a successful social media strategy with all of your other responsibilities?
Social media marketing is all about strategy. For large businesses who have teams or dedicated individuals, it can be easier to find a strategy that works. For small businesses, you often need to resort to creativity and making decisions at the expense of something else.
Money is not unlimited — especially when operating a small business — so choosing where to spend money when it comes to social media must be strategic. You need to be clear on who you’re trying to reach and clever in stretching your budget as far as you can.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind as you look toward social media marketing for your business:
Know Your Channels
More social media platforms means more people see your business, right? Well, not exactly. With so many social media platforms out there, it can be hard to know which accounts you should and shouldn’t have, and with more and more accounts, the more difficult social media management can become for the busy small business owner.
You only need a few social media channels that are active, and this all depends on your audience. Many small businesses use Facebook and Instagram as their main platforms, and other businesses use TikTok as a primary account. It all depends on what works best for you, your customers and your content.
Plan and Schedule Content in Advance
Now that you know where you’ll be posting content, it’s time to think about what kind of content you’ll be posting. Think about why your customers keep coming back to you. Once you know what your customers really want from you, you’ll be able to tap into that for your social content.
For some businesses, photos of the store, products or team behind the business are best, and for other businesses, videos showing products being made or how to use them work well. No matter what works best for your business and vision, you’ll want to plan content well in advance. You don’t need to be posting every day, so once you establish a posting frequency, you’ll be able to plan your content accordingly.
Now that you’ve got it planned, it’s time to schedule. Scheduling social content is our favorite way to post because you can put everything into a scheduler and the platform takes care of the rest for you. Using Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and even YouTube, you can schedule content directly on your platform for free. There are other, third-party schedulers with free or cheap options like Buffer, Hootsuite and Tailwind.
Make Your Community a Priority
As you begin your journey of posting on social media, take note of what your customers like, repost and share. You have a great opportunity on social media to turn your customers into a community. With a community, you create a sense of loyalty and advocacy to and for your business for free. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best ways to attract new customers to your business.
Pay Attention to What’s Trending
Take note of what’s trending. While it’s important not to jump on every trend that you see on social media, you can jump on ones that make sense for your business and your community. Trending content performs well on platforms when done well, and it can expand your reach to people who may not have heard of your business before.
Check in on Your Competitors
A competitive landscape is important to every business. You need to know who you’re up against. Social media is a great way to check in what other businesses are and aren’t doing. When you see what your competitors aren’t doing, you open the door for your business to fill that gap for potential customers. It may shift your original content plan and schedule, but it’s a useful practice to have.
Use Analytics to Guide Future Content
Analytics sound scary, even to the seasoned social media manager, but analytics don’t have to be fear-inducing. For your small business, you do not need to go deep into analytics in order to understand how your content is doing. Most scheduling platforms, including ones on social media platforms like Meta or YouTube, have an analytics tab built in for easy access.
Really, the most important thing about analytics is seeing what is performing well with your audience and what is not doing as well. This helps guide your future content planning and schedule, and ultimately, it helps build your community.
Looking for the skills to run full campaigns for your small business? WVU's Digital Marketing Communications program sets you up with the skills to run full social and digital campaigns and industry certifications to flex your knowledge.
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Meet the Author
Marketing and Events Graduate Service Assistant
Emma is a marketing and events graduate assistant in the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is a graduate student at WVU and involved in PRSSA and AWSM. She could always talk about what she made in her kitchen for this week and her favorite sports! Bitten by the travel bug, she loves to travel whenever she has a few days to take an adventure.
Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.Subscribe to get the Latest Trends in Your Inbox