6 Organic Social Media Tips For Small Businesses
When I say “Don’t pay to grow on social media” I’m really saying you don’t need to spend money on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to get more followers. You can build a solid social presence without forking over tons of green with these social media tips for small businesses.
Before we get to social media tips for small businesses, we need to establish something. Followers are overrated.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t need followers, or you shouldn’t want to get more followers. That statement is meant to deter you from making your social media goal simply to get more followers. What you need are meaningful followers.
Meaningful followers are the ones who consistently engage with your brand whether that’s you or your company (or both). Meaningful followers like, comment, and share your content through social and word of mouth.
This blog post is not meant to simply increase your followers, it’s meant to increase the value of your followers.
First, you need to understand that social media takes time, let me repeat that. Social media takes time. If you follow these tips and use them over time, you will increase your engagement and conversions.
Social Media Tips For Small Businesses
1. Know Your Target Audience
Hopefully, this step is easy. If you’re established, you should know who your target audience is. On social media, it might be a little bit different though, let me explain. Depending on your product or service, you might target a different audience on social media.
When I worked with a behavioral health clinic (FLACRA), our clients were people with substance use disorders (SUDs), but usually, we targeted their friends or family members. Their friends or family have a much better chance of persuading and introducing our services to someone with addiction than our social media alone.
That’s it. Pretty simple, but vitally important to start on the right foot.
2) Prioritize The Right Channels
Now that you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to take a look at what social media platforms are best for your business.
I’ll throw you some general demographics for a few of the major social media channels to help you decide which channels are best for you based on the data in this chart.
Let’s dive into some key points you should notice on Facebook. 69% of Americans use Facebook. That’s a lot of users. Do you see how almost all of their demographic breakups are distributed evenly? The largest gaps being between male and female users and education level, but even then, it’s not a large gap compared to what we’ll see with some others.
You might say, “Wait, what about the age gap with Facebook?” You’re right there is an age gap, but that’s where you have to look deeper. Check out this other chart.
The silent generation, yes the ones before Boomers, are the fastest-growing user demographic on Facebook! Up almost 13% in 2018 alone. And who’s the next fastest-growing age group? Boomers! The past few years saw our oldest generations surge onto Facebook. Most (88%) Facebook users are there to stay in touch with friends and family members too.
Facebook is best for you if you have a product or service that is focused on community, friends, or family. Especially if you’re targeting those 45 and older.
For Instagram, you have to look at more than just demographics. Instagram is highly visual, which is perfect for highly visual brands like salons, venues, or restaurants, but not so great for law firms, publishers, or other less visible services.
Still, it’s important to look at the biggest differences on Instagram. It is primarily Millennials and Gen Z and also primarily Urban. If that suits you, go for it!
LinkedIn is the most interesting social media platform on this list (just my own opinion). There are so many gaps in the demographics for LinkedIn and on top of that, it has a reputation that allows you to predict demographics like this.
If you’re reading this post, you probably fall into the popular LinkedIn demographic because it’s focused on building professional relationships. Look at the massive 39 point divide between low-income and high-income earners, the 42 point divide between basic education and advanced education, 23 points between urban and rural, and its popularity among middle-aged Americans.
LinkedIn is PERFECT for B2Bs and self-branded business owners.
Twitter, usually conjures up images of President Trump’s Twitter feed, but his Twitter shows how unique a platform Twitter is. Twitter is wonderful for interpersonal communication between professionals and consumers, and yes politicians too.
Twitter also attracts wealthier, more educated, and urban users. If that fits your target audience, and communication method, then Twitter could be a great fit.
Whether or not the medium is the message or not, your message is certainly impacted by your medium, so choose your social media channel wisely.
3. Find Your Niche
Among these social media tips for small businesses, this one reaches the farthest outside of social media too.
You need to know what makes your business unique. Zebra is unique because of our heavy focus on building communities and helping small businesses, so we have a niche that intertwines us with our community. As we continue to grow, we get more and more intertwined in community affairs.
If you are a photographer, maybe you want to focus on weddings, so you involve your social media more with florists, caterers, and cosmetologists so that you stay top of mind with the people who can help you get more work.
Finding your niche helps on social media because it lets you interact with the right people who can help you build your business.
4. Effectively Engage With Followers
Storytelling. Storytelling. Storytelling. Engaging with your followers means taking them on a journey. Remember, stories have beginnings, middles, and endings, so create a story that is meaningful and provides real value to your audience.
If you own a bakery, you can share with your followers the journey of making such wonderful pastries. Show them how you prepare, maybe share a special step that they might not think about, and then show them the finished product. Now that they’ve followed you on this journey, they feel a stronger connection with your brand and they’re also thinking about how delicious your pastries are.
Whenever someone sees your posts on social media, they have the choice to resubscribe or unsubscribe. You want to build a follower base that is interested in you, your business, or your product. Followers that don’t engage or convert aren’t helpful.
5. Gain Meaningful Followers
Here’s a social media tip for small businesses that bigger companies have a hard time with. Dominate your area and build that network.
Find potential clients on social media. If you cater to weddings in Albany, then search for people who just got engaged that are from Albany. But here’s the catch. Don’t be a salesperson. Nothing ruins the excitement of engagement like a salesperson pitching a service. Be authentic. I really can’t overstate that tip, but I’ll say it again. Be authentic.
Comment on engagement posts and say something like, “I’m so excited for the two of you! You’re such a beautiful couple!” Tons of Instagram users read comments on their posts and when they don’t know someone and it’s obviously not a sales pitch, they check out the profile.
Worst case scenario, they don’t respond. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by authentically engaging with people on social media through your small business.
This method takes time and effort, but so do all good things. Put in the work and your ROI will reward you in the long run.
6. Convert Followers
Now that you have a strong follower base and it’s filled with current clients, potential clients, and evangelists, you need to convert those followers and keep your brand top of mind.
There are a few things you can do to convert your followers. All of which involve a call to action (CTA).
Link In Bio
Give your clients a really easy way to schedule with you, buy a new product featured in a post, go to your website, or see a new blog post or video. This tip is most effective for Twitter and Instagram, but Facebook has a similar feature which is the next point.
If your business has a Facebook page you can edit what the button on your page does. It can allow your clients to message you, follow you, book an appointment, get a quote, call you, watch a video, play a game, or shop on your website.
On Zebra’s Facebook page it’s a “get a quote” button, so potential clients don’t feel pressured to commit by having a call and don’t have to schedule a time to talk until they know more.
It’s pretty versatile and for some businesses, it can be a great tool.
I’ve seen some clever ideas for making offers. One of my favorites is from Overt Beauty, a salon in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area for 15% off if you are a registered voter or register to vote while you’re in the building. Zebra offers discounts for black-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, B-Corps, bundled services, and referrals.
These offers are great ways to give potential clients that little extra nudge while benefiting a cause your business cares about too.
I hope these social media tips for small businesses are helpful. Please comment with any other ideas that worked for you. I’m always open to hearing new strategies.
I’ll have more social media tips for small businesses coming soon, but hopefully, these will help you get started.
If you don’t have time for doing all of this and want someone to manage it for you, we can help. Remember, when you do business with us, you also give back to your community (see more). Make sure to follow us on Facebook for notifications on new posts, YouTube for videos, and Twitter for headlines and quick updates!
Stay informed by following us on social media!