Cartoon woman wondering how social media marketing helps small businesses

How Social Media Marketing Helps Small Business

Facebook, Instagram, TickTock, and the app formerly known as Twitter (TAFKAT). There’s a lot of social media out there and a lot of noise on all of it. How do you know which social media marketing helps small business?

Well, like so many other things, it depends. 

But don’t throw your hands up. Even if you’re not ready to pay a marketing expert to help you with your social media marketing, there are some rules of thumb you can use to do it on your own. 

Here’s my guide to how social media marketing helps small business. 

What Social Media Marketing Helps Small Business?

What social media marketing helps small businesses is a complex topic. So, let’s start with something basic. What is the purpose of social media marketing? 

What is the Purpose Of Social Media Marketing?

In the before times, marketing was a one-way street. Businesses would put out commercials or print ads that blanketed the public with information about a new product. Targeting wasn’t impossible, but it was blunter than today’s algorithms. For example, advertisers might know what age group was likely to watch a show but didn’t have the same ability to drill down into interests that you can with Facebook ads. 

While the lesser targeting ability was one difference, perhaps an even stronger one was that relationships with companies were one way. Companies created content that (they hoped) their target audience would then consume. 

Today, social media makes the relationship between customers and brands two-way. The simple act of “liking” makes users more of a part of things. Commenting is even better! 

And in theory, small businesses have the same power to reach customers with good content as larger ones. But as a famous arachnid-themed superhero learned, with great power comes great responsibility. 

Your customers don’t want you to use your social pages to advertise to them. They want social media to be social.

What Does Social Mean? 

For purposes, the social in social media marketing means two things. The first is what we’ve already alluded to – it’s interactive.

The second is how you get more interest and interactions. Social is also about the type of content you create. 

Social media marketing shouldn’t be the same as advertising. It’s not that you can’t be self-promotional. But you should not be salesy, at least not often.*

Most of your posts should be helpful, entertaining, or informative. 

If people follow you on social, they want to get to know your company and the people there. Share your values so people who value them in a company will follow you. Share your stories because it reminds people that your company is made up of people, leading to the next thing: Share your people!

Employee and customer stories are a give-me. It’s one of the main ways Social Media Marketing Helps Small Businesses. 

*My guideline is if you post thrice a week, you can be salesy about twice a month. 

But What About Ads? 

There is, of course, a place for advertising on Facebook, Instagram, et al. It’s called ads. If you want to advertise and be more salesy, ads are the place for it. 

In fact, with today’s algorithms, it’s nearly impossible to reach your full target audience without spending some money. 

There are two ways to use your advertising budget. One is to boost your social content, and the other is to create content directly designed to be advertising. Both are valid but have different purposes. 

Boosting content is typically best used when you have strong content and branding and want to grow your audience. Ads usually have more specific goals and are best used to get the word out about something more specific, like an event or a sale. 

The topic is complex, so we’ll tell you more about it another time. 

Where Should Small Business Focus Their Social Media Marketing? 

Now that you have a general idea of how social media marketing helps small businesses and how to do your social media marketing, the next question is, “Where?”

There was a time not too long ago when the answer to that was more obvious. Today, there are so many social networks it can make your head spin. Luckily, you don’t need to be everywhere. 

Some of the most common places to market your business on social are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter X, and LinkedIn. But there are also TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, and more! Which ones you use will depend on your audience. 

One place I recommend everyone post is a place that is arguably not a social network, your Google Business Page. Even though people don’t hang out on and “like” it, it’s often the first thing people see when they look up your business, and it doesn’t take much time to keep up with it. 

Beyond that, you can experiment to see what works best for your business. However, one rule of thumb is that if your company works with other businesses, you should be on LinkedIn. 

Facebook is also usually a good bet. Instagram is perfect if you have a photogenic product, such as food or fashion. 

What Social Media Marketing Harms Small Businesses?

Finally, let’s get into some social media don’ts. I did a series of these on my own social pages last month, but there’s always more to say. Some of these may seem apparent, but if I mention them, you can bet someone needs to hear them. 

Don’t Repeat!

Don’t repeat content! This needs some clarification. It is okay to repackage content and repeat ideas, but you should never reuse the same pictures or words in the same way in a short period!

Firstly, it irritates your audience. Secondly, the social algorithms will penalize. 

Don’t Be Negative!

Don’t use your social to complain. There’s a place for snark if that’s your brand, or you can be like local icon Roanoke Weiner Stand and have a billboard war, but that’s not the same as talking about what a bad day you’re having. 

Don’t Use Your Personal Page for Business

It’s okay to share your business’s info on your personal page, but don’t use your business page as your primary business page or use it primarily for business. This not only irritates your friends, but it’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions. In fact, it can get your account banned, causing you to lose all your personal and business social capital!

So Many More Don’ts!

There are so many more ways to misuse your social. However, if you stay consistent, social, and authentic, you’ll be on the right track to understanding and utilizing how social media marketing helps small businesses.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top