thebusinesstoolkit
5 / 5
Blog Topics

13 social media hacks for small businesses

Whether you’re an avid social media user or a cautious adopter of its influence, one fact remains: its significance persists. Whether you’re a newcomer to the field or a seasoned brand, these social media tricks are essential for an effective marketing strategy.

Contrary to the belief that social media success requires celebrity-level fame and followers, there’s a positive note for small businesses: you can flourish without that. Collaborating with micro-influencers who have dedicated, albeit smaller, followings has shown success rates up to 11 times higher.

With some digital expertise, you can still reach new audiences, acquire customers, engage with loyal fans, and explore diverse digital marketing approaches—all using major social media platforms. You don’t need to fully grasp the algorithms either (well, not entirely)…

 

13 social media hacks for small businesses

  1. Strategizing your posting
  2. Simplifying your content creation
  3. Analyzing your competition
  4. Using a scheduler
  5. Knowing when to post
  6. Cross-posting your content
  7. Remember: shorter is better
  8. Making it shoppable
  9. Paying attention to engagement
  10. Don’t forget to hashtag
  11. Finding the right influencers
  12. Keeping it conversational
  13. Automating your customer service

 

1. Strategize your posting on social media

No matter what you share on social media, the aim should be to stand out amidst the commotion. And there’s an abundance of commotion to contend with. Since 2019, data has revealed that over 3.2 billion images and 720,000 hours of video are exchanged online every day. Brands are realizing that the solution isn’t to add to this volume by flooding platforms with numerous posts. Instead, the emphasis should be on crafting high-quality content that captures their audience’s interest.

This is especially good news for small brands because:

  • Social scheduling app Hootsuite suggests that one post per day is plenty;even less is needed on Instagram
  • Rather than spending ages planning and creating 30+ posts per month, you can focus on the quality of a few

Lesser-known brands frequently possess a unique aesthetic but lack the workforce available to larger enterprises for generating a vast amount of content that aligns with that aesthetic. By reducing the frequency of posts and guaranteeing that all shared content completely embodies your brand, both your existing audience and potential new followers will grasp your message and comprehend your identity, all without being inundated by excessive content.

 

2. Simplify your content creation

 

You can excel in content creation without a complete social media strategy and design team. Modern smartphones feature high-resolution cameras capable of capturing professional-grade photos and videos for all your social platforms. You can utilize your phone’s editing tools for cropping and recoloring, or opt for more advanced software like Adobe Photoshop if you’re inclined towards higher-level edits.

Canva also provides a user-friendly content creation format. It offers templates tailored for various social platforms, enabling you to craft gifs, slideshows, and static visuals with consistent themes. If you’re seeking inspiration, observing your favorite brands within your industry can give you insights into the visuals that attract your audience.

User-generated content (UGC) is a trending method for brand content creation involving your audience. Initiating contests or requesting followers to share images and videos of them using your product, or engaging in activities aligned with your goals, can help you accumulate a reservoir of content to share on your social channels without the need for extensive self-creation. Always remember to credit the creators when you share their content.

 

3. Analyze your competition

The digital realm remains a dynamic platform for small businesses to engage larger audiences and boost sales. Nowadays, not having an online presence means potentially losing out to competitors who are winning over audiences.

Monitoring your competitors’ social channels regularly allows you to scrutinize their strategies, performance, and any tactics you might have overlooked for engaging the shared audience. It can also reveal your own strengths by comparing them to others’ content and engagement levels.

Include a thorough competitor analysis as a component of your social media strategy. Assess your major rivals, their market positioning, appeal to your shared customer base, strengths, and strategies—both effective and those you choose not to adopt. These insights shape your digital presence’s appearance and effectiveness.

 

4. Use a scheduler

If time is a concern for your small brand’s social media efforts, there are numerous advantages to leverage for more efficient posting. Social media managers and small business owners understand that interrupting dinner to post at 9pm on a Saturday isn’t ideal.

This is where social media scheduling tools prove valuable. Platforms like Hootsuite, Later, and Meta’s Business Suite automate your content plan. They enable you to schedule posts across multiple channels, offering a preview of their appearance on each platform. By using these tools, you can reclaim hours. Simply upload your content, set posting times, and you’re done.

For even greater efficiency, upload a week’s or month’s worth of content at once. However, remain adaptable, as unexpected events might require prompt responses. Also, make the most of the analytics reports provided by these platforms to gauge post performance.

5. Know when to post

Social media scheduling tools offer valuable insights, including the optimal time and day for posting. While numerous brands might discover the same prime posting times, leading to a surge of content at those moments, it’s important to consider that this metric relies on post performance and your audience’s peak activity periods.

Align your content scheduling with the ideal posting time, but remain flexible. Platforms can guide you—Meta Business Suite, for instance, suggests optimal posting times based on user activity and engagement trends. However, this guidance isn’t always 100% accurate, as peak times can fluctuate. Experiment with various timings to find what suits you best.

Even though Sundays might seem suboptimal for non-operational businesses, they could be when your followers are most active. Pay attention to the data and incorporate the most effective days and times into your social media schedule.

6. Cross-post your content

Boosting traffic and followers can be effectively achieved through cross-posting content across various platforms. This might involve sharing the same image and caption on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or more complex strategies – all of which yield significant benefits.

Consider the difference in video dimensions between Instagram and YouTube. Converting content into varying aspect ratios may demand effort, but the reward of gaining new followers on multiple platforms justifies it. Tools like ViaMaker, InShot, Adobe Premiere, and even smartphone editing features enable swift ratio adjustments.

Moreover, extending the reach of non-visual content is feasible on image and video-focused channels beyond Twitter and LinkedIn. For instance, Instagram permits only one link in a profile bio. Brands employ tools like Linktree to create a landing page containing multiple website links, efficiently guiding audiences to diverse content across various sites.

7. Remember: shorter is better

Why opt for 30-second videos? The attention span of social media users is progressively shortening. Only YouTube, aside from its new feature, YouTube Shorts, suggests videos over one minute. A Microsoft study indicates the online attention span is now 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds two decades ago. This doesn’t dictate videos should be 8 seconds, but it emphasizes you have less than 8 seconds to captivate your audience.

Trim filler and focus on high-quality, crucial content. A strong initial hook is essential; without it, viewers are lost. Utilize attention-grabbing visuals, statements, questions, or even engaging content like dances within this 8-second span. After generating ample video content, analyze engagement to identify effective openers for your specific audience.

8. Make it shoppable

Why opt for 30-second videos? The attention span of social media users is progressively shortening. Only YouTube, aside from its new feature, YouTube Shorts, suggests videos over one minute. A Microsoft study indicates the online attention span is now 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds two decades ago. This doesn’t dictate videos should be 8 seconds, but it emphasizes you have less than 8 seconds to captivate your audience.

Trim filler and focus on high-quality, crucial content. A strong initial hook is essential; without it, viewers are lost. Utilize attention-grabbing visuals, statements, questions, or even engaging content like dances within this 8-second span. After generating ample video content, analyze engagement to identify effective openers for your specific audience.

9. Pay attention to engagement

Why opt for 30-second videos? The attention span of social media users is progressively shortening. Only YouTube, aside from its new feature, YouTube Shorts, suggests videos over one minute. A Microsoft study indicates the online attention span is now 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds two decades ago. This doesn’t dictate videos should be 8 seconds, but it emphasizes you have less than 8 seconds to captivate your audience.

Trim filler and focus on high-quality, crucial content. A strong initial hook is essential; without it, viewers are lost. Utilize attention-grabbing visuals, statements, questions, or even engaging content like dances within this 8-second span. After generating ample video content, analyze engagement to identify effective openers for your specific audience.

10. Don’t forget to hashtag

Regardless of your opinion on hashtags, they yield results. However, a strategic approach is crucial, avoiding irrelevant or overly popular tags. Proper hashtag use can effectively broaden your audience.

Photographers, for instance, tend to employ specific equipment-related tags rather than generic ones like #photography. Similarly, travelers focus on location-specific tags instead of #travel.

Allocate time to research popular tags relevant to your industry and likely to attract your audience. Despite the temptation to include many, Instagram’s optimal hashtag count is 3-5. Instagram notes that their effectiveness remains the same whether you include them in your caption or as the first comment. Decide based on your caption’s length; if it’s lengthy, opt for hashtags in the comments.

 

11. Find the right influencers

Similar to vanity metrics and excessive hashtag use, there’s a misconception surrounding leveraging influencers to promote your brand. While partnering with high-follower accounts might seem appealing, it’s not always the optimal strategy for small businesses.

Audiences resonate most with influencer campaigns that exude authenticity and trustworthiness. Notably, 92% of millennials trust their favorite influencers more than celebrities. So, avoid draining your resources on costly celebrity partnerships with vast followings. Instead, identify individuals who can genuinely influence your audience – from industry experts to customers sharing reviews. Devise a plan to discover an effective influencer fitting your budget.

Micro-influencers, possessing 2,000 to 50,000 followers, offer a budget-friendly alternative for small brands. Their sway over loyal followers is potent due to the established trust, irrespective of celebrity status. For many small businesses, micro-influencers prove pivotal in successful influencer campaigns.

 

12. Keep it conversational

Social media’s brand utility stems from its initial personal usage. While platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are conducive to business-oriented discussions, those geared towards younger audiences might not respond favorably to overly formal content.

However, maintaining a brand’s identity transcends using casual language. It’s essential to avoid language and trends that misalign with your brand’s image, irrespective of their popularity elsewhere. Users often tire of brands encroaching on spaces meant for friend connections and communication. They seek to evade incessant promotions aiming to extract money from their pockets.

Craft a posting strategy that balances conversational content, seeking to understand your followers individually rather than merely driving sales. Engaging discussions, such as polling about preferred items or sharing relevant experiences, aid brands in comprehending customer needs, identifying gaps, and grasping preferred online brand behavior.

Prioritizing genuine care for followers can foster growth, while a focus solely on financial gain risks losing their loyalty.

14. Automate your customer service

A larger following brings more communication and inquiries. Ensure your brand promptly addresses customer queries. Small businesses can handle message surges effectively through automated customer service tools like chatbots.

Considering the 8-second attention span, immediate responses are essential. Chatbots excel here. For simpler questions like shipping times, chatbots might fully address them. Complex queries are managed by chatbots gathering user info for later human agent use, saving time and preventing user frustration.

Choose a service with natural, not robotic, responses. Preload it with FAQs. Zendesk integrates customer service across channels, favored by many brands. Lobster by EBI.AI is highly-rated with a free trial.

Enhancing Your Business Through Social Media

With these 14 steps at your disposal, your small business can make significant strides in mastering social media. While it might appear daunting initially, prioritizing high-quality, concise content, monitoring relevant metrics, embracing time-saving automations, and leveraging algorithm-friendly strategies will undoubtedly facilitate rapid growth in your online engagement.

Free consultation 

Share

Related Articles