5 Big-Brand Social Media Tactics for Small Businesses

You don’t have to have deep pockets or a dedicated marketing team to take advantage of the business benefits of social media

5 Big-Brand Social Media Tactics for Small Businesses

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It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or the size of your company — leveraging social media is a must for competing in the digital world in which we live and work. According to statistics from 2017, 81 percent of the U.S. population has a social media profile. In a case study on the impact of social media on consumer behavior, 97 percent of respondents say they search for information on social media and online reviews before making buying decisions.

But how can smaller brands get a return on their social media efforts without deep pockets and extensive marketing teams? 

Employ some of the strategies and tactics that big brands are using. Even when adapted to your budget and workforce constraints, big-corporation best practices can help your company improve its engagement on social media and attract more customers.

What the Big Players Do on Social Media — and You Should, Too

1. Have a plan. 

Many small businesses fly by the seat of their pants with social media, reacting rather than acting strategically. You don't have to create an elaborate, all-inclusive plan, but do take measures to make your social media updates align with what's happening in your business. Think about your upcoming initiatives, activities, and anticipated achievements over the next month or quarter, and draw from them topics and themes for your social media posts. 

Are you planning to:

  • Introduce a new service or product?
  • Enhance a new service or product?
  • Provide services to a new region?
  • Hire a new key employee?
  • Celebrate a business milestone?
  • Earn a new certification?
  • Publish articles on your blog?
  • Do anything else that your customers should know about?

Capture all of this, build social media post ideas around them and set a tentative schedule for when you’ll publish the updates on your social media platforms.

You’ll find various online sources with social media templates that can help you in your planning. For example:

Whether you write specific copy that you want to include or general ideas that you’ll flesh out later, you’ll have something with which to work. This means you’ll be less inclined to neglect your social media channels.

2. Pay to play. 

Businesses are seeing a decrease in their organic reach on social media. As more companies and users jump on the platform, it gets increasingly challenging to grab users’ attention because of the sheer volume of content out there. According to Facebook, "The total number of pages liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50 percent last year. With each new page like, competition in news feed increases even further." The struggle is exacerbated by algorithm changes that push more business page posts out of the news feed in the name of improving the user experience. 

According to a post from 2012 on the Facebook Business page, brand pages’ posts reached approximately 16 percent of their fans’ news feeds back in the day. Now, pages can expect that, on average, only 2 percent of followers will see their posts.

To give your content a better shot at getting seen and engaged with, consider paying to promote your Facebook posts or run ads in the news feed. Fortunately, the costs are reasonable and fully controllable, as you can set your own time frame and budget for your campaigns.

3. Switch your cover photo on Facebook. 

Many companies set their cover photos and then forget them. Mix up things from time to time by updating your image with one that is fresh and new, perhaps one that is suitable for the season or that shows a new product offering. Every time you change your cover photo, your fans get an alert — putting your business on the radar again.

4. Involve your fans in the fun. 

In sync with Super Bowl LI in 2017, Mr. Clean encouraged its Facebook fans to use the hashtags #MrClean and #SB51, and post home videos showing off their down-and-dirty cleaning moves.

Think about how you might include your fans to participate with your Facebook page. You might ask them to vote on the design options you’re considering for a new vehicle wrap, or you might inquire about their biggest challenge related to some aspect of your industry. Or consider running a contest. Plenty of large and small companies boost their following and gain exposure with this tactic.

Unleash your creativity to discover unique ways to get your followers involved.

5. Follow through on your commitment to customer service. 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses fail to monitor their social media accounts effectively. Fans often expect near-instant gratification when they post a question or express a concern.

With a growing number of consumers turning to social media to get customer service assistance and to report complaints, it's increasingly important to stay on top of comments, messages and mentions of your brand. And it's a wonderful way to differentiate your business from your competition. According to The Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index, only one in 10 customer messages on social media gets a reply from brands. 

More Social Media Resources for Your Business

All of the above are just a sampling of what you can do to help your business stand out on social media. For additional insight and updates on best practices for and changes on social networks, consider following blogs dedicated to helping businesses gain traction with their social media efforts.

About the Author

Dawn Mentzer is a contributing writer for Straight North, one of the leading Chicago SEO firms, which provides a full spectrum of internet marketing services. As a solopreneur and freelance writer, she specializes in marketing content — and collaborates with clients nationally and globally.


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