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Short Course

How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media

About the author

Christine Gritmon empowers small business owners and solopreneurs to tell their own stories on social media. She’s spoken on stages worldwide and is a frequent expert guest on podcasts, live streams, Twitter chats, and blog posts, as well as hosting her own weekly Twitter chat, #ChatAboutBrand, and live interview show, Let’s Talk About Brand.

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71% of consumers use social media to make purchasing decisions, so it's important that even small businesses have a social media presence in order to stay ahead of their competitors.

To tackle these challenges, we enlisted the help of small business expert and social media coach, Christine Gritmon, for this short course designed to help those with smaller teams get the most from their social media accounts in a manageable way.

The 3 goals of a small business on social media:

  • Be found
  • Stand out
  • Be human

Let's take a closer look at how you can achieve these goals.

How small businesses can be found on social media

You want people to know that your business exists, but it's more than just posting anything and everything onto your small business' social media channels.

There are five questions that we should ask ourselves when it comes to being found on social media, which will also help you decide how, when, where, and what to post:

Why do you want to be visible? Why should people care about your content? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Generate sales? Create a goal for yourself!

77.6% of small businesses use social media to market themselves, and it can be your most powerful tool. It allows people from around the world to see your brand, rather than a minority group that would get to see a flyer or physical advert.

The best ways to be found on social media:

  • Make sure your profiles are fully complete and consistent in terms of branding! Having a totally different username or color scheme across platforms will make it hard for people to join the dots
  • Be recognizable! Maybe you have a catchphrase or an aesthetic audiences know you for and find easy to recognize, use this across all channels so people can spot you on platforms they don't already follow you on.
  • Trust is key. Show the human side of your brand or personality on social media and sales will come naturally. People buy from people!

It's also worth teaching yourself a basic understanding of any platform updates, trends or big algorithm changes, so that you can get your business in front of as many people as possible. TikTok is a key platform for many small businesses right now, as it's a more personal channel where you can take users behind the scenes and inside the world of your brand.

How small businesses can stand out on social media

It's great having a social media presence and growing channels, but if people don't really know what you do, it won't transform into sales! As a business, you don't want to be famous for being famous. Find your hook or pillars and tie your content back to them when posting.

But the big question are others describing what you're known for?

We have our own language to describe what we do, but when people are searching for products and services online they may not be using that same language! Match your internal language to that of your audience, across everything - not only as part of your social strategy, but your SEO and SEM strategy too.

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The benefits of standing out on social media:

  • It helps you connect with people - if you're embracing something unique about yourself, or talking about a taboo subject, you're likely to be picking up the attention of someone hiding that same thing, and empowering them.
  • It helps people remember you - you want them to think about you even after they've left your channels
  • People engage more - people don't just buy from people, they love talking to people too! If you have a more human tone of voice your audience is more likely to engage with what you're saying. Make sure you're commenting back to keep the conversation going too!

The best part about just starting out on social is that it's your opportunity to experiment with different topics, tone of voice, and types of content. You can then analyze your results, spot any trends or patterns, and in turn, develop the personality you're going to be known for. That's the thing that keeps people coming back to your page!

How small businesses can stay human on social media

The B2B vs B2C gap is shrinking further with the proven success of B2B selling on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, these online spaces are not the place audiences want to receive a heavy sales pitch and both B2B and B2C brands have to earn followers through engagement, by informing, entertaining, and resonating with their target groups.

It reminds a customer that behind every brand, association, governing body, or non-profit, is a team (or individual) that are real human beings. H2H Marketing helps form a bond between the people selling and the people buying, which is far more powerful than any advert or product photo.

Remaining professional while showing a human side to your brand on your social media accounts can be difficult to get your head around if you've never done it before. Here are a couple of ideas to fuse the two, that work particularly well if you're a small business on social:

  • Tell your story! Even the biggest brands started out as a small business or idea, and every business has a back story that will help people resonate with what you do.
  • Introduce your humans! Not just who they are in your company, but also who they are beyond their jobs.
  • Share your day-to-day! The things you may think are mundane, other people love to watch. Show off your office, what happens on any given day, or even stories of interaction (did you have a particularly great or funny experience with a customer?)

Consider collaborations and partnerships! Collaborating with another person or brand on your content can:

  • Show real people engaging! Even if your tone of voice isn't as human as it could be, it shows you are a real person, interacting with another human
  • Reflect glory! Partnering with the right brands allows you to open up and share your audiences, which is great for creating further opportunities
  • It shows you're not all about you! It builds relationships and shows you're a brand that helps others

By tying all of this together, you can create a simple strategy that builds an engaging and effective presence on social. Remember, you don't have to do everything and definitely don't have to be doing it all at once! Our free social media posting template might help with this!

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