Your business is unique, therefore, it needs social media to reach out to the world. Social media for small businesses is just as different as you think. Here’s how you can set it up for your brand without any hassle.
In this blog, we will show you how to set up social media for your small business. Let us explore what ideas and content you need to post, how you can reach out to 500 million Indians with your brand, and what mistakes to avoid.
In this blog, we cover:
- What is social media for small businesses?
- What social media apps should small businesses start with?
- Important social media terms small businesses need to know
- How to set up social media accounts for business
- Content ideas for small businesses for social media
- Ideas for your first 10 social media posts
- Mistakes to avoid on social media
- How to use social media to sell online
- Which social media platform is best for small businesses?
First, the basics.
What is social media for small businesses?
Social media platforms are online spaces where you can share your thoughts and ideas. It is also one of the most effective ways of marketing a business. There are many social media apps in use such as—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many more! So how does social media work for small businesses?
Small businesses can utilise the power of social media to sell their products, increase sales, and interact with customers. Social media can be used to establish your business as a brand. In this blog, we shall take you through the process of building your social media presence from scratch.
What social media apps should small businesses start with?
Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform, and also one of the most popular social media apps in the world. An Instagram user is likely to engage with content 58 times more than Facebook & 120 times more than Twitter.
Customers prefer engaging with a brand on Instagram, hence it is the place to be for almost every kind of business. From a product perspective, this app is a must use for businesses such as—clothes, jewellery, food, art, gifting, packaging.
Facebook continues to be the most popular platform for small businesses to sell.
Over 300 million Indians use Facebook and spend over 5 hours on the app. Facebook has the highest user base in the social media world. It is widely used for networking and sharing ideas.
Facebook Groups and Messenger are a great way to interact with like-minded individuals. You can also set up a store on Facebook marketplace
Community building on Facebook for small businesses:
There are groups available for all kinds of businesses such as—furniture sellers, digital product sellers, Online Business Network.
When we set up the Online Business Network with a mere 300 follower base, we did not expect the number to jump to 2000+ MSMEs so quickly. How did we achieve this number? Here are a few tips:
- Consistent engagement through posts, webinars, and polls
- Addressing any MSME concerns ( our target audience)
- Interacting with them throughout the day via comments or likes
- Posting blogs, support articles or any relevant information of value
Twitter is a microblogging platform where you can share your ideas in the form of ‘tweets’. There are 187 million daily active Twitter users in the world. Twitter is the top platform when it comes to discussing trending ideas, innovative solutions, and current affairs. If you are a new entrepreneur and looking for funds for your business, Twitter is a great social media app to reach out to investors and VCs.
A brief life cycle of a startup:
Idea -> Prototype -> MVP -> Incubation -> Product Development -> Product Market Fit -> Market Access -> Pilots -> Business Traction -> Scaling -> Maturity
Funding can happen at various stages of this life cycle.
— A Wannabe VC (@awannabevc) March 26, 2021
YouTube is the most popular video streaming platform in the world. If your business involves demonstrating how to use a product, selling online courses, hosting virtual events, or selling multimedia content, then YouTube is a great platform to do video marketing for your business.
WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal have gone way beyond just being messaging apps. If your business is subscription-based and requires you to regularly interact with your customers, then explore creating a community on these platforms. WhatsApp & Telegram are two of the most popular apps for creating a community of your customers. This helps in keeping a steady and loyal customer base.
What we did: What helped us improve our content, brand awareness and marketing goals were setting up a community on WhatsApp and Telegram. Over 70% of your customers prefer using mobile to communicate, and this was a perfect way to take care of queries, feedback, and share links. Read more on how we grew an online community to get more tips and ideas to set up your own.
Important social media terms small businesses need to know
Likes— If someone finds your social media posts interesting, they can Like them. A post that is liked more is shown to more people on the platform.
Followers— If someone finds your social media posts interesting, and want to continue receiving those—they Follow you. Followers get your updates regularly and are important for your page to grow.
Shares— Sharing is an option by which people can share a post with their friends & connections on the social media platform.
How to set up social media accounts for business
Once you register on a social media platform, there are a few sections you should fill up to better explain what your business is about.
Bio/About: In this section, briefly describe what your business does. For example, if you sell jewellery, then your description should be something like: “We make jewellery for events & gifting. We are also open to custom orders and brand partnerships.”
Website link/ other social links: In this section, provide the link for your online store or website. People can directly visit your website or your store from your social media account.
Content ideas for small businesses for social media
Short videos— Videos that are shorter than 2 minutes do well on all social media platforms. You can create videos about your products *, share informative content about your business, promote seasonal discounts and much more!
View this post on Instagram
Carousels— If you use Instagram for marketing your business, then carousels can help increase your engagement with users. Carousels help you promote a line of products, new offers, stories about your business, and informative content for your followers.
View this post on Instagram
Long Videos— For businesses in the field of digital products and reviews, you can record longer explanation based videos on platforms like YouTube & Facebook. You can also Live Stream a sale of your products where people bid through comments.
Add-on tools all social media marketers use
Canva: Canva is one of the best tools to create designs & pictures for your social media posts. With 1000s of ready-made templates, you can quickly create social media posts on Canva.
Buffer: Buffer is a tool you can use to schedule your social media posts. Sometimes, you might not be able to post on a given day. Scheduling posts helps you keep a track of time, and ensures that you do not miss out on posting.
Ideas for your first 10 social media posts:
- The story behind the name of your business
- What do you sell (product pictures)
- Picture of the team behind your business
- A post about your online store
- Product video
- Behind the scenes making of your product
- Customer testimonial
- An interesting fact about your field of business
- Discount/sale announcement
- Share the vision behind your business
- Community announcement to join your network
5 Mistakes to avoid on social media
1. Never be rude while responding to customers ❌
Customers often raise their complaints on social media platforms in the form of comments on your public posts. Some of these comments can take a rude turn, and it is important to maintain calm while responding.
The best way to resolve such a situation is to message them directly and resolve their issue in private chat.
2. Never keep a long gap between your social media posts ❌
While posting every day on social media can be too difficult, it is still important to be regular with your posts. Posting once a week is a good frequency to start with.
3. Buying likes/followers ❌
There are thousands of websites that sell followers/likes for money. Avoid buying followers for your small business account as your account runs the risk of getting banned by the platform for spam.
4. Not using logos/branding ❌
It is important to maintain consistency with your social media posts. You should create a logo for your business, especially when posting on social media. This adds recall value to your social media content and makes your business more recognisable.
5. Not engaging with your audience ❌
A business account on social media should reply to all their messages. These messages might be customer queries, customer complaints, or people wanting to know about your business. It is also a good practice to respond to all the comments, as it adds an element of personal touch to your social media activity.
How to use social media to sell online
Congratulations on setting up all your social media for your business. Now, to the real work of getting customers to notice your brand and buy your product/service.
If you are looking for an in-depth guide that will teach you everything you need to know about setting up on social media, download our free ebook here.
Social media handles linked to online stores/website— You should link your website/online store to all your social media handles. This helps people reach out to you across platforms based on their interest and intent.
Donation drives—If you are collecting money through donations, then adding the donation payment link in your profile is a good option. It makes it easier for people to access the payment link and make the donation.
For example: CARE – an animal shelter, has over 10K strong followers and allows customers to donate for their cause online through Instamojo payment links.
Customer engagement—There is a good chance that the product/service you offer might not be something that can be displayed—therapy, online teaching, webinars.
In such a scenario, you can use social media to engage with your potential customers and build a healthy relationship over social media.
View this post on Instagram
Which social media platform is best for small businesses?
It can often get confusing not knowing where to start with social media for your business.
One of the biggest challenges faced by many business owners is the choice of social media platform. Even though there are various social media platforms available, your business need not have an account on all platforms. The best way to go about it would be to start with 1-2 social media channels, build a steady base of followers, and then expand to more social media platforms.
To make this process simpler, we have made this table to help you find the most suitable social media platforms you can start off with:
|Business Type||First Two Channels||Next Channel(s)|
|Food||Instagram, Facebook||Youtube, Pinterest|
|Art & Crafts||Instagram, Pinterest||Facebook, Youtube|
|Gifting & Novelty||Instagram, Facebook||Pinterest, Youtube|
|Packaging||Instagram, Facebook||Whatsapp, Telegram|
|Online Courses||Youtube, LinkedIn||Instagram, Twitter|
|Professional Services||LinkedIn, Twitter||Facebook, Instagram|
|Corporate Clients||LinkedIn, Twitter||Facebook, Instagram|
|Personal branding||LinkedIn, Twitter||Instagram, Youtube|
Social media is now a mandatory feature for small businesses to grow and expand their reach online.
You can always experiment with many other social media platforms too. Some platforms work really well for certain kinds of businesses, while others find more reach elsewhere. Once you figure out where your business belongs, focus on it and grow that channel. Social media can help make your small business big. There has never been a better time to start.