a graphic displaying the most popular social media networks for a blog in cleveland, ohio

11 Starter Social Media Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

Do you want to grow your business’s presence on social media?

We rounded up our 11 starter social media tips to help you get started.

Create a Plan For Each Social Media Platform

Often times, when we hear businesses claim, “we can’t succeed on social media”, it’s usually because they didn’t have the right plan from the start.

How can you know if you’ve succeeded if you don’t know your goals?

Answer the question, “why is my business on social media?” and then build your strategy from there. If the ROI of social media for your business means reducing customer service wait times,  that’s the measurable KPI you’re working towards. If you need to sell products or services, then build your content strategy around generating revenue.

Once you can answer your ‘why’, then you can begin to establish the ‘where’. Each social media platform provides a unique audience, that’s expecting something different. For instance, you don’t go to LinkedIn to watch funny GIFs of cats dancing. However, if you find in your research that there’s a large population of your consumer audience on a platform you weren’t expecting, don’t be afraid to put yourself in the conversation.

a graphic displaying the most popular social media networks for a blog in cleveland, ohioBeware of Vanity Metrics

Let’s face it, everybody likes it when people know who you are. If your social media strategy is centered around simply improving likes, followers, and impressions, you need to rethink your goals. All those metrics are fine and good, but they probably aren’t going to move the needle for your business. Instead of trying to increase the number of Facebook Fans on your page, focus on increasing engagement with your customers.


Consider this: Facebook Pages saw a 20% decrease in engagements in 2017. That means that even if you’re able to capture those 200,000 Facebook Fans, they probably aren’t spending a lot of time coming back to your brand’s page.


Create a Calendar

If you’re a business owner, you probably don’t have time to add the perfect Instagram filter to your next post. Creating your social media posts ahead of time allows you to plan ahead and distribute quality content. When you schedule your posts, make sure it ties back to your overall marketing strategy. You don’t want to confuse your audience with a social media presence that doesn’t reflect your overall business persona.

Post Early & Often

If you’ve spent any time on Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, you know things move fast. Once the conversation is happening, your time to get to the party is ticking. That means you need to publish new content daily and consistently to remain a part of the conversation.


There is a ton of content out there. So if you’re not remaining active on a platform, you’ll have a hard time coming back.


Be Deliberate With Your Social Media Content

Anyone who says that markets aren’t good with numbers hasn’t spent a day as a digital marketer. There are tons of helpful tools to help you understand what content your audience is most interested in.


Using these tools, you can find quality content that is relevant to your audience, provides useful information and is engaging. Be wary of “suggest content” apps that promise relevant content for your audience. These typically work off of keywords and data feeds can result in contextual content. Rather than relying on those types of applications, try to implement RSS feeds with sites that you know will provide safe content for your brand to share.


Also, keep in mind each social media channel is different. You won’t be sharing blog articles on Instagram.


Twitter Analytics

Facebook Insights

example of facebook businesses insights for better social media tracking.


Instagram Insights


Use Videos and Images

Let’s face it, if it moves, shines, or sparkles, it plays on social media. Videos and images help you (1) take up more space on social feeds (2) drive engagements (3) display your authenticity and creativity (4) and increase reach.


According to a 2018 study by Cisco, videos will account for 82 of all traffic by 2022.


It’s a Pay-To-Play World

Circa 2006, a New Jersey liquor store owner could create a loyal social media following by simply posting 20 times a day. Social media platforms have gotten smarter (and greedier) since then. Whether it’s Facebook’s algorithm or Twitter’s newsfeed, just because you post something doesn’t meet your audience is going to see it. The only way to ensure your posts are reaching a certain number of impressions is by backing up your organic social media posts with a social media advertising strategy.


Social Networking

It is called a social network after all, right? With micro-communities like Facebook Groups, Twitter Feed, and LinkedIn Groups there are plenty of forums to connect with people that share your interests on social media. Once you become a part of these communities, don’t be shy, join the conversation.


Social media is a place for people to make connections. Think of it like going to a party. You don’t show up to the party just to watch other people talk. You want to be a part of the conversation. Even if that means listening to understand before you join the conversation and give your two cents.


Engage (en·​gage)

Mean Joe is big on not using nonsense industry jargon. So, to translate engagement we really mean communicate. If someone walks in your store and starts asking questions, what do you do?


If your answer is “I respond”, then you need to be doing the same on social.


As you’re growing your social media presence, there may not be a large number of people engaging your content. In that case, you should be reaching out and starting the conversation with other people. Use Twitter lists, like or comment on posts, whatever way you feel most confident to begin a conversation online. At first, it may feel awkward or intrusive, over time you will become more comfortable with creating these interactions.

a graphic displaying a rocket coming off of a computer to exemplify what engagement on social media is likeUse your competitors for inspiration

There’s a good chance that the competitors that are irritating you on social are probably irritating because they’re doing a better job than you. Rather than be upset about “why didn’t I think of that”, review their strategies to come up with your own.


Now, I’m not saying steal content. That’s a bad look for everybody. However, you can take note of what type of content they are posting, who do they follow, how often are they posting, what is their most popular content.


All this information is public knowledge and a part of the social ecosystem. The more we learn from each other, the better we all collectively become.


When in doubt … execute

The best marketing strategies in the world are lost somewhere in a textbook – just ask the people who wrote them. The more time you’re worrying about how something will play out, the less time you’re giving yourself to succeed with that strategy. The best social media strategies have the ability to flow with the ever-changing landscape of the platform. Chances are if you’re waiting around for the perfect moment to strike, the moment has already passed you.


Sounds easy, right? The reality is these strategies are just the start. When you need to start cranking out content and managing your account, that’s when the real work starts. The key is to not get discouraged. It’s okay to misspell a word or forget a hashtag (believe me we’ve been there). You just have to be willing to stay on top of your accounts and manage the situations as they arise. The longer you’re waiting to handle an issue, especially on social, the harder it’s going to be to get in front of the scenario.