The number of social media users is increasing every year. Over 2.8 billion people used social media in 2017, growing to 3.6 billion in 2020, and should rise to an estimated 4.4 billion by 2025. With this type of growth, it’s no wonder that many large businesses and corporations are investing heavily in growing their social profiles.

You don’t need a sky-high budget to make the most of social media, and while these platforms do allow you to purchase ad space, it isn’t necessary to be successful. 

The social networks we’re going to explore are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

Facebook

Most businesses, large or small, have Facebook pages. By building a page for your business, you can provide potential customers with information about your company and an easy way to contact you. 

You can also use these pages to build a community for your business. A travel agency business might, for instance, choose to regularly post content about various holidays locations relevant to the time of year. 

While businesses can use ‘shotgun marketing’ tactics (which target a large number of viewers, but have limited successful returns), it can be better to cultivate a more targeted approach. For instance, if a travel agency shares a Facebook ad boasting a discount on package holidays, only a small percentage of users will click the ad. 

On the other hand, if they instead sent discounted upgrade ads to people who had already booked a holiday, they might see more success. Some businesses find success by creating groups and events on Facebook. You may find that the people who interact with these events are more likely to be potential customers.

Instagram

With a strong visual focus, Instagram can be an excellent promotional tool for a wide range of businesses. 

When using Instagram to market your business, don’t focus on giving your product or service a ‘hard sell’. Instead, try showing the benefits your business would bring, or provide tutorials for how to best use your product. The GoPro Instagram account, for example, shares some of the incredible images captured on their devices. 

By shifting the focus from the product to the benefit, your target audience is able to see how your business could improve their lives. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring attention to your products or services, just make sure that your self-promotion isn’t over the top. 

LinkedIn

If you’re interested in using social media to expand your network, then LinkedIn might be the best option for you. LinkedIn is the most professional social network available, and lets you make connections with the platform’s users. 

Just like other social media networks, creating and posting regular and relevant content is the best way to grow your account. Posting content will help users find your account, and show you more frequently in relevant LinkedIn search results.

If you were considering opening positions for your business, like an apprenticeship programme, you could do this on LinkedIn. People and businesses you’ve connected with could then share your post, and spread awareness about the position, ensuring you find the best possible applicants. 

TikTok

The newest social media platform, TikTok has quickly grown to over one billion worldwide users on its app. The app’s ease of use and constant stream of content has proven extremely popular, especially with younger audiences — 41% of users are between 16 and 24

Since the app allows a link on an accounts profile, the main goal is to draw users to your account page. TikTok does have business features available, but as the app continues to grow, these can get more expensive and become unsustainable for small businesses. 

You may wish to create your own content and let it spread naturally, rather than paying for it. Like most social mediums, TikTok’s algorithm rewards popular content by showing it to wider audiences. As a small business, your goal should be to make interesting content and grow your viewer-base. 

Even if you feel like your day-to-day isn’t worth watching, the public may disagree. You’ll never know how successful you could be until you try. 

A pool cleaning account, @thep00lguy, frequently uploads videos of cleaning his clients’ swimming pools. The account has reached over 12 million followers and has links to an online store and his business email address. His use of an online store allows him to monetise his followers who don’t need his pool cleaning services. 

Overall

Whatever platforms you decide to use, it’s important to remember a few key values. These values translate across all forms of social media and platforms. 

Don’t over-promote

If you’re constantly trying to sell something to your audience, they’ll get bored of your content and you could lose them permanently. So instead of overloading your viewers with ads, offer content they might care about. A good rule of thumb is having an 80/20 split — so about 80% of your content is valuable, and the other 20% is promotional.

Provide value

In order to build your audience in the first place, you need to give them a reason to choose you. Since it’s free to create an account or page for any social media platform, it’s easy to become another face in the crowd. By providing value, your account can stand out. 

Be where your audience is

Different demographics (social groups) use different types of social media, so it’s important to know which platforms your target market is using. If your audience is only using a specific platform, then your business should stick to that platform too. 

Whether your content is entertaining or informative, you should relate it to your business. By producing related content, you’ll find a higher conversion rate of viewers to customers. 

Manage your social budget with Countingup

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Start your three-month free trial today.
Find out more here.