Top 10 Social Media Marketing Best Practices for Small Business

Use these top 10 social media marketing best practices for small business to build your brand and generate a profit using social media.

Every business owner knows that marketing is an essential part of building your brand. Yet, as a small business owner, it can be hard to compete with the big dogs who can pour thousands of dollars into a national marketing campaign. However, traditional marketing is expensive, hard to measure, hard to change, and often a one-way form of communication.

There’s another (dare I say, better?) way to market in the new media age that allows direct, quantifiable, targeted messaging delivered directly to your target audience–social media marketing.

Social media connects your brand with an attentive and relevant audience that is open to your messaging and ready to engage. It also offers cost-effective ways to funnel cold traffic into profitable actions. With a smart social media marketing strategy in place, businesses can harness the power of social as an extremely useful marketing tool.

Here are our top 10 social media marketing best practices for small business:

1. If you build it, keep it up. If you can’t keep it up, delete it.

When first launching your social media presence, it can be tempting to create a profile on every social media channel available to you. Keeping up six different profiles with individually optimized content sometimes is not realistic. It’s better to have a limited, streamlined presence rather than spotty coverage all over the Internet.

2. Focus on 2-3 platforms where your demographic lives.

Not every audience is on the same page–literally.

Knowing where your audience lives online is a valuable piece of information in creating your social media platform strategy . Want to focus on a younger audience? Twitter and Instagram are good platforms to start with. Looking for an older, professional audience? Consider creating a LinkedIn profile. Need to curate your online reputation management? Google and Yelp are where you should live. Being able to tailor your strategy to your audience will save you a considerable amount of time and effort down the road.

3. Google yourself and your company from a private browser. The first page is your current online reputation.

Using Google Chrome’s Incognito mode or Safari’s Private Browsing mode with a single Google search provides a quick snapshot of your online reputation. Don’t like something that you see? Feel like something is missing? Now you know what to work on with your targeted strategy.

4. Research marketing rules of your industry, especially if it’s highly regulated.

Each industry has its own specific rules and regulations governing marketing and advertising. Knowing precedent can save you from various headaches, including getting your ad rejected on Facebook or even possible legal action. Examples of highly-regulated industries include financial services, healthcare, education, government, law, alcohol, and the oil and gas industries.

5. Don’t leave your social media marketing execution up to an intern. Your social media presence is the public representation of your company.

It can be the knee-jerk reaction to assign the young person on the team to cover social media. Though they might be a digital native who understands the difference between Tik-Tok and Instagram Reels, having a more senior member of the team guide strategy and execution will pay off in the long run. Social media is often the first place a potential consumer will encounter your brand, and an experienced team member leading your social media plan can help ensure it’s a good one.

6. Use the “4-1-1 Rule of Marketing” (or similar) to develop a content calendar.

The 4-1-1 Rule of Marketing is:

  • 4 pieces of curated content created by others in your industry
  • 1 piece of self-serving, promotional content to drive sales/traffic
  • 1 piece of original creative content produced internally

For example, using this cadence as a guide for creating a content calendar would include sharing one piece of content promoting an upcoming special offer for your company with a direct call-to-action, one piece of original organic content, such as an infographic or specialized blog post, and four additional pieces of content, including retweets or reposts, industry updates, or article shares.

Whether you use this “rule” or something else, the bottom line is simple: Social media marketing is still about being social and organic social audiences don’t always want to be pitched. Instead, offer them more value by diversifying your content with more exciting and relevant information that builds engagement, connection, credibility–and yes, even sales–over time.

7. Use Facebook Blueprint to gain a solid foundation in social media marketing.

Facebook Blueprint is a library of online courses that allows you to “explore self-paced and step-by-step tutorials that can help you build your digital marketing knowledge and bring your business online.”

Consider it a free online marketing school. Love it, use it, and let it demystify the many facets of social media marketing for you.

8. Use Canva to make simple graphics.

Quality in means quality out. Creating high-quality content is a great way to develop your audience and increase engagement. Using a simple graphic design tool like Canva is an easy and effective way to create content for your feed.

9. If you blog, write for SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the single most important ways to get your online presence noticed. Writing “search engine-friendly” content will help give you a leg up in the competition.

Tips include:

  • Keep content to 300 – 2,000 words
  • Include at least 3 hyperlinks per post
  • Add at least one picture
  • Use keywords regularly, but be careful not to spam your audience.

10. Don’t boost posts without a strategy. Use Facebook Ads Manager to target your specific audience.

Facebook Ads Manager is a useful and powerful tool to help identify and build audiences. Creating core, custom, and lookalike audiences will deliver your content to people who are most likely to interact with it. Knowing your audience’s locations, demographics, behaviors, and interests can inform an audience segment as far-reaching or focused as you need. Keeping these audiences in mind throughout your social media advertising strategy, including any boosts, will help you get the most “bang for your buck” with your advertising budget.

From choosing your key social media platforms to executing your social media plan and reviewing your social media analytics, these best practices can help inform your social media plan, set S.M.A.R.T. social goals, and reap the benefits of social media marketing.