Header Text - How To Get The Best Out Of Social Media For Your Business

Social media for small businesses is even more of a necessity when competing against larger companies and businesses who have dedicated marketing teams. It makes for a powerful and accessible marketing platform that can level the playing field and help you beat the competition. This blog will take you through everything you need to know about using social media for your business from what platforms to use, to how to create and implement a solid strategy and engage your audience. We’ll also give you Hosted.com’s top tips to get the most out of social media marketing to help drive awareness and conversions.

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Social media for small businesses, isn’t just about sharing content (although, that is a necessity!), it can also be a powerful tool in your brand’s marketing arsenal that has a range of benefits. These include:

Brand Awareness:

First and foremost, social media lets you broadcast your business, products, and services making you visible to a vast audience. This increased exposure helps potential customers discover your brand and what makes it unique.

Increase Engagement:

Engaging on social platforms helps initiate two-way conversations. You can connect with your audience directly, answer their questions, address their concerns, and build genuine relationships. This creates brand loyalty and a ‘community’ around your business.

Generate Qualified Leads:

Social media can be a powerful lead-generation tool. By providing valuable content and targeted promotions, you can attract potential customers that are genuinely interested in your products, or services.

Fuel Growth:

By strategically showcasing your products or services and integrating social commerce features, you can convert engaged followers into paying customers, driving real sales growth for your small business.

With a well-thought-out social media strategy, you can take advantage of some or all of these to help your business grow.

Read more on our blog: 10 Practical Steps to Start an Online Business.

Strip Banner Text - 5 Steps To Help You Start Building A Successful Social Media Presence

Develop a Social Media Strategy

As we all know, social media platforms are where users create and share content, interact, and build relationships. These platforms have become almost a fundamental part of the marketing landscape, giving you a way to connect with your target audience, build brand awareness, and help achieve positive results.

How to Start Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses:

Without a clear plan, you may create random, directionally based content, which may fail to connect with your target audience. A specific strategy keeps you focused on your goals and the needs of your ideal customers. For example, if you run a charity, or NPO, what fund-raising projects will best be suited to your community, what is the message you want to get across?

Read about the Best Website Builders for NPOs

Vague goals like “increase brand awareness”, make it hard to track progress. A strategy helps you define SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your efforts and adjust your approach for continuous improvement.


  • Specific: Instead of “increase brand awareness,” define a specific metric like “increase brand mentions on social media by 10% in 3 months.”
  • Measurable: By having measurable metrics, you can see if you’re on track to reaching your goals. Track your progress using analytics tools built into most platforms.
  • Achievable: Set ambitious but attainable goals. Reaching for the stars is great, but ensure your goals are realistic, within a timeframe, and your financial resources.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with your overall marketing objectives. Are you trying to generate leads, boost website traffic, or build brand loyalty?
  • Time-bound: Set a specific time limit for achieving your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you track progress along the way.

A well-defined social media for small business strategy, acts as a guide, ensuring your content resonates with your target audience and drives them to your website.

Understanding Your Audience

Before deciding on what social media platforms to use and content to create, you need to understand your target audience. This refers to the specific group of people most likely to be interested in your products or services. It all starts with who you are trying to reach. Factors like demographics, interests, and online behavior, all define your target audience.

Here are some of the audience demographics to research:


Different platforms cater to specific age groups. For instance, TikTok and Snapchat appeal to the younger generation, while Facebook and LinkedIn have a wider age range with a heavier concentration of professionals.


What are your ideal customers passionate about? Are they interested in decor and design (Instagram, Pinterest), gaming and entertainment (YouTube), or tech professionals (LinkedIn)? Understanding their interests helps you target platforms where you can connect by delivering the right content.

Online Behavior:

Where do they spend their time online? Are they active on discussion forums (like X) or do they prefer visual platforms (Instagram, YouTube)? Knowing their online habits allows you to target them on the platforms they frequent most.


While not necessarily essential in every campaign, understanding your target audience’s location can be helpful for local businesses, or if your products or services are in a specific location, as well as online.

Understanding your ideal customer’s age, location, and interests allows you to tailor your content and messaging to resonate with them.

Match Goals with Platform Strengths

Social media for small businesses, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Identify your specific marketing goals and choose platforms that can effectively help you achieve them. For example, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube boast massive user bases, making them ideal for getting your name out there and building brand awareness.

LinkedIn excels at connecting with professionals and potential B2B clients. X (used to be Twitter), with its focus on bite-sized content and real-time engagement, can be a great tool to generate leads, particularly in fast-paced industries.

Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are at the forefront of social commerce, with built-in shopping features that make it easy for users to discover and purchase products directly within the app.

All these platforms are made for interaction with your audience. They allow you to connect with your followers directly, answer questions, and build brand loyalty. Social media thrives on consistent engagement. A strategy helps you plan your content calendar, ensuring a regular flow of posts to keep your audience coming back for more.

Create a Content Calendar

Plan your content to avoid last-minute scrambles and ensure consistent posting. A content calendar helps you schedule posts, diversify content types (images, videos, text), and plan for special occasions or holidays.

A well-organized content calendar keeps your social media efforts on track, allowing you to collaborate with your team and efficiently manage your online presence.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform

How to use social media for small business marketing, is all about choosing the right social media platforms hinges on where your audiences spend their time online. For example, while Facebook has the most users, younger demographics tend to favor image and video-focused platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Here’s a breakdown of some popular platforms and their strengths for businesses:

Strip Banner Text - The 8 Most Used Social Media Platforms

1. Facebook

Facebook boasts a massive user base across demographics, making it ideal for broad, brand awareness campaigns. Its community-building features, like groups and events, foster engagement, while its advertising options allow for targeted reach.

  • User Base: Over 3 billion monthly active users, spanning diverse demographics
  • Strengths: Ideal for broad brand awareness campaigns due to its massive reach.
  • Features: Groups and events foster community engagement. Advanced advertising options allow for targeted campaigns based on demographics and interests.
  • Content: Supports various content formats including text posts, images, videos, and live streams.

2. X

Known for real-time communication, X formerly known as Twitter, excels at customer interactions and joining industry conversations. Businesses can leverage trending hashtags to participate in discussions and connect with potential customers.

  • User Base: Over 335.7 million monthly active users
  • Strengths: Enables real-time communication for customer service and participation in trending discussions.
  • Features: Hashtags can connect your business with relevant conversations and potential customers.
  • Content: Short-form text updates, news, and industry insights keep the audience engaged.

3. Instagram

Instagram is perfect for businesses that are more visual content-focused, particularly those targeting younger audiences. Eye-catching photos and videos, highlight products and connect with a visually driven audience.

  • User Base: Over 2.4 billion users, with a slant towards younger demographics
  • Strengths: Focus on high-quality visuals (photos and videos) making it ideal for businesses with strong aesthetics.
  • Features: Built-in shopping features facilitate e-commerce and direct sales.
  • Content: Eye-catching visuals that showcase products, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and lifestyle elements.

4. LinkedIn

The biggest professional social network, LinkedIn connects businesses with potential clients and partners. It’s ideal for B2B marketing, displaying company expertise, and thought leadership through content and discussions.

  • User Base: Over 1 billion users, LinkedIn is the biggest social networking platform for professionals.
  • Strengths: Connect businesses with potential clients, partners, and industry influencers.
  • Features: Allows companies to show expertise and thought leadership through content and discussions.
  • Content: Professional content, like articles, white papers, industry trends, and job postings.

5. YouTube

The king of video content, YouTube allows businesses to create informative content, tutorials, product demonstrations, or even brand storytelling videos. With its massive reach, businesses can educate, entertain, and connect with their audiences.

  • User Base: Over 2.49 billion monthly active users, making it the second-largest search engine after Google.
  • Strengths: Offers massive reach and engagement potential with video content.
  • Features: Create informative content, tutorials, product demonstrations, or brand storytelling videos.
  • Content: High-quality, informative, and engaging video content that educates, entertains, and connects with the audience.

6. Pinterest

A visual discovery engine, Pinterest is a goldmine for businesses in lifestyle, design, or e-commerce. Businesses can create visually appealing boards for products, inspiring users, and driving traffic to their websites or stores.

  • User Base: Over 518 million monthly active users.
  • Strengths: Ideal for businesses in lifestyle, design, or e-commerce for their products to inspire users.
  • Features: Visually appealing boards with well created content can drive traffic to websites or stores.
  • Content: High-quality images and infographics with products, DIY projects, recipes, or design inspiration.

7. TikTok

The land of short-form videos, TikTok has exploded in popularity, especially among younger audiences. Creative businesses can utilize this platform with engaging content formats, challenges, and influencer collaborations, to capture attention and build a loyal following.

  • User Base: Over 2.05 billion registered users, with a strong presence among younger audiences.
  • Strengths: Exploding popularity, especially among younger demographics.
  • Features: Short, engaging video formats with challenges, trends, and influencer collaborations.
  • Content: Creative, fun, and trendy video content that captures attention and builds a loyal following.

8. Snapchat

Known for its disappearing content format, Snapchat allows businesses to create a sense of urgency, or exclusivity, with their promotions and content. It caters to a younger demographic and can be a playful way to connect and build brand awareness.

  • User Base: Over 422 million daily active users, with a focus on younger demographics.
  • Strengths: Creates a sense of urgency or exclusivity with disappearing content.
  • Features: Fun filters, augmented reality experiences, and interactive features for a playful brand experience.
  • Content: Short-lived, behind-the-scenes glimpses, teasers, and exclusive promotions.
Strip Banner Text - How To Get Your Small Business To Make a Big Impact

Building Your Social Media Presence

Once you’ve chosen your social media platform, it’s time to sign up and create profiles that reflect your brand, relate to your target audience, and start building your following.

  1. Username:

Choose a username that’s easy to remember and spell and reflects your brand identity. Consistency across platforms is ideal for brand recognition.

  • Profile Picture:

This is usually your first impression. Use a high-quality logo or image that clearly represents your brand.

  • Cover Photo:

This is prime real estate to tell your brand story. Use an eye-catching image that reflects your brand aesthetic and offerings.

  • Bio:

Write a compelling bio that tells users who you are and what you do. Include relevant keywords and a Call To Actions (CTA), like “Visit our website” or “Learn more.”

  • Call to Action:

Don’t be shy! Tell users what you want them to do next, whether it’s visiting your website, following you on another platform, or contacting you.

Many platforms allow you to add website links and contact information. Fill out all the relevant sections to make it easy for users to connect with you.

When it comes to your username, using your website’s domain name is a great way to ensure consistency.

Read up on how the Right Domain Name Can Boost Your Business.

Creating Content

Social media for small business content is a ‘conversation’ that you as an entrepreneur, small business owner, will have with your audience. To make that conversation resonate, you need to develop a voice and tone that reflects your brand’s personality. They should flow naturally from your brand’s overall image and values.

Are you a trusted expert offering advice (professional and authoritative), or sharing lifestyle tips and hacks (funny and quirky)? Defining a consistent brand voice makes your content feel genuine, allowing you to build stronger connections with your audience and target market.

Brand tone refers to the emotional feel you want your content to evoke. Do you want to be informative and educational, or humorous and engaging? Maintaining a consistent tone builds trust and recognition that your audience and customers will come to expect when engaging with your brand, making your content more memorable.

Content Formats

High-quality, engaging content is the lifeblood of attracting and retaining followers, building brand loyalty, and achieving your marketing goals. Here is a general overview of the types of content you can create.

Images & Infographics:

Eye-catching visuals grab attention instantly. Use high-quality photos, illustrations, and infographics of your products, present data, or share insightful tips.

Short-form Videos:

Short-form videos like those on TikTok and Instagram Reels are a goldmine. Create informative snippets, product demonstrations, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to keep your audience engaged.

Live Videos:

Livestreaming fosters a sense of connection and authenticity. Host Q&A sessions, product demos, or even live events to interact with your audience in real time.

Blog Posts & Articles:

Share your expertise and establish thought leadership with informative blog posts and articles. These can be repurposed into bite-sized social media snippets with links driving traffic back to your website.

Thinking about setting up a blog site? Here are our 6 Best Website Builders for Blogs.

Polls & Quizzes:

Interactive content like polls and quizzes is a fun way to boost engagement and gather valuable audience insights. Use them to spark conversations, get feedback on new ideas, or test audience knowledge.

User-Generated Content (UGC):

Encourage your audience to create content featuring your brand. UGC harnesses the power of social proof and authenticity, fostering trust and brand advocacy. Run contests, offer incentives, and include user-generated content to build a stronger community.

Now that you understand the different content formats, here are some tips to create truly engaging social media posts:

Storytelling: People connect with stories. Weave narratives into your content to evoke emotions, build trust, and make your brand relatable. Share customer success stories, highlight the human side of your business, or create a narrative around your brand values.

Mobile-First: Remember, most social media consumption happens on mobile devices. Keep your content concise, use easily readable fonts, and ensure your visuals are optimized for smaller screens.

Use Hashtags: Hashtags are like keywords for social media. Use a mix of relevant, popular hashtags to increase the discoverability of your posts. Research trending hashtags and avoid overstuffing your posts.

Content Creation: Creating valuable content from credible sources demonstrates your expertise and adds variety to your feed. Share industry news, insightful articles, or inspirational quotes and remember to always credit the source.

Bonus Tip: Respond to comments and messages promptly! Showing that you value your audience improves two-way communication and builds stronger relationships.

Align Your Content with the Platform

Each platform caters to different content types. Consider how your brand’s message and content strategy can be adapted to each platform. Here are some suggestions for how you can align your content:

Visual: Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube thrive on visually compelling content. Think high-quality photos, well-produced videos, and informative infographics.

Informative: LinkedIn and YouTube are excellent for sharing informative content that establishes your brand’s authority. This could be in-depth articles, tutorials, or educational videos about your expertise.

Short form: Platforms like X and TikTok are ideal for quick bursts of information. This could be thought-provoking questions, polls, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to keep your audience hooked.

Conversational: Facebook and X excel at fostering two-way communication. Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in discussions to build relationships with your audience.

Driving Engagement and Growth

Now that you know what goes into making content, it’s time to look at growing your following. Using social media for small business best practice is not just about broadcasting, but interaction with your audience. Building a social presence goes beyond simply posting great content. It’s about having a two-way conversation with your audience, making them feel valued and heard.

Responding to comments and messages shows you care about your audience, maintaining trust and loyalty. Engaged followers are more likely to become brand advocates, promoting your business organically.

Interaction allows you to understand your audience’s needs and preferences, helping you refine your content strategy while keeping them interested. Here are some ways you can encourage audience participation and turn your social media pages into hubs of conversation:

Be Responsive: Make responding to comments and messages a priority. Answer questions promptly, address concerns, and show appreciation for positive feedback.

Ask Questions: Go beyond simple “yes or no” questions. Pose open-ended inquiries that spark discussions and encourage responses from your followers.

Contests & Giveaways: Everyone loves a contest and free stuff! Promote giveaways or run contests (if you have the budget), that are related to your products or services to generate excitement and attract new followers.

Q&As & Polls: Livestreaming Q&A sessions allows you to connect with your audience in real time and answer their questions directly. Polls are a great interactive tool to gather audience insights and opinions on specific topics.

Testimonials & Reviews: Testimonials and positive reviews from satisfied customers hold immense power. Feature them in your social media posts to build trust and social proof.

Bonus Tip: Encourage user-generated content (UGC) by running contests or prompting followers to share photos or videos related to your brand. This promotes the power of authenticity and engages a sense of community.

Remember, social media for small business, is a conversation with your audience, and not a monologue. By implementing these strategies and promoting two-way communication, you can create a thriving online community around your brand, turning passive followers into active participants.

Measuring Success and Analytics

Social media isn’t just about posting and hoping for the best. To understand what’s working and refine your strategy to suit, you need to track key metrics and analyze the results.

Metrics help you measure effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate the Return on Investment (ROI) of your social media for small business marketing budget.

Fortunately, most social media platforms offer built-in analytics tools that provide valuable data on your performance. Additionally, there are third-party analytics tools and services that offer more comprehensive insights.

Key Metrics to Track

Reach & Impressions:

Reach = the number of unique users who saw your content.
Impressions = the total number of times your content was displayed, regardless of who saw it. Together, they show how many people you are reaching with your content.

Engagement Rate:

This metric indicates how well your content resonates with your audience. It’s typically calculated as the total number of Likes, Comments, Shares, and other interactions divided by your Reach or Impressions. A higher Engagement Rate signifies that your content is sparking interest and conversations.

Click-Through Rate (CTR):

This measures the percentage of people who click on a link in your social media posts. A high CTR indicates that your content is effectively driving traffic to your website or landing pages, potentially leading to conversions.

Follower Growth:

Tracks how quickly your audience is expanding. While a high Follower Growth rate is positive, it’s also important to focus on attracting the right kind of followers who are genuinely interested in your brand.

Web Traffic from Social Media:

This metric shows how much Web Traffic your social media efforts are driving to your website. Use UTM parameters (trackable website links) to identify which social media platforms are most effective at sending qualified leads your way.

Remember, analyzing these metrics in isolation doesn’t tell the whole story. Look for trends over time, compare performance across different platforms, and benchmark your results against industry averages, to gain a deeper understanding of your social media efforts.

By consistently tracking and analyzing your results, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your social media strategy and ensure that it is driving real business value.

Our 10 Top Social Media Tips

While organic social media marketing is essential, paid advertising and social media management tools can take your social media presence to the next level. Here’s a list of our top social media tips to elevate your strategy and captivate your audience:

For additional reading, we recommend this blog post: 9 Essential Website Tools for SMEs

Strip Banner Text - Use These Tips To Take Your Social Media To The Next Level

1. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising allows you to boost your reach, target specific demographics, and can help you reach your marketing goals faster.


  • Extend your reach beyond your current follower base and target users based on demographics, interests, and online behavior.
  • Precisely focus your campaigns on your ideal customer, maximizing the impact of your ad spend.
  • Track the performance of your paid campaigns in detail, allowing you to optimize your strategy for better results.

Allocate a budget for paid advertising campaigns based on your overall marketing goals and resources. Start small and scale up as you gain experience and data.

Clearly define your campaign objectives. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive website traffic, or boost engagement? Tailor your ad format and targeting strategy to achieve these goals.

2. Social Media Management Tools

For businesses, juggling multiple social media platforms and busy schedules, social media management tools are a game-changer. They can streamline your workflow by letting you schedule posts, across all your platforms, in advance. This saves you precious time and ensures consistent posting, keeping your audience engaged.

They let you track conversations and mentions from all your social media channels in one place. This allows you to efficiently respond to comments, answer questions, and build relationships with your audience.

Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the more popular social media management tools and what they do:

  • Hootsuite: A comprehensive platform for managing all your social media accounts in one place, scheduling posts, monitoring brand mentions, and analyzing performance.
  • Buffer: Focuses on content scheduling, analytics, and audience engagement. Buffer also offers features for creating engaging social media graphics.
  • Sprout Social: An all-in-one solution for social media management, offering scheduling, engagement, analytics, and social listening capabilities.
  • Later: Tailored for visual content management on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Later excels at scheduling posts, creating stories, and analyzing performance.
  • Canva: A graphic design platform that allows you to create stunning visuals for your social media posts, even with limited design experience.
  • Tailwind: Specifically designed for managing Pinterest and Instagram marketing. Tailwind helps automate scheduling, optimize post timing, and track performance.

The best social media management tool for you depends on your specific needs and budget. Always consider the number of social media accounts you have, the features you need most, and the pricing structure.

Using these tools effectively can significantly help to amplify your social media marketing, reach a wider audience, and achieve your business goals.

To further streamline your workflow, here are 5 AI tools That Can Help Your Business.

3. Respond to Reviews

Make responding to reviews a cornerstone of your social media strategy. Address both positive and negative feedback promptly and professionally. Thank satisfied customers for their kind words and acknowledge negative feedback by offering solutions or expressing your willingness to help. This engenders trust and transparency, and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

4. Offer Exclusive Content

Incentivize users to follow your social media pages by providing exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else. This could be early access to new products, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or special discounts. Exclusive content keeps your followers stay engaged and coming back for more.

5. Show Your Human Side

Social media is a powerful tool for humanizing your brand. Share glimpses of your company culture, introduce your team members, or tell the story behind your products or services. People connect with people, and showing your human side fosters a sense of connection and authenticity with your audience.

6. Celebrate Wins & Milestones

Social media is a great platform to celebrate your company’s wins and milestones, big or small. Did you reach a new follower milestone? Launch a new product line? Share your achievements with your audience. This builds brand pride and allows you to connect with them on a more personal level.

7. Post at The Right Times

Timing is everything in social media. Research the best times to post on each platform, based on your target audience’s demographics and online behavior. Posting when your audience is most active increases the chances of your content being seen and engaged.

8. Mix Up Your Content

Keep things fresh and engaging. Experiment with different content formats to keep your audience engaged. Use a healthy mix of images, videos, infographics, blog posts, polls, and live streams; to cater to different preferences and learning styles.

9. Partner with Influencers

Identify social media influencers in your niche who resonate with your target audience. Collaborate with them on sponsored posts, product reviews, or co-created content. Partnering with influencers can significantly boost your brand awareness, credibility, and reach, within your established audience.

This can be especially helpful if you are creating an Affiliate Marketing Website.

10. Stay Up to Date

Social media platforms are constantly evolving with new features and trends emerging. Stay informed about the latest updates and adapt your strategy accordingly. Explore new features like Instagram Reels to expand your reach and keep your content fresh and engaging.


What are the most popular social media platforms?

Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are considered the most popular, followed by TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. However, the best platforms for your brand depend on your target audience and marketing goals.

How can I develop a social media strategy?

Start by defining your SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Choose the platforms that best align with your goals and target audience.  Create a consistent brand voice and tone to build a unique personality for your social media presence.

What are some key social media metrics to track?

Key metrics to track include engagement, impressions, click-through rates, follower growth, and web traffic from your social media.

What are social media management tools?

Social media management tools help you schedule posts, engage with your audience, analyze performance, and manage multiple social media accounts in one place.

How often should I be posting on social media?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but it depends on the platform and your audience. Generally, it’s better to post consistently, rather than sporadically flooding your feed. Researching optimal posting times for your target audience on each platform can also be beneficial.

Is it okay to post the same content across all my social media platforms?

No. While some content can be repurposed, it’s best to tailor content to each platform’s format and audience preferences.

How can I deal with negative comments or reviews on social media?

Respond promptly and professionally. Acknowledge the user’s concern, apologize if necessary, and offer to address the issue privately. Avoid getting defensive or argumentative in a public forum.

Other Blogs of Interest:

4 Easy Steps to Check Your Domain Availability and Register It

4 Actions to Kickstart Your Startup

7 Factors for Choosing Web Hosting Services for your Small Business

Easily Start a Blog or Content Focused Website

5 AI Tools That Can Help Your Business