Social media marketing can be a low-cost strategy for building brand awareness with the potential to reach your target audience at a fraction of what you would pay for targeted ads.

As an SME, you’re likely focused on growth. Sharing, engaging, monitoring, and optimizing through your social media channels can help you attract new customers, drive more traffic to your website, promote your products and services, and connect with and learn from your target audience.

As an SME, it can be easy to push social media down the list of priorities while facing countless other challenges and deliverables. The lesson: don’t let this powerful tool fall by the wayside.

Here are five tips and tricks to help you optimize your social media and build an authentic brand that connects with your customers.

  1. Decide what platforms are right for your audience, and adjust accordingly

The most popular social media platforms for business marketing are Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter and LinkedIn, but they all have different sets of users and different keys to success.

Facebook, for example, has a massive user base with 1 billion daily active users, but users tend to skew older – think of aunts posting pictures of their nieces and nephews.

You’ll need to set up a page for businesses to share content on – if a consumer decides to follow your businesses’ page, you’ll be able to push them updates on your products or services, future sales or promotions or information about upcoming launches or events.

It’s a powerful hook – but you’ll want to avoid posting too frequently. Users can quickly decide to unfollow if they find you dominating their feed. A good rule of thumb is to post content 2 or 3 times per week – studies have shown that engagement rates dropped significantly for businesses posting more than twice per day or less than once per week.

If you want to reach a younger audience, say teens and young adults, Tik Tok is the place to be. Here, short, catchy video content is the way to go. If your content is funny or quirky, you may find your content getting pushed to the main page and viewed by thousands of new users.

Conversely, with LinkedIn, you are going to be targeting an audience of business professionals who care more about the information and insights you can bring them. It’s a career-oriented social media environment, and you’ll want to craft entirely different content than you would for Tik Tok by focusing on producing messages that are meaningful and helpful for your audience in a professional context.

Bottom line: you need to think about what platforms are right for your business – and craft content that is aimed at the right audience.

  1. Start a conversation

One consistent mistake that businesses make is believing that social media is a one-way street. Engaging your audience in a way that sparks a conversation is a powerful technique to help get your post seen by a new audience.

On most social media platforms, and especially on Instagram and Tik Tok, what users see is heavily guided by algorithms that attempt to show them the most relevant and popular content on the platform. These algorithms heavily favour posts that show engagement, like user comments and shares from one user to another.

By asking questions, taking surveys, or otherwise generating responses from your audience, you’re increasing the likelihood that your content will be promoted by the platform’s algorithms and seen by new audiences. You should also take time to respond to your users comments or questions – it’s not a conversation if one side is doing all the talking.

Smart social media accounts do this all the time. A restaurant might spark a conversation by simply asking “Pineapple on pizza? Yes or No!”.

The conversation you want to have is going to depend on your business, but putting thought into how to have a real conversation with your audience will always pay dividends.


  1. Use video, and do it right

Video is the currency of social media today. Tik Tok is the world’s most popular social media app, and guess what – you won’t find any static images or text. To connect with your audience in 2022, you need to start telling stories using video. While Instagram and Facebook are more image-heavy (or text-heavy in the case of LinkedIn), the same rule applies: videos tend to be better at getting and keeping your viewers attention.

While videos are more likely to keep your audience engaged, they can also be a powerful tool to build your brand. Here are some tips to create effective videos for social media:

  • Add captions to the video – visitors will stop scrolling so they can tap their phone to turn up the volume
  • Embed your videos onto the platforms themselves – users are less likely to view your content if they have to click through to your website to see it
  • Be authentic – include your team in your videos, and talk about the WHY of your business, and why you do what you do. Are you passionate about the product or service you deliver? Then let it show!
  • If you make a product – show the process. “How Things Are Made” style videos are popular on social media and more likely to get picked up by a platforms algorithms.
  • Don’t worry about professional video editing – social media users are used to watching content shot on phone cameras, and it can add to the authenticity of your content


  1. Be consistent

You might be marketing on multiple platforms, using multiple forms of media, and attempting to reach multiple audiences – but it’s crucial to retain the consistency of your brand both visually and in your messaging.

Inconsistent social media engagement can make it difficult for your audience to recognize your brand. You’ll want to ensure that you maintain your brand aesthetic across posts and platforms to enhance your visibility. And, while you may use different vernacular to appeal to different target audiences, you should ensure that your tone stays consistent.

You’ll also want to ensure that you are engaging consistently. Not posting for 3 weeks, and then posting four times in one day will confuse your audience and lessen the impact of your content. You can use tools like Asana (see Tip 5!) to create a schedule for your social media posts and help you plan your content in advance.

Similarly, as you try to strike a conversation with your audience, you’ll need to be dependable. You want your viewers to feel confident they’ll get a response if they ask a sincere question in your comment section – otherwise, why would they bother? This can be time consuming for SMEs, but you’ll reap the benefits if you show consistency in interacting with your audience.


  1. Leverage social media tools

Aside from social media platforms themselves, there are a bevy of tools to help you track and optimize your social media strategy.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking the impact of your social media accounts. It can tell you:

  • How many visitors are clicking through to your website from your social media pages
  • How long they spend on your website
  • Which landing pages are getting shared most on social media
  • Conversion rates from social media compared to other channels
  • Which social campaigns are generating traffic and conversions

There are both free and paid versions of the app, but the free version is feature rich and, for many SMEs, there will be little need to upgrade.

Free graphic design tools, such as Canva, offer social media templates and open-use stock images and videos that can help you build a visual identity at a fraction of the cost of contracting a graphic designer or employing one in-house.

And apps like Asana will act as a project manager for your social media content planning. The free version of Asana offers integration with tools like Slack, Google Calendar, Adobe and Mail Chimp, among hundreds of others. With tools like Asana, you can develop your social media strategy, create tasks, and track your progress.

And there you have it: five tips and tricks to help your small business leverage social media to enhance your brand and build your business. Now, go forth and engage!

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