Out of OfficeOut of Office Blog

Keeping your Small Business Social Media Marketing Small

Claire Diaz-OrtizClaire Diaz-Ortiz

There’s a trend these days, and it’s all about narrowing down your focus to doing the things that only you are very good at.

In business, it looks like ensuring that your products and services are exactly those things that you are best poised to create and deliver and those things that your market knows and loves you for. Nothing more, and nothing less. It’s easier said than done, though, as it involves a true dedication to eradicating the problem of mission creep, whereby you start selling products and offering services that aren’t exactly in your wheelhouse on the off chance they just might appeal to some of your customer base.

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But narrowing down what you are good at as a small business isn’t just about what you deliver, it’s also about how you do it. This means ensuring that the strategies you have in place to market and deliver these services are tuned to the ways you as a business best work — and the ways you don’t. It’s about cutting down the noise, and increasing the frequency on the things you do well.

It is in the area of social media marketing, perhaps more than in any other, that it is easy for a small business to feel the need to appear bigger than they are. Every day, we are inundated on social media by the campaigns of large brands right and left. Many a small business will see such an idea and want to emulate the great idea. Sadly, this approach will land many a small business on their proverbial face, as they struggle to do too much and thus lose out at doing the things they are uniquely poised to succeed at.

When it comes to social media marketing, here are a few ways to ensure that your small business is doing what you as a small business do well.

Reduce the Social Media Overwhelm by Selecting Only a Few Platforms

One of the biggest traps a small business can fall into today is the idea that, despite their size, they need to compete with the big guys when it comes to social media marketing, a potentially free marketing resource. The line of thinking goes like this: “If a large brand has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, why shouldn’t a small business? It’s free marketing, after all!”

The answer? Bandwidth. A small business, by definition, oftentimes doesn’t have the resources in money and manpower to keep up with so many accounts. Instead of doing a poor job of showing up on six accounts, why not do a great job of showing up on three. Ultimately, your reach will be greater in the end from good social media marketing on a few platforms than from poor marketing on many.

Reduce the Number of Accounts on Any Given Platform

Maybe your small business has decided on a few key platforms to use. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram might be your platforms of choice. The next step is determining the strategies for each of those accounts. And therein immediately comes the question, “How many accounts on that platform should my small business have?” This question is a tricky one, as small businesses will find themselves misled if they look to big brands for their answers. After all, if a large brand has three Twitter accounts and five Facebook pages that each represent individual products or initiatives, why shouldn’t a small business?

That answer? Again, bandwidth.

Don’t spread yourself too thin, and don’t spread your followers too thin either. A large brand may be able to handle the upkeep of multiple Twitter accounts, and a large brand may have a following to sustain multiple accounts about different products within one brand’s purview. Your small business may not. Be wise.

Engage as Needed

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to social media marketing is that engagement matters miles more than follower counts. As such, small businesses want to do everything they can to prioritize engaging with customers and potential customers. So what do they do if they don’t have the time and bandwidth? They reset expectations. Your small business may not have a full-time marketing person who can spend hours a day responding to comments on the various social platforms. That’s fine — so don’t secretly expect it to happen or beat your small business up for not delivering. Set realistic expectations for engagement based on what you know you can deliver.

Ultimately a small business, by definition, has fewer individuals carrying the load, and this means that careful consideration needs to be made in terms of which platforms to use, how many accounts to have, and the engagement strategy on these accounts. These tips will help your small business succeed — using your size to your advantage.

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