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7 Tips for Small Business Owners to Level Up Their Social Media

Updated: 6 days ago

It’s more important now than ever for your business to have a strong online presence. First impressions count! Your website and social channels will likely be the very first time a potential client will interact with your brand, so it’s important to leave them with a good feeling.

If you feel like your social media is lacking, don't fret! Lucky for you, there are a lot of quick and relatively easy things you can implement right now to start overhauling your social media profiles.

Start on these now, thank yourself later.

Tip # 1 - Stop selling all the time

I came on social media to watch funny cat videos, not catch another sales pitch.

On your social profiles, ease up on the selling and shift some of that focus to bringing something of value to your audience. Social media is a place to connect, so if your audience feels that all you want to do is make a sale, you're not using it right.

This isn’t to say NEVER sell, but it really shouldn’t be the main thing you’re doing on social media.

Things you can do, aside from selling:

  • Create posts that are packed with value. For example, teach a quick lesson, share a tutorial or offer a tip. Videos are awesome for engagement, and are super easy to produce these days with the free technology available. Cellphones cameras are more than good enough for this. Grab a cheap tripod or stand from Amazon and give it a try!

  • Shout out to your loyal fans. Reshare your fans content, leave comments on their posts, etc. Show them you support them a much as they support you.

  • Do a live Q&A session

Tip # 2 - Get Personal

People want to connect with people. When using social media, try your best to not be so formal and scripted — let that personality shine. Consumers seek authenticity and want to connect with brands they purchase from.

Birds Papaya Instagram
Sarah of the Birds Papaya is the queen of getting personal

Tips for getting more personal on your social profiles:

  • Post more photos of yourself and your team. If you’re camera shy, you can ease nto it by tying it into a trending hashtag i.e. #NationalPetDay, share a photo of yourself with your pet.

  • Tell a personal story in the caption. Share a memory, an observation, your opinion — anything that will help tie your post to something closer to you. This also sparks conversation in the comments which leads to better engagement on your post.

  • Get on your Facebook/Instagram stories and give a snippet of your day. Show a behind the scene video of whatever it is your working on. Try talking directly to your audience by recording a selfie video.

Tip # 3 - Give your social profiles a makeover

Is your business’ Facebook page all over the place? Does your Instagram feed look like it doesn’t belong together? Let’s fix that; a cohesive look is important!

Tips for overhauling your social media profiles

Left - Branded colours and elements with nice highlight images. Right - Photography heavy feed using the same Lightroom filter to create a blue/grey toned look

  • Use the same filter and editing style on all of your photos. Download Adobe Lightroom, a free app that has filter presets you can apply with one click. Choose one that suits your brand and use it on your photos so they take on a tone that will tie your feed together. This goes for lighting too! Try and keep the look and feel of your feed images the same.

  • Create themed templates. For example 'Tuesday Tip' using a branded template that showcase your brand colours, fonts and style. Check out Canva for free social media design templates that are easy to edit. You can also create your own brand library to ensure you are keeping things consistent and using the exact colour codes and fonts throughout your designs.

  • Create custom highlight images for your Instagram page. They’re the first thing people see when landing on your profile. Here’s a tutorial showing you how to do that using Canva.

  • Choose a few brand colours and use them in your posts, highlight cover images (Instagram), and even your profile picture. A cropped out photo of yourself on a coloured background is great for standing out and creating recognition. You can cut yourself out of your photos using this free website.

Tip # 5 - Get Social Within Your Industry's Community

There’s a shift happening in business; collaboration over competition.

Getting social with other businesses can go a long way for your brand. It’s a win-win; mutual support, leveraging each others audiences, and learning from each other along the way.

Tips for getting involved with other businesses

  • Reach out to another brand and propose a collaboration. Do a giveaway together, share each others posts, collaborate on an educational blog post together. The right partnerships should bring value to both parties' audiences, so choose wisely.

  • Do your best to reply to comments and DMs, within reason. Don't burn yourself out trying to reply to everyone, but take some time to answer anyone who messages or comments, it goes a long way with relationship building.

  • Leave meaningful comments on others posts...Not some copy pasted message. Write something that shows you actually consumed their content and enjoyed or appreciated their effort.

  • Share other other businesses' content. For example share a post you enjoyed to your story. Facebook/LinkedIn - Share a blog post from another company that is relevant to your audience.

  • Slide into those DM’s! There’s nothing more personal than talking with someone one-on-one. If it feels weird to message out of the blue, you can always just reply to a story they posted so it doesn’t feel random. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try sending a voice recording! I’ve received a number of these and they’re hard to ignore.

Tip # 5 - Plan and Be Consistent!

A key element to building a loyal audience is showing up, and showing up consistently.

Some tips on planning and staying consistent

  • Research your target audience and determine what sort of content they’d like. Plan posts around that. Use Google Trends or Answer The Public to discover hot button topics that people are searching for within your niche.

  • Create a content calendar using Google Calendar, or other free apps like Trello or Notion. It’s great to have a visual of your plan for the month, and you can fill in gaps as you see them.

  • Schedule your content. Plan it all out, then schedule it and forget it. There are a tonne of 3rd party apps you can use to do so, with many platforms now offering scheduling directly in app. Facebook Business Suite allows you to post to both Facebook and Instagram in one go.

Tip # 6 - Be Adaptable!

A speaker at a conference I attended recently said something that really stuck with me, “get on the boat or burn”. It sounds a little harsh, but the message is true. You will crash and burn if you don't change and adapt. Change happens for a reason, and that’s generally because the world is always evolving and finding better ways of doing things. Embrace change!

Things you can do to be more adaptable

  • Try new platforms like TikTok or Threads. Small businesses like yours have been finding huge success and blowing up on these platforms.

  • Take a look at your posts analytics and how they perform. Which were working, which weren’t? If a post isn’t performing, your time could be better spent making ones that do, so adapt to your audiences likes and continue experimenting.

Tip # 7 - Know Your Audience

Try and remove your personal bias when choosing what types of posts to create. This has to be one of the most overlooked elements to content strategy and planning. If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you be sure what you’re posting is relevant and interesting to them?

Here’s an Instagram story question I posted for some market research. I used the answers to develop content.

Tips for getting to know your audience and crafting content for their interests:

  • Look at your post metrics. Which posts perform better? Make more of those.

  • Who is your audience, according to your in-app audience insights? Adapt your strategy to suit the audience you have.

  • Ask them questions! Place polls and question stickers in your stories and ask your audience what they enjoy most, or what they’d like to see more of. Seek feedback right from the source. Always share to both Facebook and Instagram when making stories. Facebook generally has an older user base, and Instagram is younger. Sharing to both ensures you’re not missing anyone, and you can do so with the click of the button from Instagram (or even set it to automatically share to both each time).

I hope these seven tips helped you reframe your mindset when it comes to your social media strategy.

Remember, if it isn’t working, stop doing it. Don’t waste your valuable time on ineffective efforts. Study what works and adapt to keep your audience engaged. When you find something that does work, repeat it. Use the same style or formula with new topics. This consistency helps build audience loyalty as they come to recognize and expect your unique approach.

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