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Make a Big Impact on Your Small Business: 5 Tips for Promoting a Small Business on Social Media

by Brightworks Marketing Team - August 31, 2020

Among all the new phrases born from this pandemic (‘social distancing’ and ‘new normal’ come to mind), there’s one that will hopefully stick around long after the world goes back to normal: ‘Support small businesses’.  Small businesses bring a sense of community and offer a level of personalized care lacking from most retail chains; when you’re small, every single customer counts.

With the threat of the pandemic still looming, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to stay top of mind with consumers – and social media is the perfect way to do that. 

If you’re a small business owner, here are some tips to keep in mind when promoting your business on social media.  And if you’re not – scroll to the end to see our list of go-to local businesses in our ‘hood!

Post at the right time

Test posting on different days at different times of the day to see when your audience is the most engaged.  You can also take a look at your platform insights to determine when your followers are the most active.  This way, you can hit your followers with content when they’re looking for it – this is particularly important for time-sensitive posts (e.g. change in hours of operation or one-time discounts).

…And in the right place

It may seem like a good idea to be active across all social platforms, but this really only makes sense if your target audience is active on all of them as well.  Consider the age group you’re targeting; for example, if your business is targeting 50+ women, Facebook should be your platform of focus.  You also need to consider how these platforms are used.  Facebook, for example, is where people go to join conversations and get more information, whereas Twitter and Instagram are more used for quick interactions.  When choosing the platforms to use, you need to consider the content you plan to share, and how it will best be consumed.

Utilize hashtags – but don’t overdo it

Hashtags are an easy way to reach new audiences.  But in order to benefit from them, you have to choose the right hashtags.  Using more won’t necessarily increase awareness of your business; you need to select hashtags that are not only commonly used, but are also relevant to your industry.  The idea is to use hashtags that will attract users within your target audience who are actively seeking the goods or services you provide.  If your business is only available to residents in a specific location, use niche hashtags as a way to target users in that location (e.g. #torontodogwalker versus #dogwalker).

Create partnerships

Partner with other small businesses or micro-influencers (influencers with 2K-50K followers) to reach a wider audience. Of course, this only works if you partner with those who are relevant to your industry. Own a fashion boutique? Reach out to a local a stylist or fashion blogger. Trying to raise awareness of your health food store?  Connect with a local fitness club or studio. Having partners tag your business in their posts will help to increase awareness with an entirely new audience.

Leverage your blog

An obvious benefit to social media is that it can provide a clear path to online purchase.  But what if your business doesn’t offer e-commerce? You should still drive traffic to your website, but for a different purpose.  Use your blog – or create a blog – to help illustrate the services your business provides and to position yourselves as experts in your industry.  Showcasing the knowledge and expertise of your team will help to build trust with your followers and providing additional, high-value content will help to keep them engaged.

This all may seem like a lot (and it is!), but there are some steps you can take to make social media management a bit less daunting:

  • – Planning your social media calendar a month or 2 in advance can allow you to create content and schedule it in ahead of time; this will also help you to align your social calendar with any other marketing activities you have planned (e.g. upcoming events, or your eCRM program). 
  • – Developing content categories or “buckets” that your posts can fall under will make it easier to determine the subject matter for each post. Consider the categories that make the most sense for your business and your industry.   

Whether you own a small business or not, we should all do our part to support the local businesses in our communities. If you’re ever in the Riverside neighbourhood, here are a few of our go-to small businesses to check out:

  • – Blackbird Baking Co (@bbirdco): They’re now offering home delivery!  Get fresh baked bread delivered right to your door.
  • – Butchers of Distinction (@butchersofdistinction): There’s a reason their fried chicken always sells out!
  • – Tiny Record Shop (@tinyrecordshop): Can’t get that hard-to-find record? You’ll probably find it here!
  • – Quince Flowers (@quinceflowers): Whether you need a new desk plant or a bouquet for that special someone, the team at Quince will be happy to help you.
  • – Good Neighbour (@goodnbr): Technically this is in Leslieville…but it’s still one of our faves (especially our President, Neil’s, who was featured as one of their Rad Dads)! They offer some of the coolest curated clothes, footwear and housewares in the East end.


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