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What Is Social Media Marketing and Why Is It Important for Small Businesses?

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


What Is Social Media Marketing and Why Is It Important for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Your personal assistant for social media marketing - Hookle


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Social media, its reach, and its impact are impossible to ignore. Best of all, it’s a level playing field. So whether you’re a multinational brand turning over millions every year or your business is all about you, you have the same opportunity to showcase what you’re all about.

Perhaps the most appealing part is that social media marketing costs nothing but time.

Perhaps the most appealing part is that social media marketing costs nothing but time. So often, the difference between a small company and a big one all comes down to budgets, but unique ideas and creative sparks can push even the smallest businesses into the limelight.


1. What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is all about getting your products and services in front of new and existing customers using some of the world’s largest platforms. From Facebook and LinkedIn to Twitter and Instagram, people spend a lot of time on social media, and they’re ready and waiting to buy from entrepreneurs and business owners.

One of the best things about social media marketing is it can work for anyone.

One of the best things about social media marketing is it can work for anyone. As a business owner, you’re already a content creator. No matter what you’re good at or what you prefer, videos, images, and written content can all enhance your profile. Even if you’re not great at the posts themselves, if you love talking about your brand and your products, you’ll have a fantastic time on social media.


2. Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?

Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash


Say what you will about social media, but it has brought people closer together than ever before. Even small businesses used to be faceless organizations. Unless someone made a phone call or entered a physical location for a chat, they’d have no personal connection with a brand.


That meant less work, but it’s an inescapable fact that personal connections sell. As researchers say, a relationship can be the most powerful sales tool of all.


Social media marketing is primarily important because it’s an opportunity to get your message out to people and make them feel like they’re a part of your story. However, it’s vital not to underestimate that this form of marketing can be hugely cost-effective too. It doesn’t require an upfront investment, and the quality of your marketing can come down to your time and ideas, not how much you can afford to spend.


3. What Are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?

Any low-cost opportunity to showcase your products and services to prospective customers cannot be ignored. Done well, even the time commitment can produce a positive return on investment.


Social media marketing is attractive enough from a high-level overview, but numerous specific factors make it an unmissable opportunity:

  • A chance to inform customers, but also engage them based on their feedback

  • A whole host of marketing opportunities, spanning images, videos, and text

  • An opportunity to find out where your target audience spends their time and to target them accordingly

  • Businesses can work not only on making sales but building a brand in the process

  • Spark a conversation and guide a narrative, encouraging positive discussions around your products and services

  • An incredible source of data, where you can understand your audience profile, where they’re from, and what they do and don’t like about what you do

4. Going Social in the Pandemic

More people spend the majority of their time at home than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, their social interactions, including those they might have at work, have moved online. Social media has always been a great way to engage audiences, but when they’re reliant on their favorite networks for updates and conversations, there has never been a better time to get your message in front of them. Here is more information and some social media tips to tackle the Covid-19 disruption.


5. How to Get Started

As mentioned, you don’t need anything other than time to get started with social media marketing. You might have a massive budget to build your brand, or you could be on a shoestring. Social media is a great leveler, to the point that a professional-looking strategy can make your company seem far bigger than it is!


Naturally, the first thing you need to do is ensure you have an account with the social networks you want to target. If you’re doing everything yourself, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin. There are dozens of social networks out there, and it’s vital to decide early where your audience is likely to be.


It could come down to age. If you’re targeting an older social audience, Facebook might be the best bet. If you want to stay in touch with a younger crowd, Instagram and Tik Tok will be the priority. Of course, if you’re selling to other businesses, then LinkedIn should be the priority.


If you’re unsure of where to target, start with the biggest social networks – they have the largest audiences, after all, even if not everyone is relevant. Also you can read on articles going more deep how to choose the right social media channels for your small business.


When you’ve decided where to post, you should shift your focus to what to post. Starting a social media campaign is always exciting, but it’s so easy to burn out. That’s one of the worst things you can do, as consistency is key to successful social media marketing.


Decide early on what you can commit to. Posting multiple times each day is the dream, but you’re a business owner, and you’ve got other things to do. Daily posts are great, but weekly ones are fine too. If you can’t commit to weekly posts across a couple of different networks, it might not be the ideal time to start thinking about social media marketing. Consider also the best time of the day to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


One of the best things about social media marketing is that there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors involved. It might seem like you’re taking time out every day to post something new and inspirational to your audience. However, it’s often easier to tackle your marketing in bulk.


Social media marketing for small businesses doesn’t mean juggling accounts and login details, nor does it involve logging in every day to keep the conversation going. Just as you might use Outlook to handle multiple email accounts, tools like Hookle make business social media easy.

Just as you might use Outlook to handle multiple email accounts, tools like Hookle make business social media easy.

With a tool like this, you can manage accounts across all the social networks that matter to you and your business. If you’re the kind of person that likes to block out a couple of hours to take care of new posts for the month, scheduling tools can make it happen. If you have the time to respond to comments and other interactions, you can do it from a single app or more easily through one app using Hookle.


6. Social Media Marketing Examples

For ideas for the social media marketing and content itself, here are some examples to start. For more quick ideas you might also want to take a look of this article 8 quick ideas on what to post next.


a) Share Existing Articles

If you’ve got a blog, or even if you’ve written on sites like Medium, you can kick off your social media strategy by sharing existing content, and scheduling it to go live as you produce more.

Share Existing Articles - Forbes example

It takes seconds to share posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and other popular platforms, and can boost engagement and brand awareness while you prepare the rest of your social media strategy. With social media management tools like Hookle you can share to multiple channels at the same time.


b) Infographics

Infographics perform really well on social media, as they look good enough to catch the eye, and keep people engaged with interesting information.

Infographics example

Infographic by shadmananto on Fiver


The chances are you know your business and industry better than anyone else, and if you can pull together some interesting facts and stats, you can make them pop visually on social media using a tool like Canva or you can order a gig from Professional Graphic Designer on Fiver, as the example above.


c) Customer Stories

Social media makes it easier than ever before to engage with customers, and the chances are that some of them have great things to say about your business.

Customer stories example

Showcasing their stories provides social proof about what you do and demonstrates to followers that you’re genuinely interested in their enjoyment of your products and services.


d) Brief News Updates

If you’ve added new features, launched a new product or done anything of note, you don’t always need to write an entire press release or article. Sometimes, a few words and a striking picture can be just as impactful.

Brief News Updates Example.jpg

People on social media love to feel like they’re in the loop, and if something new or unique happens, they’d love to hear about it – especially if they’ve already shown an interest in what you do by following you on social media.


Wrapping Up

For most small businesses, social media marketing is a no-brainer. With the right tools and a healthy passion for your products and services, you can reach a vast audience with minimal investment – and nothing financial at all.


When the primary investment is time, it makes sense to spend as little as possible, and Hookle makes it easy to plan, share and schedule posts in advance, keeping your social media marketing on track while you concentrate on more important things.

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