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5 Tips on How To Use Social Media for Small Business in 2024 | Seller Community

In this article members of the Seller Community team gathered some of their top tips to help you tackle social media for your business in 2024. From establishing content guidelines to understanding how much time you should spend on social media, these tips will help you no matter your experience level. Get ready to dip your toes into the world of social media or to learn new strategies to improve your existing social media plan.

 

 

Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev on UnsplashPhoto by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash


Tip #1: Before you get started, ask yourself, “What are my goals?”

 

Last year we hosted Ali from Sugar Lab Bake Shop (@sugarlab) for one of our most popular Ask Me Anything events to date: Ask a Super Seller Anything: Candid Experiences on TikTok & Social Media. A baker and business owner, Ali shares a lot of her processes and behind-the-scenes content on social media, especially TikTok. Capturing footage with only her iPhone 13 Pro and an editing app (InShot), some of her videos have been top hits and attract new customers to her business.

 

Ali says, “Try to get super clear on what you want to do with social media (and not just a certain number of followers or views), and that can help inform what you do more of.” 

 

When Aylon Pesso (@Pesso), small-business evangelist, decided to keep his seasonal business open all year, the team started with an overhaul of their social media strategy, “Instead of randomly taking photos and posting them as we felt like it, we built out a schedule on a spreadsheet to keep our posts varied and engaging. We started out  posting every other day, and more recently we’ve started to post everyday. We set up our Instagram posts to automatically post to Twitter too, to have a wider reach and impact with no extra work.”

 

Remove the guesswork. If you want to make an impact on social media, identify your goals first, which will help you plan and coordinate your content creation.

 

Tip #2: Understand which platforms you should focus on. 

 

There are many things to consider when choosing a social media platform to promote your business on. We recommend evaluating the list below and opting for a platform (or two) that align with your business objectives. 

 

  • Evaluate your budget and the resources you can allocate for social media management. Different platforms require varying levels of time and effort for optimal maintenance. Factor in your bandwidth to generate content, to engage with comments, and to oversee advertising efforts.
  • Know where your audience is present online. Identify who your target customer is and research where they are interacting online. Choose the platforms that they use most. For example, if your customers spend most of their time on TikTok, it’s unlikely they will see the content you share on LinkedIn.
  • Research the strengths and features of different platforms. If visual content is crucial for your business, platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest might be more suitable. If you plan to share long-form content, platforms such as LinkedIn or other blogging sites could be a better fit.
  • Consider the geographical scope of your business. Evaluate where your customers are located and the accessibility of your products or services. For local targeting, platforms such as Facebook ca prove more effective, while businesses with a broader reach may find success on Instagram, TikTok, or X (formerly Twitter).

 

Ultimately, it’s not necessary to be on every platform. Concentrate on those that align with your business goals and where your target audience is most active. Stay flexible in your strategy, making adjustments based on performance metrics and the evolving social media landscape.

 

Tip #3: Curate your content and create visual consistency. 

 

When it comes to social media content, 47% of adults like to see content in the form of images, while 35% prefer brand content in video for.... Video and image content consistently generate higher engagement rates across platforms, from Instagram to LinkedIn. In 2022 the average engagement rate for carousel posts on Instagram was 3.15%, while LinkedIn posts with images had a 98% higher comment rate on average. These factors make it even more important for you to curate your social media content to make it stand out. 

 

A few things to consider when sharing images and videos on your channels:

 

  • Tailor your media to platform best practices: Images with the wrong aspect ratio or low resolutions can be stretched, pixelated, or crunched out of proportion, which can make your feed look unprofessional and disorganized. Having high-quality photos and videos tailored to the platform of your choice can really help to showcase your brand and make it easier for customers to browse and consume your content. 
  • Define your guidelines: Establishing guidelines will help you create a visual consistency that makes it easier for customers to recognize your posts on their feed. The guidelines should include your brand story, values, and tone of voice. Guidelines should also define the color palette, filter, or mood that makes your content instantly recognizable. In time these guidelines could be something you share with photographers or agencies that you hire to promote your business. 
  • Don’t be afraid to use templates: Templates are there to save you time and effort while still maintaining a coherent look and feel. Having a set of templates makes it easier to adapt your content for different social channels. 

 

Pro tip: Hootsuite has a list of 14 tips to creating visual content for social media that is definitely worth checking out.

 

Tip #4: How much time should you commit to social media? 

 

There is no hard or fast rule with committing a certain amount of time to social media. The more important focus area should be on how consistent you are with spending your time. For example, coming up with a posting schedule cadence is helpful. That way you know when and how often you will be posting and spending time on each platform. 

 

A good idea is to time block a set amount each day or whatever your preferred cadence is and to stick to that as your ritual for spending time on social media. Consistency is key with social media, and having a time-blocked schedule so that you know exactly when and how long you will spend is important. 

 

You can also scale your time depending on what’s needed. Maybe you start off spending 30 minutes per day and realize you actually need to commit a full hour. This most likely will happen in waves, as  some months are busier than others.

 

Pro tip: Hootsuite put together an 18 Minutes a Day Social Media Plan to help you manage social media in a short amount of time. 

 

Reminder: We’re not perfect, so don’t beat yourself up if you have to change schedules due to unforeseen circumstances. As much as we aim to be consistent, life happens, so when it does just give yourself a little grace while getting back to your social media routine. 

 

Tip #5: Be your authentic self on social media. 

 

 

“There is only one you. And there will never be another one. That’s your power.” Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

 

It’s true, there’s only one of you, and the best way to portray yourself on social media is to be yourself. One of my favorite pieces of advice to share when someone asks how to post and be more like themselves on social media is to create the content that you wish to see.

 

What makes you want to engage? What content do you enjoy? When you know the answers to these questions, it allows you to show up more authentically as yourself. Plus, pretending to be someone that you’re not is exhausting, and who wants to spend more time and energy on that?

 

Reminder: Be your true self and create the content that you wish to see more of. 

 

Bonus Tip Do your research: great books and resources to get started on social media 

 

Learning never ends. That is particularly true when it comes to keeping up with social media trends!

 

A few months back, Seller Community member and mentor, Arline (@Smellthis1919), started a great thread in the Community asking for any recommendations for books on social media for beginners. There were some amazing resources and books that we want to highlight.

 

  • @scastrotattoo shared some helpful notes and insights from an event they attended called “How to Grow and Manage Your Professional Instagram for Artists.”  Check out the brochure they shared for great tips, including best posting times, building your brand, and making a new post checklist
  • @Pesso shared the Square Readers Bookshelf, which includes a summary of several books that will help you tackle social media in 2024: “Crushing It,” by Gary Vaynerchuck; “Hug Your Haters,” by Jay Baer; and “Building a StoryBrand,” by Donald Miller.

 

There is an abundance of great books and resources out there, so let us know about books that you have found helpful as well. If you’re interested to learn more business strategies from great business books, join the Square Readers Book Club.

 

Summary

 

We hope these tips help you get started using social media for your business or in your social media planning for 2024. Join the conversation and answer our Question of the Week, How will you use social media for your business in 2024?


Helen is a Seller Community manager at Square and is the editor of the Seller Community Blog. She writes about small business and the owners & entrepreneurs that are a part of the Seller Community.

 

Max is a Community engagement manager at Square. He’s passionate about helping sellers grow their businesses and fostering connection within the Seller Community.


Penny is the Seller Community marketing manager at Square. She promotes the Seller Community and also partners with Square teams to bring awareness of new programs, products, and features.

 

Tra is a Seller Community manager at Square. She is responsible for several programs, including Question of the Week, Seller Groups and the Seller Community Mentorship Program.

 

This article is only for informational purposes. The information provided in this article solely reflects the authors’ views and are not endorsed by Square. This article is limited in scope and is only intended as a high-level overview of the topics mentioned. Seller Community conversations are for educational purposes and do not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, you should consult with a qualified legal professional.


Cover photo by by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash.

19 Comments
Super Seller

@Helen These are amazing tips! It’s really is crazy how big social media has become and continues to grow bigger. Social media for businesses is almost a necessity if you want to achieve as a small business and compete with larger businesses out there. We are guilty of it too. When we travel and want to go somewhere we always check the local places on instagram first. That helps us decide if we want to go somewhere or not. It’s important your social media conveys who you are in person. No one wants to be catfished by a business. They want to know exactly what they are walking into and feel they way they felt either watching your videos or viewing your pictures. 

Anyone not currently taking advantage of social media- This is a great post to read and take notes and plan and then read again! You can handle it! 

Admin

This is so truen @Lovewell - "It’s important your social media conveys who you are in person." Thank you for your comment and adding additional tips and encouragement too! 

Admin

Couldn't agree more @Lovewell. I always find it sad when I have experienced a business that is amazing and their Instagram/Social accounts fall flat. I think "You are losing so much business because people aren't seeing who/what/how you really are" aka the reverse catfish (great business, bad socials) 

Super Seller

Social media and I have such a love/hate relationship.  Some months it goes smoothly and others it is a mess.  Great tips and a reminder I need to get back into it!

Super Seller

Thanks for the article!  For me it's a struggle with being consistent - I'll post for a bit and then ignore / forget for a few months.

Admin

@Doran I definitely relate! Glad you found this article helpful!

@Michael_L Of course! Yeah, consistency really helps with keeping engagement and momentum up. Maybe pre scheduling posts could help?

Super Seller

Social media is amazing and has enabled me to build my business as a well known company within the area. Use it to it's full potential and get to know it upside down and inside out!!

Admin

@SiBellebeauty so great to hear!

Super Seller

This is the kind of content I come to the seller community for!

Admin

@JTPets 😍

Admin

Love to hear that @JTPets!

Super Seller

GREAT tips 🙂

It's a non negotiable... you gotta be on social media. The fact that you can pick up your phone and reach people.. for free.. even if it's 1 person.. that's 1 person more than you were reaching before.

Consistency of posting and authenticity are I think the most important things!

Super Seller

@Helen I gave up on social media a year ago as it took too much time. Reading these tips I have decided to go back in. Thanks

René

Admin

@GourmetOnWheels that is so great to hear! Keep us updated on how this goes!

Admin

Thanks for those additional tips @DLRosenberg! 💚

 

@GourmetOnWheels Good luck! ☘️

Super Seller

@Hailey  @maxpete @tranguyen  What took me off of Instagram was the fact that you can no longer post online only on the phone. I have all my product images on my Mac, not on my phone. As these came all from my suppliers.

 

René

Super Seller

@GourmetOnWheels have you tried air dropping the photos to your iPhone?

Super Seller

@DLRosenberg I have no space on my iPhone for these huge and hi-res pictures 

Admin

That's so frustrating @GourmetOnWheels! Was Instagram a useful tool for you? If so, I wonder if a scheduling product like Buffer would be a useful workaround. Note: I don't have direct experience using Buffer! 

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