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Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

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Social media marketing is inexpensive, easy and effective. We know that 31% of consumers use social media to research products and services they intend to buy. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of people who are on social media each day. That’s why it’s so incredibly popular for marketing.  

The challenge with social media marketing for small businesses is that things change so rapidly. What worked five years ago is no longer relevant. 

The Social Media Opportunity

Social media marketing can be a great opportunity to increase brand awareness and revenue.

But social media marketing is also highly competitive. There are countless business owners, just like you, trying to grow their businesses through this form of marketing.

Still, the opportunity on social media is phenomenal with billions of people scrolling through the various platforms each day: 

Social media is an accessible and cost-effective marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. But it’s not just about throwing up a post every now and then. The key is to post consistently and curate content that resonates with your audience.

Effective Social Media Marketing For Small Business

Do social media marketing the right – in other words, the effective – way with the tips below

1. Start With Your Goal

Identifying goals – brand exposure, lead generation, sales conversion etc – will help you determine the type of marketing strategies that are right for your business. And keep you focused on achieving them throughout your campaign.

A good rule of thumb is to start by defining one primary goal. Then add a secondary objective that helps get you closer to your main goal. 

Be creative. Your business is unique and your goals should be too. What another business is doing likely won’t work for you so stay focused on your business and your goals.

2. Choose Your Platform/s

Each social media platform has its own demographic and formats. Once you know your goals, you can choose the social media platform/s that will best help you achieve them. 

Choose the platform where your target audience spends the majority of its time online. Then create marketing materials that suit that particular platform. So for TikTok, it will be video content and for Instagram both photos and ‘story’ videos. 

Spend some time learning the platform to maximise your impact with minimal investment. While some content can be recycled across platforms, you can’t just repurpose an X post into a Facebook post and expect similar results.

3. Understand Your Audience

As with any marketing, you’ll get the best return on investment by knowing exactly who your audience is and what will resonate with them.

Facebook tends to attract an older demographic of users while younger audiences prefer newer ‘trending’ platforms like TikTok. 

X is ideal for catching people’s attention with short punchy statements that create brand awareness. Pinterest is great for positioning your brand as a thought leader with how-to guides, infographics and DIY plans.

4. Engage With Your Audience

The businesses that make the largest impact are the ones that interact with their customers on social media.

Time is a precious commodity for a small business owner. But you’ll boost your social media marketing efforts in a big way by setting aside time to engage with followers on social media by answering questions and comments.

If you have the budget, hire a part-time social media manager or engage an agency whose specialty is across multiple platforms. This can really help to boost customer interactions, enhance your online presence and improve brand awareness and recognition through very little effort.

Social Media Marketing Trends

In the world of social media marketing for small businesses, trends come and go. Capitalise on what’s working now with the below trends.

Short-Form Videos

When you’re creating content, ask yourself, ‘can this be a video?’. Your videos don’t have to be highly produced. Natural and organic works. But they do need to deliver real value and keep the viewer engaged.

Original videos are always best. But if you see an existing video that you know will resonate with your audience, don’t be afraid to share it. You should always tag the creator in the caption and never claim the content as your own.


We’re starting to see brands that are authentic, honest and open on social media really gaining momentum.

Don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera for your business and give the brand some personality. Humanise your brand. Go behind the scenes of your day-to-day business life or talk about promotions you’re running. Share the highs and lows and give your audience something – or rather, someone – to connect to.

Micro-influencer Marketing

Back in the day, like five or six years ago, we were really focused on influencer marketing and big audiences were driving big value. Today, micro-influencer marketing is key. Influencers with smaller audiences tend to have higher engagement rates and more trust with their followers.

Don’t underestimate the power of a small audience. Build strong relationships with your micro-influencers and focus on the long term.

Audience Size Means Nothing

You don’t need a large audience for successful social media marketing for small businesses. Rather than audience size, focus on the metrics of engagement and click-through rate (CTR). 

If you have an audience of 200 people who regularly buy from you, that is more valuable than an audience of 10,000 people who only engage with your content but go no further. Focus on engaging the audience you do have, rather than growing vanity metrics.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

It’s just as important to know what doesn’t work as it is to know what does. Avoid the traps with these common mistakes we see in social media marketing for small businesses.

Focusing On Sales Over Relationships

Social media marketing is a long-term brand strategy, it’s not a bottom-of-the-funnel direct ROI.

Focus on building relationships with your customers and your audience. Share valuable content and invest energy in your community. Over time, the sales will follow. 

Posting Infrequently

Consistency is everything. When you post consistently and regularly, the algorithms will reward you by showing your content to more people. But your audience also needs to engage, which again comes back to the content being valuable. 

Take time to sit down and create a content calendar. Plan out your posts for the month including blog posts you will share, industry trends and sales promotions.

Inconsistent Branding

A consistent brand experience will help to grow your brand awareness. Branding doesn’t have to be overly complex or overly designed. All you need is your logo and brand colours. Then use them consistently in all your posts.

Forgetting To Measure Your ROI

How do you know if the time and energy you’re investing in social media marketing is generating a return for you? You track and measure the ROI against your goals. 

A viral post may be fun. But it’s the small wins from consistent posting and engagement that will really add up.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Building communities on social media takes time, focus and consistency. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to be on all the channels. 

Start with one channel. Grow your audience by posting regular content that adds value. When that channel is working, then you can add another. Be strategic about it to get the maximum value for your business.

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Save by surcharging and invest that money back into your social media marketing. Get in touch with the team at Smartpay to learn more about how it works and how much you could save.

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