social-mediaNot all companies are big enough to have a full-time marketing staff. If you’re a small business owner, whether B2B or B2C, chances are that social media marketing duties might fall to you.

Let’s take a look at a few ways that the big lessons of social media marketing can be whittled down to make sense for smaller businesses while still making a large impact.

Use All the Data Available

Big data is the big idea in marketing right now. If you’re paying attention to the technical side of marketing, you’ve probably heard about all the ways that you can use analytics and tracking and algorithms and who knows what else to determine who you should be marketing to and how you should be marketing to them. For small businesses, having someone on staff to handle all of this can be pretty unlikely, unless you happen to be a technology firm. That said, there are ways that you can integrate data into your marketing plan – and there are some ways that you can do it even better than bigger companies. Why? You’re likely in the thick of things yourself, and you’re likely dealing with smaller amounts of data. Consider contracting a specialist to get you started, or think about hiring a part-time social media expert (like a Millennial).

Create Brand Fans

Social media marketing is all about word of mouth. You post something, someone shares it, and maybe they or one of their friends thinks of your business first when they need your product or service. Big businesses talk about creating “brand fans” or “brand evangelists,” who are committed to using and sharing that particular brand’s content. “But I’m a small, local business,” you say, “I don’t do any branding!” While you might not have hired a firm to shape a specific brand image for you, however, you do likely know your customers firsthand. This already gives you a leg up, since you can directly ask them to follow your brand on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else, and they’re likely already loyal to your business.

Have a Personality

Getting rid of the big company mystique can be a major point of difficulty for larger businesses using social media marketing – a significant amount of effort often goes into making a business seem approachable and friendly. Small businesses, especially if they’re already integrated in a local community, have a big advantage here. You can really use social media to your advantage by focusing on the small part of small business. Be ultra-transparent, and offer your fans and followers a way to get to know you and your business on a personal level.

Understand Context

If you have limited resources for social media marketing, it’s important to get it right the first time, and perhaps to narrow your focus, too. To that end, make sure you know which platform is the best for you. While many small businesses prefer Facebook for marketing purposes, think about what you do, as well as what your ideal customers do. For example, a LinkedIn page might be a better option for a B2B small business, while honing in on Pinterest might be ideal for businesses with a strong visual component.

Are you in charge of social media marketing for a small business with limited marketing resources? Share your experience in the comments section!