Fifty-nine percent of SBOs say that improving their social media skills would be the most impactful thing they can do for their businesses, according to a recent Adobe study.
But that’s easier said than done.
Mikos Adams, a social media and marketing coach and an Adobe Express Ambassador, says small businesses don’t have to reinvent the wheel to drive growth on social. Being authentic, using visuals to tell a story and taking advantage of solutions like Adobe Express—a unified collection of web and mobile tools that make it easy to create and share beautiful content, from social posts and stories to invitations to marketing materials like logos, flyers and banners—can help them engage customers and convert traffic into sales.
Here are Mikos’ seven tips for how small business owners can level up their social media marketing.
Go Where Your Customers Are
Rather than trying to be omnipresent on social, SBOs should focus most of their time and resources on the social media platforms that naturally attract their target audience.
“Every business is different, and your approach should be centered around the places and spaces that your target audience hangs out on,” Mikos says. “There are specific platforms that are great for B2C reach. There are also platforms that are best for keeping your community up to date with what’s new. There are platforms that are perfect for B2B connections. Ultimately, it’s up to the businesses and the niche in which their ideal audience or demographic spends the majority of their time.”
Develop Your Content Pillars
A small business also needs a social media content strategy before it starts posting on a social platform.
Mikos says SBOs can identify their content pillars by asking themselves these two key questions. The first: Whom am I looking to help? The second: How can I help them?
“This typically sets the ground for their elevator pitch, their marketing material and of course their content strategy,” he says.
Once you develop your content pillars, you can organize your content into four main buckets: awareness, engagement, connection and sales content.
Mikos says awareness content helps you reach new audiences. Engagement content keeps your followers interested. Connection content nurtures your audience and shows them that you’re relatable. Promotional content gets people to take action, whether it’s subscribing to your page or newsletter or buying your products or services.
Anchoring your social media strategy around these four content types can help you attract new followers and strengthen engagement with your current ones.
Start With Organic Marketing
Though SBOs may be tempted to pay for sponsored ads, Mikos says it’s better to stick to organic marketing when your business first starts out on social.
“If you do have the budget and you can make the investments, it’s always best to run paid ads after you’ve seen success or after you’ve seen that you have a good product or service that people actually enjoy,” he says. “It would be a shame to invest a lot of your budget on paid ads and your product or service isn’t really where it needs to be.”
Mikos adds that if you do have a small budget to invest in social media advertising, consider running a brand awareness campaign to see what demographics may be interested in your products or services.
From there, he suggests retargeting users who have visited your website after clicking on a post or watched a minimum of 75% of your social media videos. Retargeting ads is always cheaper than running cold traffic ads in a bid to reach people who have never heard of or interacted with your brand before.
Expand Your Toolkit
Unlocking creativity and making standout content can be tough. Forty-five percent of SBOs say they don’t have the time, tools or skills to bring their social ideas to life. Mikos recommends expanding your toolkit to help streamline your content production process.
“I’d highly recommend taking the time to really dive in and learn an easy-to-use platform, such as Adobe Express, to create high-quality content,” Mikos says.
Adobe Express includes several features that can help small businesses create eye-catching social media content. Among them are thousands of unique, high-quality templates to kick-start the design process, 175 million licensed Adobe Stock images, 20,000 premium Adobe fonts, video and image editing features, and content scheduling capabilities.
Think Visually First
Most of today’s social media platforms are visually driven. SBOs should take note.
“Business owners should definitely strive to use high-quality, creative and relevant imagery in all of their content,” Mikos says.
This is true even when you publish content like list-style posts. Rather than use a basic list format for a post headlined “5 Tips For Improving Your Productivity,” consider using an Adobe Express template to organize the tips into a carousel, Mikos says. You can use an Adobe Stock image on each of the slides to fill out the carousel and illustrate your message.
Should you post every day or only a few times a week?
Mikos says the right answer lies somewhere in between.
“This is definitely a question I get asked probably five to seven times a day, and my answer is always to start with what you can stay consistent with,” he says. “A lot of social media gurus will tell you, ‘You need to post three to four times a day,’ but for a lot of the small business owners, it’s just not realistic.”
The numbers tell the story. Forty-two percent of SBOs say the most time-consuming aspect of digital marketing and social media is posting to and managing their channels. On average, they’re spending nine hours a week on digital marketing and social media. That’s a healthy amount of time, especially given how overscheduled SBOs can be.
Mikos says to find out what a feasible posting schedule is for your business, strategize and plan your content in advance and “stay consistent with the days and times every week so that the algorithm can pick that up and understand when and how you’re going to post. Adobe Express even has a built-in content scheduler feature that can help you plan your posts and take back your calendar.”
Posting consistently will also help SBOs foster regular engagement with their customers, which Adobe research indicates is something they take seriously: Whereas 41% of SBOs value regular engagement, only 24% are seeking to “go viral” when they leverage social.
Repurpose Content That Works
Being creative on social media doesn’t mean you always have to do something new. Use analytics to help you decide what content to remix.
“Take the time to actually look at your insights and see what’s performed well over the past year, and just repurpose that. You may have had a carousel post that performed extremely well and got over 500 saves and shares. Why not repurpose that and create a motion graphic, a reel or an infographic?” Mikos says.
With its vast library of templates, Adobe Express is a useful tool for making old content new again.
“There are so many different ways to repurpose content, and I think that with a tool that provides templates and a lot of extra elements to make your content stand out and look different, it makes it very easy for you to repurpose content and not have to reinvent the wheel,” Mikos says.
Unlocking Your Audience On Social Media
With creativity tools like Adobe Express, you don’t need to be a world-class designer or marketer to stand out on social media. With just a few clicks, you can create captivating and shareable social media graphics and content that grows your audience—no design skills necessary.