Social media tips for small business

Social media offers small businesses the chance to grow and engage with their audience in a cost-effective way. This is helping you navigate social media.

Five tips to grow & engage

For tips and tricks to showcase your business’ expertise and engage with customers on social media, we sat down with our Social Media and Content Manager Amy Stewart-Badger. Amy has managed the social media for iconic Kiwi brands for a decade and has worked with non-profits to help them reach audiences on a low or no budget.

  1. 1

    Know your audience

    Researching your audience is an important place to start. Jump onto each social platform, use their insights and the search functionality to learn how your customers are using social media to engage with other businesses in your area or expertise. Research where and how they’re talking about your industry on social media already.

    Analyse your competitors to see if there are any gaps in how they’re communicating that your business could fill. Within these gaps, search for the opportunities that align with your business goals.

  2. 2

    Choose your channels

    There’s plenty of online research that shows who is engaging on each social platform. In New Zealand, Instagram and Facebook tend to have the largest reach across a wide range of demographics, but platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok are popular too.

    A business doesn’t necessarily need to be present on every channel. Start by honing in on the channels where your audience is likely to engage, and where you’re likely to see a return on investment – whether this is through awareness or sales. Make sure to do these platforms justice before trialling the next.

    Keep up to date with channel trends and changes. Utilise new features on the platforms to find new and unique ways to demonstrate your expertise and grab attention.

  3. 3

    Build and retain your audience

    The way to build and retain an audience is by sharing content that matters and making it engaging. Make sure your content represents the core values of your brand and showcases the real and authentic side to your business. Have a steady and consistent content plan. There are loads of free tools online to help you create content and work on a content calendar, such as Later, Trello, Hootsuite and Canva.

    The most successful small businesses on social media ensure their conversations are two-way. Be responsive to your customers when they comment and engage with you. Bring your audience into your approach as part of your content journey. For example, ask questions, seek advice, and gather feedback from your audience. Social media platforms have great features to help with this, such as polls, Instagram question boxes and Q&A livestreaming to name a few. Engagement is an incredible tool to understand how your customers are feeling about your business in real time.

  4. 4

    Track insights and engagement

    Tap into the free audience and content insights provided by each channel. You’ll usually find these in your business settings on each platform. These tools will give you key insights on your content performance, such as the number of video views, comments and shares, as well as the total reach of your audience growth - both new and total followers. Social media activity resulting in online sales can be tracked through Google Analytics. Paid tools can also help to collate reports and monitor activity across all your social media platforms in one place. All of these insights can help you track your return on investment and report internally on the success of your social media approach, including what days and times get the most engagement.

  5. 5

    Use your values to define your content

    You don’t always have to do what your competitors are doing. Be authentic and represent your brand in a way that makes sense to you. Stay true to the values of your company and use social media to extend these. Highlight four or five of your key company values. These can work as key content areas for your social content to always connect back to. For example, if your values are focussed on sustainability and giving back to communities, alternate your content between both topics. Be sure to think audience first, how your customers can engage and ensure there’s always a benefit for your customers too. What you like, follow and engage with should also represent those values.

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