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Social media marketing on a budget


Running a small business is a lot of work, and it requires you to wear many different hats. From accountant to front of house manager to social media manager, there are tons of tasks—and just one you. Even if you have a bit of help, it can quickly get over whelming.

Which often results in small businesses with little to no social media presence.

Social media is a great place to get to know your customers, offer exceptional customer service, and expand your audience. It should not be one of the tasks that get pushed to the back burner by an overwhelmed business owner.

To get the most out of the time you do dedicate to social, use these hacks specifically for small businesses.

Use Facebook Groups to Crowdsource Social Posts

Facebook Groups are like a private room on Facebook. Only people in the group can see what is posted, making it ideal for small businesses to share schedules, inform employees about new products or initiatives, and so forth.

You can learn more about how to create a group here.

Groups also make it easy to crowdsource your social posts. If you aren’t at your business all day because you are busy running errands to keep your business going, it can be difficult to get those candid photos.

Ideally, you would have one employee with access to your social media accounts to post for you, but if not groups make it easier. Use the group to ask your employees to share a shot of the decadent new dessert in your restaurant or the brand new stationary in your paper shop.

Use Facebook Ads to Increase Your Reach (Without Being an Expert)

Facebook ads make targeting simple for a small business owner. You can spend a great deal of time creating super targeted ads—but you don’t have to become an expert at Facebook Ads to create a workable boosted post.

You can also let Facebook do the targeting for you, and just choose the audience and the budget.

Just click the “Boost Post” button right next to the “Publish” button when you make an update directly on Facebook.

Buffer is Your Friend

The last two posts have been about Facebook, because that platform tends to be used the most by small businesses. (In most cases it is the most effective platform for small businesses, but that might not be the case for you. Make sure you find out what platform your audience is on most often.)

That being said, there are a ton of other social platforms out there: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and more. It is a lot to take on for a business owner with limited resources.

Buffer is a platform that helps you stay organized on social media and schedule posts easily. It also integrates with your web browser, so you can easily share photos, blog posts, and links as you come across them. For an overworked business owner who is trying to do it all, Buffer is your friend. They offer both free and very affordable paid accounts, depending upon how many accounts you want to manage and what features you need.

They offer both free and very affordable paid accounts, depending upon how many accounts you want to manage and what features you need.

Editors Note: SEJ uses Buffer, but this is not a paid mention. We really just like the tool! 

Use If This, Then That Recipes

If This, Then That helps the apps you already use work together better and allows you to automate some of your social media management. Do you want to share your Instagram posts on Twitter, too? IFTTT can automate it. Do you want to create a list of people whose Tweets you favorite? IFTTT can do that, too.

When used well, IFTTT can be just as good as an assistant. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to use for social media:

  • Share Instagram pictures on Facebook or Twitter
  • Update your Twitter profile pic when you update your Facebook
  • Build a Twitter list based on a hashtag
  • Add Instagram photos to Pinterest
  • Share new WordPress blogs to Facebook

While this is a great tool, you do have to use it in moderation. Pushing all your Facebook posts out to Twitter is never going to be as effective as creating Twitter posts specifically targeted towards your Twitter audience. But, when you are working with limited resources, it can be a great way to maximize your time.

For more IFTTT recipes for social media, check out this post on Buffer.

Want to Learn More About Social Media for Small Businesses?

Join Caitlin Rulien, SEJ’s Social Producer, for a free hour-long webinar titled“Social Media on a Budget: Best Practices and Tools for Nonprofits & Small Businesses”.

Caitlin will discuss the basics of social media management so you can learn how to drive valuable traffic to your site and engage your audience on a more personal level. If you are working with limited time or limited resources, this is a webinar you won’t want to miss!

by Danielle Antosz

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