Social Media, Helen Hodgkinson.

Social media gives independent businesses an opportunity to grow their business, to connect and engage not only with current customers, but also with potential customers. Digital technology levels the playing field and gives small businesses the same opportunities as their larger competitors. Being proactive with social media is very important so communication needs to be in real time and addressed quickly.

The most important tip for social media is to target the correct media channels and develop an informative and interactive communication strategy. This engages and drives the customers to a deeper understanding of your brand and ultimately drives them to purchase more from you.

This quick guide will help you decide which social media platform to use and how to create great content to showcase your business.

Blog social media cube with hands

Which ones for your business?

FACEBOOK is the main social network. It is used daily by millions of people to keep in touch, share photos and interact. View Facebook as you would view talking to your customers face to face. You can have a personal page, a business page, or set up or join a group.

Examples of use:

  • Upload photographs and a video
  • Share a paragraph about a new product and services.
  • Update your page with your latest range.
  • Share your new promotions.
  • Promote events.
  • Sell from Facebook either via posting, albums or a Facebook shop.
  • Set up competitions.
  • post live video which is a great way to showcase your brand.


INSTAGRAM: With 400 million users and over 80 million posts per day, Instagram has become an essential element of social media marketing for business.  On Instagram your message reaches consumers where they follow their passions and explore the world through imagery.  For these reasons Instagram is a highly relevant environment to share your business’s story or showcase your products, apps or services.

Examples of use:

  • Upload photos and videos of your products
  • Upload photos of your staff  and customers wearing or using your products
  • Upload photos of your business at different times of the year
  • Add images and video to stories which last for 24 hours, these can be customised to showcase your brand’s creativity.


PINTEREST: A channel where you ‘pin’ photos of products and things you like. It is very visual and great to showcase product photos. Use this channel as a visual representation of your business.  Pinterest comes up in product searches via search engines so it’s a great way to link to customers that are ready to purchase.

Examples of use:

  • Open a page as a person and set up a ‘board’ with products you like – include yours and others
  • Open a page as your business and share your images as well as those that inspire your brand.
  • Link your product images to your web site so customers can shop directly.
  • Add a pin it link to your website product pictures so customers can add these to their own boards; this means your products are shared to a wider audience.


TWITTER: Quick and short updates. Is often used for quick promotions, headlines from blogs, key messages from a brand and to interact with customers. Customer service issues are often highlighted on Twitter – so keep an eye on it.

Examples of use:

  • Share the latest images of your products
  • Update on daily deals
  • Share a customer’s best opinions
  • Ask for feedback on the latest adverts
  • Share the latest events
  • Link to articles your customers will find interesting


YOUTUBE: Shared video channel. Is very useful for ‘how to’ videos and to really showcase your business.

Examples of use:

  • Take a video of people using a rage of your products
  • Film ‘how to guides’ that explains how to use the product in real life
  • Make a film to promote your brand


LINKEDIN: Business networking and sharing of professional information. It is not used

extensively in marketing but used as a professional business person or as a business. Good for business to business networking and good for recruitment.

Examples of use:

  • Ensure you have a personal LinkedIn page with your history and details
  • Ensure you have a business page with your details
  • Use the page to share links to your blogs and sometimes your products


How to create great content?


As you post/tweet updates, photos and more think about what your customers find interesting and inspiring.

  • Know your brand – ensure you always write in the style of your brand. Over time your customers get to know your brand style – they trust and become comfortable with it. This should be reflected in everything you do, from the tone of your emails, to the wording in your tweets, to the colours in your pictures.
  • Know your customer – knowing your customer is key. If you do not know them well enough you won’t be able to interact with them in a way that fits their wants, needs and desires.
  • Be authentic.  Share what you’re genuinely excited about and your customers will be excited too.
  • Be responsive.  When people comment, show that your business is listening and that you care.  If you need more time to answer a question, let them know that you’re looking into it.
  • Be consistent.  the more regularly you post, the greater an opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust.  Setting a schedule for your posts can also help to maximise your team’s time.
  • Do what works. Replicate your success on posts that get more engagement.
  • Ensure keywords are included – understanding your keywords is critical to generating content – you must research them well and use them in every tweet, blog and Facebook update.
  • Impactful and enticing content – make sure your content is interesting to ensure customers read it and click through.
  • Use images and videos – ‘an image tells a thousand words’. Include pictures either that represent your business, or your business behind the scenes, or your products & services.  Use videos if you have a great story and want to share a message over a wider audience.

Remember – your recipe for success is to create page posts and adverts that are interesting and valuable to your customers, and to target your messages so that the right people see them.




Facebook Tips

Self-generated content such as blog or website articles, website links, promoting your own products and services.

  • Articles others have written and you can link to – things that will interest your customers, that may help them.
  • News from local business or news about the local area that may be important or of interest to your customers.
  • Following businesses, agencies and other influencers can help you generate content, you can share and link into what others are saying.

Instagram Tips

Images have always been used for visual communication on Instagram and today we are seeing more & more video on the platform.  For brands a strong visual voice is the key to driving real business results on the platform.

  • Your visuals should be well branded, story driven, carefully crafted and, of course, well targeted.
  • Instagram is driven by #hashtags; these should be relevant to the visual and your target audience.
  • As you cannot have a clickable link in a post, drive people to click the link in your Bio.
  • If you are product based, use the ‘tag a product’ feature to link the customer to purchase directly from your website.

Twitter Tips

A concise tweet makes an impact. Keep each tweet focused on one specific message rather than trying to communicate multiple things.

  • Hashtags are a powerful tool that allow you to expand your reach and tap into relevant conversations. Focus on keywords relevant to your business. Best practice recommends using no more than two hashtags per tweet.
  • Retweeting relevant content and replying to tweets are great ways to maintain a robust Twitter presence. Positive customer feedback, helpful articles, and messages that align with your business’s authentic voice are all impactful content to re-tweet.

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