Social Media for the Small (Owner Run) Business

I have a few friends and relatives that own small local businesses.  They are aware that a social media presence is important to their business, however they don’t access it to the full potential.  I hear the same reasons why not; “I’m too busy”, “I don’t know what I am doing”, “it’s too expensive”.

Well a social media whether it’s a presence, interacting with your audience or an advertising campaign, can be accomplished by small businesses.

The following are important tips and strategies for the small business owner to effectively market their business on social media.


Creating Profiles on Various Social Media Platforms

According to Quicksprout (April 2019) small business tips; the first step is to understand what your target market is.  Some social media platforms target specific demographics so understanding this will help determine which ones are best suited for your business.

Define and Set Goals for Marketing

According to Quicksprout (April 2019) small business tips  “You can’t just blindly start posting content on social media without some sort of rhyme or reason. Before you do anything else, you need to identify your marketing goals.”  Some of the top goals mentioned in this article are:

  • Generate leads
  • Build brand awareness
  • Engage customers

Quicksprout also notes “Once you decide the purpose of your social media campaigns, it will be much easier for you to come up with content to post.”

Build Relationships with Audience

Sproutsocial (Sept 2019) tips for small businesses, engaging with your audience is extremely important.  Whether a small or large business, you need to ensure you are answering your customer’s questions and providing satisfaction.  This is all part of building positive relationships that will in turn generate more potential customers.

Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Having a content calendar prepared ahead of time will ensure that you consistently and regularly post quality content.  According to Sproutsocial’s article tips for small businesses there are 4 key steps to creating a social media content calendar:

  1. Figure out what content resonates with your audience
  2. Decide on how often to post to each social network and profile
  3. Create or source great content to share
  4. Fill up your content calendar with a social publishing tool

(“4. Create a social content calendar”, para 4)

Posting at optimal times will help you reach a larger audience.  But what is the best time to post?  There are many studies and tools out there with information on when to post.  Below are a few links to some great tools and references.

It is also important that when deciding on the content to post that you ensure to include visuals and video when appropriate.

Social media for small businesses is crucial to their success and should not be ignored.  The benefits and potential profits are real and with a little effort small businesses can achieve this success.

Do you know any small businesses that are owner run that use social media to its full potential?


 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses


 Small Business and Social Media

Hey? How Did That Ad Get in My News Feed?

Have you ever wondered how businesses know to target you on various social media platforms for specific products they know will interest you?  How many times have you scrolled through your news feed on social media and come across ads that relate to you and your lifestyle?  It is almost creepy isn’t it?

The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook account news feed when I came across an ad for personalized children’s books.  I have a 4-year-old granddaughter so of course these ads catch my attention.  Not only did I click on the link but also purchased one of these books.

Why do these personalized ads pop up?  There are different ways that Facebook advertisers target audiences.  In my particular case, the advertiser did an excellent job targeting me and made a sale!

In an article by Josh Kirschner (August 2015), advertisers target there audiences in a number of ways.  The most popular would be to use your Facebook profile and target you based on your age, location and gender. 

In my example, after I purchased a personalized storybook for my granddaughter, I started to see advertisements on my news feed from different companies selling the same product. 

By Tracey German (Facebook)

This is an example of targeting based on purchasing behaviours.  In 2013, Facebook had collaborated with data brokers such as Epsilom, Acxiom and Datalogix.  Companies such as these have access to an extreme amount of data transactions as pointed out by Larry Kim (Aug 2019)

Targeting based on web browser searches is explained best in an article by Josh Kirschner (Aug 2015)

“You look at a pair of shoes on Amazon and then every site you go to has ads for that same pair of shoes. In advertising parlance, that’s “retargeting”. Facebook allows advertisers to “retarget” people who have visited the advertiser’s website or app off Facebook, which may result in more ads showing up in your news feed”. (“5. Ads Based on Your Use”, para. 1)

By Tracey German (Facebook)

How do you stop this re-targeting? As explained in an article from Christina Bonnington (June 2014)  you can limit re-targeting for a specific advertiser as follows:

“First, you need to go the Digital Advertising Alliance here after you’ve turned off cookies and/or your ad blocker. In the middle tab, “Companies Customizing Ads for Your Browser,” scroll down to Facebook and tick the checkmark box to its right. You can do this for any other site on the list as well. By checking this, you are preventing these sites from performing “interest-based advertising” based on your browsing habits (collected by cookies). Once you’re done, turn that ad blocker back on, or install one if you didn’t use one before. Adblock Plus is a good cross-platform option, but there are a number of others.

If you use Facebook on your phone, you’ll also want to turn off ad tracking if you haven’t already. To do this on Android, go to Google Settings > Ads and check off “Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads.” On iOS, go to General > Restrictions > Advertising and switch on “Limit Ad Tracking.”” (“Stop Facebook” para, 3,4)

I personally don’t mind the ads that pop up on my news feed for the most part as they are mostly specific to my preferences and gives me great ideas for Christmas presents!

How do you feel about advertisements in your Facebook news feed?

Who is Creeping My Account?


Let’s Get Personal Facebook!


Social Media-Improving the Customer Experience

I think we have all, at one time or another, purchased goods or services that were not up to our standards.  Today, it is easier than ever to voice our opinions and look for a resolution on social media.  More and more businesses now allow us to comment on various social media platforms on their product or service.  Gone are the days of waiting in line at the customer service desk or sitting on hold in a phone queue. 

Image from Creative Commons

Providing the opportunity for customers to comment is helpful but actually taking those comments and resolving them is necessary.  I’m sure at some point most of us have had a less than ideal experience when reaching out to a business through social media to deal with a product or service issue.   Our main goal is to have the vendor right a wrong. 

How should businesses respond to negative customer comments?

In my experience, businesses can improve on how they respond to their customers. In order to effectively solve a customer issue, I believe businesses should take into consideration the following three important suggestions when responding. 

Provide a Timely Response

As mentioned in an article from Baylor Cherry (2018), “The last thing someone wants when they are upset or angry is to be ignored. They posted something because they want to be heard and they want a reaction” (“Respond Timely,” para. 1).  This is very true and extremely important for businesses to remember.  However big or small your business is, don’t ignore your customers’ concerns.

Personalize the Response

For global businesses it is important that they take the time to ensure clear language translation.  The meaning of the response needs to be understood by the customer to whom they are dealing with.  This article from Nate Vickery, (2018) provides some great ways to overcome the obstacles of global social media.

Businesses need to gear their responses to each individual.  How many times have you received this response? “We are sorry you have an issue with our product, please contact our customer service department”.  I know I have received this one before and then read others’ comments with the exact same response from the business.

In her article Baylor Cherry, (2018) also states,  “Your responses to negative comments should never be cut and paste. Once people start noticing that unhappy comments receive the same message in reply, it will only make your company seem insincere and inauthentic” (“Generic Response,” para. 1).

Ensure There is a Final Resolution

How many of you have commented on a business’s social media platform to voice your opinion or complain about a product or service, only to get a single response and then silence?  This can be extremely frustrating.

I ran into this issue last year when I ordered a product online and it didn’t arrive by the promised delivery date.  I contacted the company only to receive the response “Please be patient, your order is on the way.”  That was it, no follow up to see if my issue was resolved.  The order actually took another four weeks to arrive and needless to say, I never ordered from this company again.

More than ever, businesses need to pay attention to their customers’ needs or they risk the possibility of losing their market share.  The average consumer demands and expects good customer service or they will take their business elsewhere!

Image from Creative Commons

I’m sure many of you have had experiences other than those mentioned above.  I would love to hear your feedback.


How Can Businesses Improve Their Customer’s Experience on Social Media?

Social Media-Can the Customer Experience be Improved?

4 Tips for Vacation Planning Using Social Media

Earlier this year, my husband and I travelled to Morocco on a two-week vacation. Initially when we began to plan our Moroccan trip we were overwhelmed; but navigating on social media for this task made it much easier and fortunately much cheaper.   

Image via

Would you believe the cost of our trip was less than the cost of a one week all inclusive beach vacation to the Caribbean?  Yes, this is possible and using social media to plan your vacation makes it easier than ever. 

The following tips for using social media will help you save money AND still allow you to cross off your bucket list, that vacation of a lifetime.

Image via

Start Gathering Ideas

The best place to get ideas for vacationing is from those who have already travelled there.  Get the best bang for your buck by looking for vacation ideas on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Other great review sites are Trip Advisor and Yelp.

According to an article from Stackla in April 2019, 86% of people have become interested in travelling to a certain destination after seeing social media images from friends, family and peers.  Validating this statistic, the article also notes that 89% of people would post about a positive travel experience.

Build Your Itinerary First

Once you have some ideas formulated, an itinerary will assist you in putting together all the details.  I like to start my planning a year in advance of my travel date.  There are plenty of free vacation itinerary templates available to get you started.  Using a template will help ensure you don’t forget any of the crucial details.

Plan Your Flight Well in Advance

Great deals on flights are available and can be accessed quite easily on social media.  I like to use a site called Next Departure  They find cheap flights that are unadvertised or are ‘mistake’ fare deals.  Once you subscribe to this site, you will receive emails whenever there are flight deals anywhere in the world and for various airlines.  You can subscribe via main social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Book Reasonably Priced Accommodations

Booking accommodations doesn’t have to be expensive and blow your budget.  There are so many different options for accommodations all over the world that are much cheaper than a hotel and just as luxurious.  Renting a home, apartment or condo is extremely easy and budget friendly using sites such as Airbnb and VRBO  These sites provide you with reviews of the location and details on your host that ensure you pick the best option that suits your needs.

The benefits and rewards of planning your vacation with the help of social media are significant.  For me, Morocco was the trip of a lifetime and the sites, culture, people and experiences will not be forgotten.  

Don’t miss out on your opportunity!  What’s on your bucket list?



Links to other information for social media vacation planning:

4 Tips for Vacation Planning Using Social Media
4 Tips for Vacation Planning Using Social Media