Does Social Media actually Work for Small Businesses?

Social Media

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For many small businesses, Social Media is very much a ‘taboo’ topic.

It seems like all anyone talks about nowadays is Instagram, LinkedIn, Meta and of course, the dreaded TikTok.

The truth is, Social Media is just one element of your digital marketing strategy, and every platform you use will achieve varying levels of success.  The type of content you post, your tone of voice, target audience, artwork and the time you post are just a few factors at play when looking at the success of your social media output.

Digital Marketing Strategy

This is where small businesses are getting it wrong:

Say you start a new GDPR consultancy and you have decide it’s time to dive into the world of Social Media.

You go and download TikTok, because ‘that’s what everyone’s doing’, and make five carefully choreographed videos of you dancing like a prat in your office kitchen whilst listing off 27 different services you offer. How can this not work?

However, you soon realise that after just 3 follows, 6 likes and endless ridicule from your peers, this isn’t really helping you reach your target audience. In fact, all it’s done is make your parents question exactly what it is you now do for a living.

At this point, your only conclusion is that social media is a complete hoax, and you had every right to question it in the first place.

This is a road often travelled by many small business owners, and it is their bad initial experiences that put them off further investing in, or spending time on social media.

The truth is, there are no magical ingredients for success with social media, but by using these tips, you’ll give yourself the best chances to grow your awareness and start increasing those inbound leads over time.


  1. Have a strategy

    You decided to give social media a crack for a reason, right? Whether you’re looking to increase your online awareness or sales, it is vital you first define that overarching objective, and ensure your content compliments your ‘end-goal’.

    Having a social media strategy in place will ensure that your content is fine-tuned to appeal to your target audience on a regular basis through whichever channels you choose.

  2. Show Up Consistently

    If one of your friends struck up a conversation with you and only replied to your message every 2-3 weeks, you’d find it incredibly hard to form a meaningful relationship, so you’d probably stop replying after a month. Social Media is no different.

    Your followers want to know you care about them. If you are on-hand when they need tips, advice or even general entertainment, your page will be the first one they look to for these things, and suddenly doors will start opening.

  3. Be Selective

    Those with limited time, resources or budget, should focus on the social media channels which are most likely to gain them traction with their target market.

    This article from Sprout Social gives some great insight into the different demographics using the main social media platforms in 2022: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/

  4. Make it interesting

    When you scroll through the abyss of social media posts on your timeline, you stop and engage with content that grabs your attention. It’s that simple.

    Posts with clear messaging and stand-out artwork/thumbnails tend to perform a lot better than wordy, cluttered posts which look like they have been designed by your nan on Microsoft Paint (sorry nan).

  5. Add Value

    Most importantly… 

    If you don’t regularly add value to your followers lives, either through means of entertainment, education or information, they will have no reason to follow you. Cramming your services and pricing down people’s throats will only ever enable your followers to scratch the surface of who you are as a business.

    Create FAQ’s, talk about your team, report on industry trends, share your valuable knowledge and offer your advice. It takes time to build a rapport, but you will see results if you consistently follow the steps above.

    For help growing your social media channels and adding value through your content, get in touch: shane@sentiment.marketing


Shane Gurney

Shane Gurney

Founder of Sentiment Marketing

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