The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide for Small Businesses this 2020

Numbers don’t lie, they say.

So let’s have a look at the latest numbers we have so far for social media.

Nearly 60 percent of the world’s population is already online. According to wearesocial.com, there are 3.8 billion social media users in the world as of 2020. This is especially true as the pandemic continues to ravage the globe. People are now mandated to stay at home and turn to social media for both information and entertainment.Wearesocial.com also predicted that this number would likely double halfway into 2020.

Zooming in on Australia, the social media penetration is at 71 percent as of January 2020. 54 percent of social browsers use social media to research products. 71 percent of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends or family.

Those numbers may be a lot to take in.

If your business is still sticking to the old ways of marketing now that your customers are no longer allowed to physically go to your store, then you might run the risk of being left behind. With that said, it might be time to start considering pivoting your business to focus on social media and use it to your advantage.

Say those first few paragraphs convinced you. What’s next?

This comprehensive guide to social media contains nearly all the information you need to know when you are starting from scratch.

To start, let’s take a quick trip down the memory lane when it all started with social networking sites. 

Blogging was invented and slowly, different forms of social media cropped up one by one and rose to fame. Both blogging and social media’s goal is to have an upgraded and more modern way to communicate, connect, and oftentimes flaunt your milestones. For many, social media offered them the opportunity to brag about their recent purchases with this hashtag: #blessed. These two platforms stayed this way for some time. However,  one day, marketers realised that these two platforms can be a new place for the ideal customers and brands to meet. 

Thus, the birth of social media marketing.

 

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a way of sharing a business, a brand, a community, or a figure through the use of social media channels in order to gain traction i.e., website traffic, new customers, sales, and popularity. 

Essentially, as a business owner, social media is a platform you can use to let your product or service be known to the public. However, social media marketing is not just about endless publishing posts with hard sell captions.

In this article, we will dive into the following major social media platforms one by one: 

  • Facebook Marketing
  • Twitter Marketing
  • Instagram Marketing
  • YouTube Marketing
  • LinkedIn Marketing

We will also discuss the steps you will have to take to get your business up and running on social media and how your business can eventually thrive in the digital space.

 

Facebook Marketing

If a website is too huge a step for you, a great social platform, to begin with, is Facebook. In fact, Facebook has 1.2 billion users visit daily.

In order to create a Facebook page, be sure to prepare the following ahead before hitting that “Create a page” button:

Username/Vanity URL/Handle: In deciding which username to use, make sure that it is your company name or what is exactly your website domain.

Pro Tip: To check if your desired username is still available, go to namecheckr.com. If your desired username is already taken, add your country’s initials at the end of the handle or the city where your business is from.

Cover Photo or Video: This is the first thing that people will notice once they visit your Facebook page so try to make a good and lasting first impression. Facebook allows you to upload an image or a video.

Cover Photo

Recommended Facebook cover photo size:

  • 820 pixels x 312 pixels on desktop
  • 640 pixels x 360 pixels on smartphone

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Cover Video

Recommended Facebook cover video size:

  • 820 pixels x 462 pixels on both desktop and smartphones

Note that the side frames will be cropped when shown on the mobile app so be sure that your important elements such as subject or text are centred.

Video length:

  • Between 20 and 90 seconds long.

Video format: 

  • .MP4 or .MOV in highest quality

Profile Photo: Upload your business’ latest logo as your Facebook page’s profile photo so that your customers can easily recognise your business page even from a small thumbnail.

Recommended Facebook profile photo size:

  • 170 pixels x 170 pixels on desktop
  • 128 pixels x 128 pixels on smartphone

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Page Info: To make your Facebook page fully-optimised, complete all the necessary details asked as much as possible and only if applicable. Some important fields that need to be filled out are website, company email address, contact number, and operating hours. Including your other social media profile links in the description can also help people find your business in other socials.

Under page info, you will also find the Page Description. In this field, write about your business and what you do with specificity within 255 characters. Also, insert some keywords that are related to the nature of your business (e.g., If & When – Social Media Agency in Sydney, Australia).

Call-to-Action (CTA) Button: This is what the button located below the cover photo is called. Facebook has a variety of CTA button options you can experiment with and see which CTA button is best suited for your business or what fits with your current campaign goal.

At least 2 weeks’ worth of content: Now that you have finished the basics, it’s not yet the time to invite your colleagues to like your page yet. You see, nobody will engage in an empty Facebook Business page. Before promoting your Facebook page, make sure that you have a series of content pieces prepared at least two (2) weeks ahead that is relevant to both your business and your target audience.

In order to beat the algorithm, that is, to have Facebook notice your page and show your posts to your followers’ feed, you have to post consistently. Try posting at least one (1) content piece a day and make sure to also post a variety of content. Now, limit your posts about your brand alone. Post different types of content by sharing industry-related news, blogs, or articles or other relevant content.

 

Twitter Marketing

For fast-paced cultures, Twitter is the social platform to go.

There are approximately 350,000 tweets posted every minute which means that your tweets can easily be buried by other tweets if yours doesn’t stand out.

This is where having established social media content guidelines come in handy. Your brand’s tone and voice should be unique that it stands out among the fast-paced and noisy crowd. A content guideline for social media does not only apply to Twitter but it can also be used in all your other social profiles to keep your brand’s tone and voice consistent.

Speaking of uniqueness, what makes Twitter unique is its ability to sense the pulse of the public through the use of hashtags and trends, also known as social media listening. In fact, this is the social platform where hashtags started and popularised.

In order to create a Twitter account, be sure to optimise your account with the following assets:

Username/Vanity URL/Handle: Choose a Twitter handle that can easily be recognised by your target customers, preferably, your business or company name.

Pro Tip: To check if your desired username is still available, go to namecheckr.com. If your desired username is already taken, add your country’s initials at the end of the handle or the city where your business is from.

Header: Uploading a header that introduces your business’ unique selling point (USP) is a great way for visitors to get to know your brand and your products or services.

Recommended Twitter header size:

  • 820 pixels x 312 pixels on desktop
  • 640 pixels x 360 pixels on smartphone

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Profile Photo: Upload your business’ latest logo on your Twitter account so that it looks legit and people can easily recognise your business profile right away. 

Recommended Twitter profile photo size:

  • 170 pixels x 170 pixels on desktop
  • 128 pixels x 128 pixels on smartphone

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Bio: Twitter Bio is a short introduction of your business as seen at the top of your profile. Keep it short and sweet. Make sure to convey the message you want to deliver within 160 characters.

Website URL: Place your website domain here. This lets you organically drive traffic to your website via Twitter.

Birthday: Each business had their Day 1 so be sure to put your company anniversary here. This is a great way to humanise your Twitter profile and at the same time, this educates people how long your business has been working in your respective industry.

Twitter Lists: Remember I mentioned “social media listening” earlier? The way to do it efficiently is by organising tweets using Twitter List. You may use the Twitter List to compile similar tweets on the same subject related to your industry. In this way, you are making yourself aware of the trending topics in your industry and thereby giving you an idea for your next campaign or your next tweet.

Set of Tweets: While Twitter is a spontaneous social media platform that needs your wit and pace to keep up with trends, you’re still going to have to plan tweets ahead of time to keep them consistent. These could include articles or blogs related to your business, relatable memes, quotes, tips, among many others, to keep your Twitter account up and running. Try posting at least four tweets a day divided into: retweets of two relatable content, one relevant tweet (e.g. business blogs, quotes or tips) and one random tweet (e.g. taking part in a Twitter chat or simply engaging in a trending topic).

You may also tweet a promotion about your business, website or product, but try to restrict it to at least two per month or every time you start a campaign. We don’t want to sound like a hard sell, do we?

 

Instagram Marketing

Instagram is a visual platform which heavily relies on photography and overall aesthetic. It’s not just the individual photos that you have to keep in mind, the grid should look cohesive as well. Keeping an Instagram account for small businesses can be a challenging task. In order to do that, you have to optimise your profile first.

If you’re interested in ethically growing the number of your Instagram followers, the following are the assets you have to keep in mind:

Username/Vanity URL/Handle: Choose an Instagram handle that is easily recognisable by your target customers, preferably, your business or company name.

Pro Tip: To check if your desired username is still available, go to namecheckr.com. If your desired username is already taken, add your country’s initials at the end of the handle or the city where your business is from.

Profile Photo: Upload your business’ latest logo on your Instagram account so that people can identify your business profile right away. 

Recommended Instagram profile photo size:

  • 180 pixels x 180 pixels (An Instagram profile photo displays at 110 pixels by 110 pixels.)

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Bio: You should be able to briefly introduce your business, include quick links to your existing offer or promo, and, if applicable, your brand hashtag within 150 characters. Have some keywords related to your business as well.

IG Stories Highlight Covers: The compilation of your IG Stories is called Instagram Highlights and a good thing that you are able to customise the covers according to your brand aesthetic. IG Stories Highlight Covers are the circles located just below your Instagram bio. Make sure that your covers’ design adheres to the overall aesthetic of your Instagram profile.

Business Info (Website, Email, Phone Number): Provide all the necessary information of your business here. Instagram has this business account feature that allows your followers to contact you in just a click.

Grid/Feed: This is the overall look of your content on Instagram. Make sure that you stick to one style or template to make your feed appealing, as this contributes to the decision of your visitor whether or not to follow your profile. Before deciding on each individual post, be sure to think about the pattern you’re going to follow in order to keep your grid flow smooth.

 

YouTube Marketing

YouTube has always been a great source for two things: entertainment and information. 

From a marketing perspective, YouTube is a helpful tool for small business owners who aim to humanise their business and to educate their viewers about their business’ objectives in a video format.

If you’re curious about how you can create a YouTube channel for your small business, these are the things you’ll have to take note of.

YouTube Channel

Channel URL: YouTube provides a random URL for newly-made channels. In order to customise your handle, you have to meet the requirements for eligibility first. To apply for eligibility, your channel must have the following:

  • over 100 subscribers
  • Channel icon
  • Channel art
  • Your channel is more than 30 days old

Since your YouTube channel is new, let’s skip this first. You can bookmark this blog post so you can always go back to check if you have already met the eligibility requirements for URL customisation.

Channel Name: Choose a channel name that can be quickly identified by your target customers, preferably your business or company name. Just make sure that your name is consistent with your business name and across all other platforms.

Pro Tip: To check if your desired username is still available, go to namecheckr.com. If your desired username is already taken, add your country’s initials at the end of the handle or the city where your business is from.

Channel Art: Apart from using your brand tagline in your channel art for brand recall, you can also utilise the banner as an announcement by adding your upload schedule. In this way, visitors will be encouraged to be your subscribers and they will know when to expect videos from you. Your subscribers will also know that you mean business on YouTube and, at the same time, you make yourself accountable.

Recommended YouTube Channel Art size:

  • 2560 x 1440 pixels (It should scale well across a desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV.)

Channel Icon: Upload an icon that represents your brand, preferably your business logo. Note that this image will also reflect across all Google’s platforms such as Gmail.

Recommended YouTube channel icon size:

  • 800 pixels x 800 pixels

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Channel Description: Tell your subscribers what your channel is about and what videos your subscribers can expect from your uploads. You may also provide details about your business and a brief background of what you do.

Channel Trailer: Your channel trailer is visible to viewers who are new to your channel and obviously haven’t subscribed to you yet. When you make your channel trailer, assume that the person watching it has never heard of you before. Keep it short, give them a glimpse of your channel, and ask them to subscribe to your channel at the end of your trailer.

Recommended YouTube Channel Trailer length:

  • Between 30 to 60 seconds

Channel Links: In the “About” section of your video, you can link your website and the rest of your business’ socials to make it easy for people to find you on different socials.

YouTube Video

Thumbnail: This is a preview of what your video is all about. Give them a quick snapshot of your video to set their expectations. Note that you only upload a custom thumbnail when your channel is verified . When you create a thumbnail, you may include some screenshots of the video and a short version of your video title.

Pro Tip: Create a layout template to make sure that all of your video thumbnails are consistent and that you can save time when making your thumbnails.

Video title: Title is what the viewers first read before they click on your video. Insert keywords on your title as you are describing what the video is all about. This allows your video to appear on the user feed when they search for similar content.

Recommended YouTube Video Title character length:

  • Keep titles to around 60 characters to avoid it being cut off on the results page.

Video description: The same with the title of the video, the video descriptions help people find your video on YouTube. You must insert keywords on the first 100 characters of your video description to make your video appear on the search.  You may also include links to your social media, credits (especially for the background music you use), links to some of the things you’ve mentioned in the video, or time stamps. You can also include hashtags at the end of your video description.

Tags: Tags help you link your video to other similar videos. Make sure you include a mix of common keywords and long-tail keywords.

Category: You can find the video category under “Advanced settings”. Choose the most suitable category for your video.

 

LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn is the most popular platform for networking with experts in your industry. Most of the time, LinkedIn is also used to share company culture and to find and recruit promising talents that can help you with your business.

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, this platform can be of great help. The following are the best practices that you should implement when you create a LinkedIn company page:

Public URL: Customise your company page’s public URL according to your business name and the name of your company page. This is what a custom public URL looks like: linkedin.com/company/yourcompanyname

Pro Tip: To check if your desired username is still available, go to namecheckr.com. If your desired username is already taken, add your country’s initials at the end of the handle or the city where your business is from.

Banner: Leverage a custom banner photo by showcasing your business’ unique selling point (USP) or the product/service you offer that might help your followers solve one of their problems.

Recommended LinkedIn banner photo size:

1584 pixels x 396 pixels

It should scale well across a desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Photo format:
.JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Profile Photo: Upload your business’ latest logo on your LinkedIn company page as this page represents your business. Note that the profile photo appears in a square format.

Recommended LinkedIn profile photo size:

  • 300 pixels x 300 pixels

Photo format:

  • .JPG or .PNG in highest quality

Tagline: This works like your Twitter or IG Bio. You can put here your company’s elevator pitch or briefly introduce your company vision.

Company Details: A LinkedIn company page with complete details is more likely to be searchable and more likely to help your followers get to know more about your business. This includes your description, website URL, industry, company size, company type, and location. It is also recommended that keywords should be used in the company page description within the 156 character limit.

Hashtags: In Linkedin, you can follow industry-related hashtags so that LinkedIn can notify you when there is a trending post in relation to a certain hashtag wherein you can participate in as a company.

Custom Button: This button is known as a Call-to-Action (CTA) button. You can choose from a number of CTAs, such as Visit Website, Contact Us, Learn More, Register, and Sign Up, which will redirect a visitor to another page once clicked.

 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The more you learn about the ins and outs of social media marketing, the more complicated it gets.  However, the social media best practices that we’ve outlined for you in this article are a good starting point and we guarantee you’ll be seeing results in no time. 

Struggling to wrap your head around all these concepts? Reach out to If & When. At If & When, we have a team of dedicated social media experts committed to telling your brand story through photos and videos that are both beautiful and results-oriented. Find out more about what we do here or email us at info@ifandwhen.co for more details.

Tags:best practiceDigital MarketingSmall BusinessSocial Mediasocial media foundations