Hints & Tips Blog

7 hot tips to make social media an essential business growth tool

How to make social media work for your business. Most business leaders know they should be using social media, however many are less clear why.

Yes, it’s free, in its simplest form, and yes, it’s great for profile building, however, at its best it can also help you prospect, build communities and act as a customer research tool.

Many businesses post frequently, yet they lack a strategy or a goal behind them and rarely have a clear call to action.

Here are 8 top tips to get your social media marketing into tip-top shape.

  1. Start with a plan

Every successful business strategy starts with a good plan, and social media is no different. Yes, you can use social tools for free. But the time and effort involved still represents an investment in your business so it needs to be focussed.

Without a plan, you have no clear goal for what you’re trying to achieve. That means there’s no way to know if you’re getting a return on your investment. A good starting point is to answer these questions:

  • What is the overall objective of your marketing plan? What products/ services do you want to sell more of, or what communities are you trying to build? Specifically, how many leads do you need/want your marketing team to generate?
  • How are your competitors showing up on social channels? If you are already using social media you may want to consider an audit of existing activity and its effectiveness as a foundation step.

Answering these questions will allow you to create a content-driven social media calendar, remembering the 80/20 rule. Use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your products.

  1. Identify which platforms are right for you

Don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time online. Your instinct might tell you that if you’re targeting Gen Z, you should skip Facebook and focus on Instagram and TikTok, however, data shows that nearly a quarter of Facebook users are aged 18 to 24.

If you’re selling to baby boomers, social might not seem like a top priority. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are the top social networks for boomers. Adults over age 65 are Facebook’s fastest-growing audience segment.

Maybe you think Tik Tok marketing is not the right fit for your brand. But even well-established brands with an audience well outside Gen Z are experimenting with this platform.

Keep in mind that TikTok saw 56 million new app downloads in December 2020 alone.

The average internet user has 8.4 social media accounts, so you can connect with them on different platforms for different purposes.

So, you could use Facebook to build your audience and generate leads, and Twitter for customer service.

  1. Create insight and Build relationships

The unique benefit of social media marketing for business is that it allows you to talk directly to customers and followers. You can build relationships over time, learning from the insights which you discover.

By making your posts interactive and engaging you can build a profile of your audience, their interests and views which will help shape your future marketing content and potentially your product development.

Looking at the analytics on a regular basis will help take the guesswork out of knowing who your existing and potential customers are.

Start by learning from organic posts and migrate into paid for once you have a clearer understanding of your audience.

  1. Focus on quality and consistency over quantity

The sheer number of social media marketing options for small businesses might seem overwhelming—but you don’t need to do it all. It’s more important to create quality content on a couple of key channels than it is to have a presence on every single network.

Above all, be sure that your social posts offer education and a value exchange for the audience’s time. If all you do is pitch and sell, there’s very little motivation for people to follow you. Remember, social marketing is about building relationships.

You can’t do it all, and there’s no reason to try. Reach out to your audience in the places where they’re already spending time online.

Focus on using one or two social channels really well, at least to start. Once you’ve got those mastered, you can build from what you’ve learned and expand your efforts.

  1. Use the right tools

The secret to using social media effectively is to take advantage of tools that automate or simplify much of the work. There are loads of tools to help boost your productivity. That means you can start using social media for business without having a full-scale social media team.

Here are some of our favourites.

  • Engagement management – Social media is not a broadcasting system—it’s a way to engage with customers and fans. Social media management tools like Hootsuite can help you centralize all mentions and messages directed at your company in one dashboard. Then you can respond and engage without having to log in to each of your individual social media accounts.
  • Analytics – Getting all of your analytics data in one place can help you get a better picture of your social efforts overall. There are some outsourced providers who do this well. Like Hootsuite if your team does not have the time to collate the data themselves.
  • Graphics – If you’re having trouble creating eye-catching images for your posts, turn to tools that will help get the job done. Canva is one of my favourites and the one I use most frequently.
  1. Use scheduling and automation to free up more time for engagement

We talked about creating a social content calendar way back at the beginning of this post.

Once you have that calendar in place, you can create your social posts in advance and use scheduling tools to post them automatically at the right time.

This allows you to dedicate one block of time per day or even per week to creating your social content. It’s much more effective than letting social posting take you away from other tasks throughout the day.

  1. Track and refine your performance

As you implement your social strategy, it’s important to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. You can then fine-tune your efforts and improve results.

Once you have an idea of how your social media plan is working, it’s time to start looking for ways to improve. Using A/B testing, you can make small changes that boost your success over time.

Then make a regular time to review the results with the Senior Management team.

When you give your social media marketing a focus, tracking the results via analytics is one of the best parts of the week or month. It can and should be a fun and rewarding heartbeat at the centre of your business development plan.

BHP offer tailor-made marketing consultancy and workshops. Get in touch to find out more.


Our team at BHP Consulting have all successfully run businesses, and we understand that every business is unique. Our practical approach to supporting our clients enables us to share our real-world experience to positively impact on the performance of your business. To arrange a call or an exploratory face-to-face meeting, please click here.