?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????As a small business with a limited budget, you might feel like you can’t compete with the big brands. You may, in fact, feel a bit like the little guy who is facing down a giant with no slingshot in sight. Thankfully, there are fundamental social techniques that any business, regardless of size, can use to maximize marketing efforts.

  1. Video: Video has become increasingly popular on social media, for good reason. Video is more immersive than text or images, allowing viewers to virtually step into your world. You may not be able to afford fancy camera equipment, exotic locations or elaborate sets, but you can still use video effectively. Use your smartphone to shoot footage and post it on YouTube. Or try Facebook Live.
  2. Customer Service: Social media is all about instant gratification. People expect lightning fast responses to customer service issues. You might not have a dedicated customer care team, but there are ways you can listen in socially. For example, you can set up Google alerts for your company name and get notified by email when it’s used online. Review the emails and respond as needed.
  3. Authenticity: One advantage small businesses have over big ones is authenticity. Large corporations can have a hard time showing their human side. It’s easier for small businesses to be real and connect individually with their audiences. To make that connection, use social media to give followers a glimpse behind the scenes of your business, highlight volunteer efforts and introduce employees.
  4. User-Generated Content: User-generated content is a terrific way to extend your reach, and you don’t have to be a brand behemoth to take advantage of it. Ask customers for reviews. Organize a contest for the best photo or video of your product. Create a dedicated hashtag so it’s easy for followers to participate.

Social media has made it easier than ever to shine as brightly as the big brands. Try one – or all – of these strategies to give your business its time in the spotlight.