Managing Social Media for Small Businesses

6 min readApr 9, 2020

When it comes to orchestrating a small business, growth is an aspect many small business owners need help to excel in. However, often, this can be attributed to a need for more optimization on social media platforms. Frankly, from the get-go, many businesses underestimate the impact of having an online presence on their business. However, if a small business owner chooses to take the proper steps to optimize their following on social media, they will find it has an immense impact on their business. Below is a compiled list of essential social media tips and tricks to help you and your business grow and build a large online following.

Knowing Your Audience

Before starting your chain of social media, it is essential to know your audience very well. Different businesses have extremely diverse demographics, leading to other approaches to social media. When understanding your audience, many vital factors must be considered. Age, gender, race, religion, and location are all critical factors in determining your approach to social media. For example, a boy’s youth soccer club would use different methods for social media than a women’s senior care center would. A local traditional Vietnamese restaurant would use other approaches than a Flamenco Dance Studio.

Sometimes, it is very easy to know your business’s demographic. You may know your regulars or have noticed trends in who enters your business. However, sometimes it’s not so easy. It can be tricky to know your customer's demographic if you run an online business or one that deals with shipments and deliveries. However, this can be changed relatively easily. A company can collect data via surveys or other data collection methods to determine its unique demographic.

Picking Platforms

When running various social media sites, it is essential to have a diverse presence. This means setting up an account for your business on multiple platforms. The most well-known companies worldwide all have diverse presences on the web. From accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the most popular companies today utilize almost every social media. However, these accounts are often run by teams of hundreds of people. Owning such a small business can be highly time-consuming, so depending on your demographic, you can change the platform you focus most on. has data on social media use via demographics in 2020 that a company can use to connect with its audience.

It breaks down the users' demographics in each platform to help your business determine its target focus for an online presence. For example, 32% of teenagers use Twitter, while 72% use Instagram. If your business’s customer demographic is younger, you might want to prioritize the platform that will pander to them. This would look like focusing lots of advertisements and news on your Instagram account while not focusing on your Twitter as much. Again, this doesn’t mean neglecting Twitter entirely, the more platforms the merrier, but you should have different focuses depending on your demographic.

One small business that practices demographical targeting very well is Seattle's local boba shop, Drip Tea. Drip Tea is known as a “Hypebeast” Vietnamese Boba Shop that heavily attracts trendy young customers. Knowing this, Drip Tea has a significant presence on Instagram. In the past three months, they have gained over 3,000 followers, and their popularity has been exponentially growing among youth in the area. Drip Tea is among many examples emphasizing the importance of knowing your audience.

Interact with Your Customers

Customer service is one of the most important things when running a small business. Patrons love to see it when their favorite business reaches out to them to show that they care for their thoughts and opinions. Social media is one of the best ways businesses interact with their customers. Using different features on different platforms, businesses can allow their customers to comment and review other products, send different ideas and opinions, and offer compliments and criticism on what your business has been doing so far. These methods build a bond with your audience and guide your business on what aspects your customers would like to see changed or what factors you should keep and continue to improve.

One exceptional small business with audience interaction is BobaLust, a Vietnamese Boba Café in Tukwila, WA. Their Instagram page of nearly 5,000 followers is one of the most customer interactive in the local scene. BobaLust uses weekly polls to gather customers’ opinions of various drinks. Also, BobaLust even creates surveys on their story to ask which new flavors customers would want to try. These voting systems, polls, and surveys allow BobaLust to receive accurate data on what their customers want and, in turn, increase customer loyalty to the brand, knowing that their opinions directly impact the business.

However, customer interaction doesn’t end with business-related conversations. Asking customers unique questions can also improve their opinion of you. Whether asking customers about an exciting story or how their day went, a simple question goes a long way for your business. The ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals) Instagram Page is excellent at this. They post a picture of tennis-related news — maybe the latest Masters 1000 champion, then ask the viewer about a match they played that the viewer will never forget. This invites discussion on your page, increasing traffic via algorithms and sharing, simultaneously adding a personal connection from a customer to your brand.

Customer Appreciation

In addition to customer interaction, customer appreciation is another important aspect of managing social media for your business. Thanking customers and expressing gratitude for their continued support is a gesture that anyone would appreciate, but it is especially important for a small business to maintain routine customers. This can also be accomplished using social media.

Social media platforms allow a business to “shout out” or publicly commend customers for their continued support of your business. Posting different shout-outs helps maintain a loyal fanbase, showing that you are grateful and appreciative of your customers' support.

In addition to shout-outs, rewards are an excellent way to show gratitude to your customers. You can set up giveaways or competitions on social media that reward customers if they win. For example, BobaLust, the Tea Café I previously mentioned, often has competitions where one of their social media followers will win free merchandise, along with several free drinks. These competitions incentivize regular customers to follow your page, increasing talk about your business.

Maintain A Schedule

Maintaining a schedule is difficult for everyone. Procrastinating and forgetting are real problems; everyone will experience them sometime in life.

However, you must find a schedule you diligently adhere to for your social media management. Posting routinely and updating your followers and customers is immensely important for your business. One cannot simply post twice in one day, wait two weeks before posting again, and hope their following grows. Consistency is key. Set aside some time in the afternoon to send an update or post a picture of a new product or item on your menu. Keep your followers updated at all times the same time, so they stay connected to your business and your business stays relevant.

Ask For Help — As our Seattle Social Media Agency

Last but certainly not least, when it comes to any business — but small businesses especially — it is OK, OK, OK to ask for help. If you own a small business, chances are, your hands are already full. Spending so much time committing to all the steps I’ve listed can be overwhelming or out of reach. And that is OK. It is OK not to be able to juggle 90 balls at once while folding your mother’s blouses and doing the dishes. There are many professional social media managing services online, and I guarantee that many individuals in your area are professionals in social media management. If you have so much on your plate that you can’t afford to spend your precious time on social media, set aside a budget to pay someone else to do it. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I promise that a solid social media presence will translate into substantial numbers, and soon, you will see the payoffs of that investment.

Final Thoughts

In the modern age of social media domination, it’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses to step up their game in social marketing, SEO, and web design. Undoubtedly, in the decades to come, media use will only increase, so businesses large and small should develop a following now before getting lost in the sea of millions of start-ups and small businesses. Social media allows you to connect with your customers more personally. Remember to know your demographic and to use platforms accordingly. Also, always display your gratitude to patrons. Don’t forget to keep in touch with your followers, too. Let them know that you care and value their ideas. Always maintain a steady schedule to stay relevant in your customers’ lives and media algorithms. If you can’t afford the time spent doing all these steps, hire someone who can!

Plenty of online services are guaranteed to help you, such as

First appeared on




A Seattle web design and online marketing agency that delivers high-end websites. A passion for web development and SEO.