Social media for small business: how to master it

Looking to understand Social Media for Small Business? We break down everything you need to know.
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If the thought of doing social media for your business makes you want to hide in a dark cupboard, we get it.

It’s hard wearing so many hats as an entrepreneur and when you’re busy doing the gazillion things that running a small business requires, the thought of doing your own social media can feel daunting. That’s why we’ve devised this simple and realistic guide to how you can run your own social media campaigns without too much stress.

It’s important that you get to grips with social media because it’s an effective way to market your business. According to Sprout Social, people spend an average of 151 minutes per day on social media and move between seven different channels every month. Globally, there are 137 million social media users. 

What social media should a small business have?

The secret to a successful small business social media campaign lies in picking the right platforms. Each one has a unique demographic and by choosing those directed at your target audience, you have a higher chance of reaching people who’ll be interested in your brand, plus you’ll save a lot of time. It’s far better to focus your energy and resource on one or two key channels than to try to do a little bit on each. 

Below is a quick rundown of the top social media channels and their demographics:


Facebook remains the world’s largest social media platform, but numbers are falling as younger users flock to the likes of Snapchat and TikTok.

  • Monthly users: 2.69 billion
  • Largest age group: 25–34

Takeaway – Facebook is the best way to reach the older generation as 24.5% of the audience are over the age of 35. 

Tips – to get the most out of Facebook, you should ideally post every day. Facebook posts work best when accompanied with images and the occasional video is also recommended.  


A third of Instagram’s users are Gen Z and Millennials. Being image led, the platform requires good photos and video content. If you don’t have time to always take your own, make full use of free stock shots and footage. To help with your Instagram content, read our guide to social media image sizes. 

  • Monthly users: 2 billion
  • Largest age group: 18–24

Takeaway – Instagram is best for targeting Gen Z and Millennials.

Tips – to get the most out of the platform, you should post three to five times a week. Image quality is everything and it pays to take the time to learn how to take good images for Instagram.


TikTok is experiencing a boom right now and is adding new features to make the platform even more relevant for small businesses, such as more advanced ads and CRM integrations. 

  • Monthly users: 834.3 million
  • Largest age group: 18–24

Takeaway – Users spend more time on TikTok than any other app.

Tips  – you don’t need a huge budget to do well on TikTok. You can only post videos and the key is to be creative, quirky and to have fun. Three to five posts a week is the optimum.  The in-app editing functions are really good so spend some time experimenting.


Twitter’s use has grown consistently, although it remains to be seen how things will progress in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover.

  • Monthly users: 237.8 million
  • Largest age group: 18–29

Takeaway a third of Twitter users are high earners.

Tips – Twitter is where people go to find out what’s going on at the moment, which is why it’s fertile ground for news organisations. The key is to engage your followers in conversation. Use hashtags to make sure you’re seen by the people most likely to be interested in the topics you’re posting about. To make the most of Twitter, you’ll need to post three to five times a day.  


Used as a professional networking platform, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for B2B marketing.

  • Monthly users: 930 million
  • Largest age group: 30–39

Takeaway – LinkedIn is the top-rated platform for B2B lead generation.

Tips –  only use LinkedIn if you’re trying to get the attention of other businesses and/or professionals. Ideally, you should post one to two times a day. Try to vary the type of content you put up, for example, posting a mix of longer articles, videos, polls or sharing posts from thought leaders. 


Pinterest’s demographic is mostly female and it’s one of the most product-focused social media platforms.

  • Monthly users: 450 million
  • Largest age group: 15–34

Takeaway – Pinterest is best for selling products to younger females. 

Tips – this is an image only platform, but you can get away with posting just once a week. It’s well worth doing as it’s one of the most powerful search engines for images on the internet. Before using Pinterest, ask yourself if you have enough high quality images, and consider whether or not you want to sell via the platform as 75% of users are frequent shoppers. 


Big with younger users, Snapchat is a handy place for trendspotting.

  • Monthly users: 750 million
  • Largest age group: 18–24

Takeaway – Snapchat is a great way to reach Gen Zs.

Tips – aim to have fun with your SnapChat posts. Be authentic and playful and don’t worry about trying to be perfect. SnapChat stories are live for 24 hours and then disappear forever. Even so, SnapChat posts need to be creative and inventive, so consider whether you’re up to producing the right kind of content before you set up a business account. 


YouTube is second only to TikTok when it comes to the time users spend on the platform, making it ideal if you’re creating long-form video content.

  • Monthly users: 2.1 billion
  • Largest age group: 15–35

Takeaway – YouTube is an effective way to reach 15 to 35 year olds, but most users claim they visit the channel for entertainment purposes and not to discover brands or products.

Tips – the beauty of YouTube is that you can pick your own posting schedule and stick to it; however, you’ll need to create good quality video content. Before you create your channel, ask yourself if you can commit to posting regular video content and whether or not you have anything unique to say. 

If you want to know how much money you can make from YouTube, dive into our exploration of the platform’s pay scale, and if you’re interested in finding out more about choosing the right platforms, check out our guide on which social media channels to use.

It’s worth noting that being consistent is more important than hitting optimum frequency targets on any of the above platforms. 

global social media app engagement

What can social media do for a small business?

Last year, people spent an average of 14 minutes a day on their phones, which makes them a captive audience. Any business would be crazy not to jump on this opportunity to introduce people to their brand via social media platforms.

These days, consumers expect brands to be on social media, so if they visit your website and see that you don’t have any social channels, it might be off putting.

To learn more about influencer marketing strategies, take a look at this guide.

What should I post on social media?

According to Hootsuite, your posts should reflect your goals, so for example, 30% might drive traffic to your website, 25% might be curated, 40% might go towards lead generation such as newsletter sign-ups, etc and 5% might be dedicated to promoting your brand. 

Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on social media strategy and make life easier for yourself by using the best digital marketing tools.

Sprout Social have provided this handy graphic on what sort of content people like to see on social media.

content types consumers like graphic

How do I create a social media plan for my small business?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of posting on social media platforms daily, don’t worry as this doesn’t have to be done in real time. It’s advisable to plan posts and create them in advance. You can then schedule them using social media publishing tools like Buffer or Tailwind that include an easy-to-use planner. Or you can download a content calendar for free.

For a comprehensive run down of social media management tools, take a look at our ultimate guide along with our rundown of social media analytics, (which show how your content is performing).

And finally, learn how to measure your success with the only guide you’ll need on social media monitoring tools.

What social media is best for local business?

Facebook is a good starting point for local business due to its popularity, and if you opt for paid advertising, you can choose to show your content to users in a certain geographic area. 

Facebook is also the platform where digital marketing is most effective. Take a look at Sprout Social’s graphic, which shows where marketers are most successful and where a desire to find new brands and products rates highly.

marketer success vs consumer needs chart

As every business is different, it makes sense to test posting at different frequencies at various times of the day to see what works best for you. 

How to build a social media strategy for small businesses

Start by writing down your goals. What do you hope to achieve from your social media? For example, you might want more website traffic or to attract more followers. 

Then, drill down into who your ideal follower is. How old are they? Where do they live? How much do they earn, etc? Once you have a clear picture of them, you’ve defined your target audience. 

When you know who your target customers are, do some research and see what they’re chatting about online. What do they want? What do they need? What excites them? Most importantly, choose social media platforms that they’re most likely to populate.

Once you’ve done this, SproutSocial suggests you focus on the following:

  • Make sure your social strategy ties in with your other marketing efforts
  • Focus on social media platforms that will put you in front of your target audience
  • Create engaging content
  • Look for business opportunities on social media
  • Engage with your followers when you can; don’t ignore them
  • Evaluate your efforts using analytics and tweak where necessary. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of content

And finally, make sure you deliver great customer service on social media. That means responding to questions and resolving any problems swiftly. If you don’t have enough hours to devote your time to this across platforms, stick to one or two. 

Power up 

Now you’re ready to execute your brilliant social media campaign, get started with Vamp. With our help, executing your small business social media campaign will be a breeze and won’t blow the budget.


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