Social media is the perfect marketing tool for small businesses. It’s quick, easy and free to get set up on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For small businesses that want to explore the true potential of social media, social media advertising and marketing is relatively cost-effective, especially when compared to more traditional mediums like print.

If you’re a small business owner who has yet to use social media to your advantage, then you’re not alone. A recent survey found that over half of UK small businesses aren’t using social media at all. Whether you own a high street shop or an online store, we’ve collated six examples of great small business spirit on social media to help you get inspired. And to help you make the most of your digital efforts — check out these free small business tools.

ThirdWay Interiors: The timely case study that tells a story

London-based ThirdWay Interiors understand how important it is to tell a story and use hashtags on social to maximise the potential reach of their posts.

In this impressive visual post they highlight some work they’ve done for a specific client, in order to raise awareness of their services. In this example, they use the popular hashtag #MondayMotivation to engage with a larger audience, also bringing in a wider narrative about being “brave and bold”. Opening up the conversation is especially important for small businesses who want to raise their profile online — try to always tell a story.

Following their Facebook page will show you how they mix content curation, motivational posts, video, and visuals in order to keep their Facebook page as engaging as possible. There can be such a thing as too much of a good thing — it’s important to mix things up.

Educ8 Training: Sharing inspirational content

We have all seen how well those inspirational posts are doing on Instagram, so why not jump in and do the same?

Social media users love inspirational quotes, and they’re especially effective when you’re attempting to promote products or services. In this example from Educ8 Training, this inspirational quote highlights the followers’ interests (careers and training) and is used to promote an upcoming course. Topics like leadership, development, and team cohesion are perennially popular.

As a training provider, Educ8 are also all about sharing team pics and events on their social feeds — making their company culture seem vibrant and friendly.

Carwow: Content ‘stunts’ that wow

Carwow is a UK startup that helps people to find the best offers from car dealerships nationwide. It knows that its social media followers love cars, and it uses this knowledge to its advantage by creating content that offers value to them — big time.

Here, they shared a video of the Carwow team in the driving seat with a racing driver – something their followers would almost certainly love to do. Sharing engaging videos helps to draw in your followers’ attention – and the use of relevant hashtags will allow you to reach a wider audience on social.

Going out of your comfort zone with content and creating a video that has a strong PR angle or ‘hook’ is a great way to make the most of content marketing. Being bland and generic on social won’t pay off.

White Cross: Meet the team

As well as promoting your products and services, social media can also be used to raise awareness of your brand. Followers love to see what goes on behind the scenes, and this Facebook post from White Cross Vets is a great example.

Here, they introduce followers to a new member of staff, detailing her experience at the same time to generate interest among followers. This is an engaging way to showcase the people that make small businesses what they are, and helps to give your social media activity more of a human face.

Always make time to create pictures and posts about new team members, and just generally share team news and updates. Want to take it to the next level? Give staff members the opportunity to ‘take over’ your social media feeds for the day, adding their unique take on things and personality to the mix.

Equilibrium Asset Management : Content curation & thought-leadership

Social media marketing is all about creating conversations and building a dialogue with your followers. You should engage with them, as well as try and sell to them. As you can see in this example from Equilibrium Asset Management, they regularly share the latest news and updates from the financial services industry with their followers on LinkedIn.

Equilibrium knows that the people who follow them will already have an established interest in their industry, and by sharing industry news, they are able to promote their services at the same time.

Content curation is a great way to position your business as thought-leaders in the industry, encouraging people to come to you for advice and information. It’s win-win really: making you look clever, and promoting your business too.

Ella’s Kitchen: Playful video content

Baby food company Ella’s Kitchen know that parents can sometimes struggle to get their children to eat vegetables. With this in mind, they have created a series of videos on YouTube which offer tips for cooking and preparing vegetables to make it fun to eat them for the first time. In this example, they show parents how to cook Brussels sprouts at Christmas, with the aim of encouraging little ones to try them the dreaded vegetable.

This video is short, snappy, colourful and highly engaging, with the final screen linking to an Ella’s Kitchen product on Amazon – a great way to plug your products in a fun and engaging way!

Think about how you can use humour (which works really well in videos) to help raise product and brand awareness in a fun way that people are likely to share.

Your small business on social media

Small business social media is inspiring & fun — don’t be afraid to have a go at it yourself! The key it to balance experimentation with ROI, and ensure that you are getting new clients, customers, and leads thanks to all your hard work. Having a social media calendar and guidelines will help you systematise your efforts, and make the most of social. Don’t forget to explore different social channels, and settle on the ones that are going to work best for your business.

Posted by:Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene works in eCommerce marketing, specialising in content. When she’s not keeping her list of clients happy, she’s sharing her branding tips with online readers. She’s a big advocate of storytelling, and loves helping brands find theirs.