Competing on Social media as a small business

September 30, 2016 // in Workspaces

Analytics and marketing tools have been quickly advancing for decades. Marketing has gone from print to radio to television with each iteration becoming more and more expensive to compete. According to this article on variety, television spots during prime time can range from $50,000 to $600,000 for a television spot. This is simply too much money for a small or medium sized business to compete.  In the last few years due to social media small businesses finally have options to compete.


Social media advertising can be used to promote a product, however this is typically not the most efficient way to market on social media. Rather the best way to use social media from a marketing perspective is to build a community and to create brand engagement. Brand trust can be difficult to establish but as a company grows their vocal fan base often becomes encompassed by angry fans and those who feel wronged by the company.  Smaller companies can create positive traction online by creating a good social media presence.  Take a look at this small photography company, this company is able to create engagement and repeat customers by publishing photos on social media to share with followers. This keeps the customer engaged with the company as well as being able to answer their requests to encourage easy repeat customers.


Eventually, it comes the time for paid advertising now this seems like it is where large corporations will have the advantage as they can create campaigns with hundreds of thousands of dollars while smaller companies will be forced to try and work with a budget just a fraction of that. There are ways to fight this let’s look at a massive company like Coca-Cola. Coke will need to market to a wide range of people all over the world, their products are targeted at both genders, and multiple age groups from kids to adults everyone drinks coke. Running a social media campaign like this costs hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to reach the total audience. Luckily small business can combat this with precise targeting to audiences only in their field. For example, a company in waterloo who sells soft drinks to students can specifically target people in the Waterloo who are interested in soft drinks between the ages of 18-25. This would result in an audience of 27,000 people. This audience can be effectively reached for hundreds of dollars. While a company like Coca cola’s ads will need to reach millions of people.


Social media publishing and analytics tools are often free or cheap such as native analytics via Facebook and Twitter or the application HootSuite which is just 9.99 a month. Large business will always have an advantage over small businesses but through developing a community, good customer communication, and targeted funding campaigns small businesses can find ways to compete in a social media space.