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Small Business Social Media in 2022

If you're a small business owner or a fresh start-up, you've probably dreamed of trending on social media - fast and right after launch. That kind of exposure brings business, does some of the marketing for you and reassures your team that what you're doing is stylish and the internet is going crazy over it.

In 2022, it's not as simple as posting great content online. To have a 'for sure' strategy in social media marketing, you have to bring in a lot of cash to the table for paid advertising, establish brand collaborations.

For smaller budgets, the content needs to be brave, unique and high-quality, and high-volume, which, in our experience, is not readily accessible for the average business.

My mission with this blog entry is to reassure you of the common practices of Social Media in 2022 for small businesses. I'm bringing back the basics and giving you some real talk instead of the common misconceptions and regurgitated fluff your agency has told you. Let's misbehave.

Social Proof

You may have heard of Social Proof as a concept in social media marketing. It basically means that after navigating the web, your average user may visit your social media pages to confirm that you are active, trustworthy and engaged with your clientele.

If your social media following, engagement and content activity is satisfactory, it will act as proof that your products/services are what you claim them to be. This will enable conversion through social, whatever it may mean for your business sales.

How do you get social proof? First, you have to understand three main metrics in social media marketing: reach, engagement and following.

Engagement is the most valuable metric, followed by following and then reach. All of these metrics are visible on most platforms, making it easy for your audience to inspect and compare them with the rest of the market.

This basically dictates your penultimate goal - to meet and exceed the social media metrics of your local competitors, before proceeding into deeper waters. Here, you are called upon to generate goals for your marketing.

S.M.A.R.T. goals

This goal setting guide is preached in every business school for its simplicity and universal application. S.M.A.R.T. means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals. It's simple, overused, but good enough for small projects.

Let's say you're a small print shop in a medium-sized town. There may be a few competitors in your area, which have a greater following than your freshly established social media account. Your goal becomes to meet and then exceed their performance online. To do that, you need to prepare a strategy and set goals.

Let's say that your goal is to have better social media standing when compared to your competitors, before jumping into deeper waters. A great, ambitious goal.

Now let's make it more specific, measurable and time-bound. The goal is to increase the following on your Instagram by 200 followers, in 2 months, with the average engagement rate exceeding 0.2%.

We're not going crazy here with the gazillion likes and trending stardom, so it is reasonable to assess this marketing goal as attainable. Let's assume that our business audit strategy assessment determined that social media marketing is relevant to your brand (it is for most small shops).

Notice how ambitious daydreaming became more realistic and ready for execution - just by imposing a simple model of thought into your planning. I recommend using SMART or any other objective development model before taking any concrete marketing action in 2022.

Time & Effort Management

So you think that your business has no capability to produce high-quality social media content to represent your business. But what's that in your pocket? Your decked out smartphone. It has a camera, microphone, you can get video and photo editing applications, as well as all the essential publishing tools for social media.

It is your personal media production suite, and you will benefit greatly from mastering it as your first means of taking your business online. It makes sense to try out what you already have before committing to outsourcing.

What if you think you don't have time for learning and producing media on your smartphone? Typically, I preach that the average business owner's average duration of social media work should be no more than 10 minutes per day.

That includes taking your phone, making sure the scene is presentable, taking the photo, editing it, posting it on social with minimal captions and a few hashtags, and clicking send.

If in doubt, see if you can delegate social media tasks to one of your team members. Your fabulous team members may be chuffed to bits to collect some social media content production and management experience (especially if they know what they're doing). The only issue is communicating your needs and then seeing if they are met.

If you're truly lost, you can always pay me to do it for you *wink*.

Content Strategy

The point of social media is to connect with people online- to be social.

Capturing your team in action, participating in #officefun and taking some time to step back from the hard everyday grind to capture those light moments together - the perfect content strategy to communicate positivity and trust from your target audiences, whoever they may be.

Social media should not be something that is dreaded, but something that helps relax and communicate with your community. It can be a team-building, brainstorming, fun-loving office experience - an extension or amplification of all the positive things in your business, as well as your core values.

However, content diversity and professionalism are important. When all the jokes die down and we're familiar with all the lovely faces in your team, we want to see your work and perhaps even get some insider knowledge about your industry in general.

Consider creating infographics, writing detailed professional copy on platforms that do not need any imagery (do include the media, if possible), inserting the genuine professional value into your online presence.

Ultimately, your content strategy will depend highly on your target audience, and identifying it is a whole different ball game.

For now, all you need to know, without investing in genuine marketing services, is the basics to cover: people, work, humour, knowledge, and sometimes - trends.

Develop your take on these five areas and your overall content strategy will come alive.

Real Connections

If we're talking about organic growth, there's one key principle to understand when considering your opportunities - real-life networking.

This route is often neglected, because it demands getting out there, meeting new people, and building relationships face to face, which may not be easy for our lovely introverted hustlers and digital nomads out there.

LinkedIn has an option that allows you to turn on a special mode on the app, inviting nearby users to exchange credentials. Use it in co-working spaces.

Take your business card, design it with a QR code that leads to a contact form or your email; proceed and give them out as usual. Chances are that the effect of your card will double (or, in my case, reach more than 50 people per card on average). Work smart, not hard.

When you're in a networking event, consider that most people next to you are looking for similar things in business, social media growth being one of them. That warms up the waters for you to reveal your leadership qualities and ask for an exchange in follows.

You may also benefit from not overthinking and connecting with your competitors as well - a single follow is not going to change the world, and you'll reliably receive updates on their activity (they will too - good motivation to kill them with presence).

Treat it as a fun game and it will become a driver to produce great content online.

Basic Creative Resources for the Solopreneur

  • Smartphone - a cost-effective media production suite, that fits in your pocket.

  • Media production apps - Canva, Videoleap, VSCO or Lightroom are our top picks for the solopreneur.

  • Notepad or Note app - iOS Pages and Notes apps are great, but I can personally recommend the Minimalist note-taking app. If you have a smartwatch, practice the 'Hey Siri, make a reminder' voice command (or equivalent on Android watches) and you'll be saving your ideas while driving!

  • Mobile Lens kit - To make your footage fresh and diverse, consider getting photography/videography camera lenses for your smartphone. I recommend Sandmarc and Moment.

  • Lighting - Your smartphone will work well in broad daylight, but it will fail to deliver in low light indoor settings due to its smaller sensor. Consider introducing better lighting at your workplace, or at least know how to take moody shots well enough to represent your business appropriately.

  • Friends - You'll need someone to tell you if your content is good or not, because chances are, that your initial learning stages of media production will be a bit off. Worst case scenario, they'll lend a shoulder to cry on when your product shots don't come out right.

  • YouTube and Google - Always ask Google - I'm sure you're already used to that. Look up video tutorials on YouTube, find great niche blogs (like this one) and make use of the vast amounts of specialists, offering you guidance for free!

The Brand Face

After all is said and done, there will always need to be a storyteller to tell the story of your brand. That storyteller can be you or a person you delegate, but whoever you pick needs to be in it for the long-term.

People connect with faces, because our psychology is designed to scan the environment for a human presence. Without a person to connect with, your messaging will be unfocused, scattered all over the place, without a lasting connection, missing the essential ingredients for effective advertising.

This is why influencer marketing is so effective! A simple association between a new product and a known celebrity will elevate a fresh start-up sky high. For your small business, there's no need for a celebrity deal - your (brand) face will be more than enough.

Need help?

I'm offering a full-service marketing experience at human rates. The value that I deliver in social media marketing covers all of the points discussed in this blog and other opportunities in creative marketing.

I've got gigs open on all mainstream freelancing platforms, but you'll get a juicy deal by contacting me directly.

Contact me direct to make use of my free casual 1-hour consultations: |


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