Facebook and Instagram are social media powerhouses. As a small business owner, you can use them to show off your best work, tell people you’re running a sale, and have conversations with customers at any time or place.

But the impact Facebook and Instagram will have on your business’s bottom line depends on how you use them. So how do you use Facebook for business? And what’s the best process for how to market your business on Instagram?

With these social media tips for small businesses, you’ll jump-start your journey to success on both popular platforms.

Facebook Tips for Small Businesses

Facebook is as much a marketplace as it is a social media platform, with nearly 2.41 billion monthly users. If you want to get traction with your organic marketing on Facebook, you’ve got to build a page for your business. From there, your users just have to like your page, and they’ll start getting your updates right away.

Once your page is built, these tips will help you manage it effectively:

1. Keep an eye on your reputation. 

You’ll want to know what people think and say about your brand if you want to appeal to them. 

Several social media applications, such as Social Mention, can help you automatically find mentions of your brand and monitor your reputation. SumAll pulls information about your followers from several of your social accounts. Hootsuite offers a ton of services that let you know when people mention you online, help you get the right content to the right audience, let you analyze likes and comments, and more. And Mediatoolkit can alert you to every piece of content, comment, or Tweet that includes a mention of your brand. 

These tools can help you understand what people are saying about you and give you a chance to respond.

2. Put positive reviews in the spotlight. 

An honest, positive review from a customer is a really powerful sales pitch. In fact, in a survey by Convince and Convert, the top three places people get info about something they’re about to buy are online searches, family members, and friends. That means word of mouth has a big impact, so you should make sure the whole world knows about your great reviews. Highlight them on your Facebook page, website, ad campaigns, emails — anywhere you can!

3. Pin posts to the top of your page. 

Want to make sure no one misses your latest sale? Use the pinning feature on your social profiles to make sure that tweet or post is always at the top of your feed. You can pin things like sales, promotional offers, welcome videos, behind-the-scenes photos or videos of your work, great reviews, and more. And if you don’t have anything in particular you want to promote, you can always use the pinning feature to keep an awesome conversation on a relevant post active and visible.

Instagram Tips for Small Businesses

We all know consumer attention is fleeting, but studies show people interact most with companies on social media. According to Hootsuite, about a billion people use Instagram each month, and 80% of them follow at least one brand.

After launching your business account, use these tips to market your business on Instagram more effectively:

1. Make a posting schedule

Instagram is a constantly revolving carousel of content. When people follow you, they’ll expect to see new posts on a pretty regular basis. What that schedule looks like depends on you and your audience. 

If you’re a hairstylist, posting an image of your favorite style each day could entice your customers to book a haircut. If you’re a fitness coach, motivational videos once a week could help persuade potential clients to sign up for a session. The frequency doesn’t matter as much as consistency — as long as you post high-quality updates regularly, you’re on track.

2. Tell stories and use interesting captions. 

Every day, about 500 million people use Instagram Stories. After seeing a brand or product in Stories, as many as 39 of viewers become interested. 

Focus your marketing on Instagram Stories, and use witty, compelling captions to give each image more meaning. Consider grouping your Stories into Highlights on your profile so it’s easy for your audience to find content from days, weeks, or even months ago. 

Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin and fitness influencer Kayla Itsines have several highlights where they can keep behind-the-scenes photos, product examples, and more. 

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Stories are a great way to showcase behind-the-scenes content during a special event or even just a regular day on the job. 

You can also use Stories Stickers to tag your location, post a poll, use a hashtag, or even let customers shop right from your Story.

3. Publicize your partnerships.

If you’re partnered with a business down the street for other marketing efforts, include them in your Instagram strategy as well. If you hold events together, document it in your Stories and photos, tagging the other brand often to attract its audience. 

You can also capitalize on your partner’s Instagram audience by creating joint content and having the brand share it in posts and even Stories, tagging you in each one. That strategy will get your work in front of a whole new audience of potential clients. Plus, those clients will be more likely to take interest in you, because the brand posting your content is one they already trust. And if a brand they trust is recommending you, you’ve got to be good. 

You might already use Facebook and Instagram to some degree to connect with your customers. But both platforms come with huge marketing potential, and the best strategy is one that makes the most of each one. With these easy tips, you can make the most out of your social media — without the stress.

4. Think local. 

We’re rooting for you to be the next big Instagram influencer, but as a small business built on offering services, chances are you’re trying to grow your local following—you know, the people who will book your services time and time again. Out of those billion Instagram users, how do you market your business to the right ones? Here are a few savvy steps you should take: 

  • Add locations to your posts, and get creative about which ones you use. If you’re based in an up-and-coming neighborhood in your city, consider tagging that area over a more general city tag (consider the difference between an Instagram post that’s listed as Los Angeles, CA versus Downtown Arts District, Los Angeles). 
  • Follow other local businesses—especially your neighbors. Word of mouth is a huge thing. By following small businesses in your area and showing them some love, you’re building relationships later that you can use for partnerships (see #3) or other opportunities. 
  • Make it easy for people to book by adding a link to your bio. This is essential because you’ll capture new clients before you lose them to the feed again. One of Schedulicity’s most popular features is our “Book Now” button for Instagram for this very reason.