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5 Social Media Tips for SMEs


May 30, 2022 12:57:00 PM

For small to medium businesses especially, social media is a great equaliser, offering the opportunity to engage customers, generate leads and increase sales.

In fact, more than 75% of South African companies have reported positive returns from an increase in social media activity.

How do you ask? We share five tips to help you plan your business's social media content.

 “Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” – Brian Solis

Why social proof matters


Social Proof is a type of psychological influence. In a nutshell, it refers to when people copy the actions of others with the goal of getting the same result.

This can be anything from a social media influencer sharing why they believe in a certain project, a celebrity endorsing a brand, or online reviews sharing what other purchasers thought about the product or service.

You can read more about why social proof matters in our Hellopeter blog.


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Top tips for your planning your business's social media 

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman.

💡 Tip 1: Have a plan

As with any other marketing strategy, you need to know who you’re talking to, what you want to say, and how you’ll go about saying it in a way that resonates with consumers. If you own or are part of a growing business, you should have a good understanding of who your potential customers are and why you think they should choose you.

Use these insights to be S.M.A.R.T, meaning you should aim for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Sensitive. Use your market knowledge and experience to create ‘personas’ of the people you want to target with your messaging. As wonderfully stated by Hootsuite, “you can’t speak to your best potential customers if you’re trying to speak to their kids, parents, spouses and colleagues at the same time.”

Once you’ve determined your audience and goals, take a look at what your leading competitors are doing, and why. How often do they post? What type of content are they putting out? Do they interact with their followers directly, and to what effect? Also, do they use influencers or share their online reviews as social proof? If it makes sense for them, there’s a good chance it’ll make sense for you as well.

“Trustworthy content has a balanced point of view. It asks and answers the right questions. It doesn’t love itself. It tries to inform and educate.” – Steve Farnsworth 

✔️ Tip 2: Pick the platforms that work for you

Before you even decide which social platforms to pursue, it’s always a good idea to do a quick audit of those you’re currently using and how well they’re performing. Keep that information on hand so you can stay on top of any shifts in engagement and interaction. There’s no point in dedicating time and energy to platforms that your audience doesn’t use. 

You should be able to tell quite quickly where your resources are best spent, and each platform has its quirks in terms of its demographics and the type of content they want to see. For example, suppose your business is heavily product-focused. In that case, you’re better off choosing a platform like Instagram or Facebook that lends itself to more visually driven content where you can create a catalogue of imagery showing them off.

This is especially true for e-commerce businesses, and Instagram has a host of functions that can put you front and centre.

“Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.” – Bonnie Sainsbury. 

🕛 Tip 3: Be consistent but never be boring

Aside from being relevant and timely, it needs to be stimulating. Nobody wants to scroll a timeline of endlessly samey or bland content. It’s a pitfall that many businesses fall into, and once you’re in there, it’s notoriously difficult to extricate yourself. 

Switch up the perspective. The key here is to ask yourself a straightforward question: ‘Is what I’m posting bringing value to my audience?’. Is it something that you yourself would find interesting, exciting, or insightful? If the answer is no, it’s better not to say anything at all. Create a blend of unique content that speaks directly to your audience strategically and blend it with sharing third-party content that you think will move the needle or is in alignment with your ‘voice.’

There’s no hard and fast rule about how often you should be posting, but the trick is to find the sweet spot between not trying too hard and regularly contributing valuable and engaging social media posts.

Also, by planning accordingly and using major social media management tools like Hubspot, Hootsuite, Planable or Sprout, you can schedule posts ahead of time while gathering super helpful analytics about your audience. 

 “Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper.


⭐Tip 4: Let customers contribute 

Social media is the ultimate way to give consumers a voice and do your marketing for you. Aka, social proof! Whether you share online reviews about your business or ask your customers to post their photos and testimonials to their own feeds, your audience will believe what other consumers are saying way more than what you say!

You can look into implementing a user-generated content plan where you prompt followers to create content for you. You can even turn it into a competition to ensure you get quality content. For example, the best pic featuring your product wins a voucher from your store! You can then repost this content to your own feed as social proof. 

Furthermore, Hellopeter's easy-to-use software allows you to turn your best reviews into social media posts in two ticks (or rather, clicks). No design skills needed! You can also post these social media posts directly to your social media channels. You can find out more about how this works in this easy guide here.

“The principle of social proof says so: The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.” – Robert B. Cialdini.

🎨 Tip 5: Visual content is king 

As all marketers know, optimised images, video and interactive content are the final frontier, offering consumers stimulating engagement. Indeed, according to Forbes, we spend over a billion (!) hours consuming YouTube alone, every day.

From infographics to still images, from video and interactive posts to consumer-generated content, visual content is proven to be far more effective as a conversion tool than almost any other medium. After all, 91% of consumers, “prefer interactive and visual content over traditional text-based and static media.”

 “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

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Let Hellopeter take your reviews to the next level


Adding the power of Hellopeter reviews to your strategy and integrating them into your marketing mix will not only build trust in your brand but show consumers you’re serious about providing quality experiences that will keep them coming back for more.

Create your free account today and back your social media presence with South Africa’s most reputable online review platform.



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