Small Business Spotlight: Marketing through social media pays dividends for small businesses

With thousands of companies vying for attention on social media, companies must offer something unique to grow followers and customers.

Social media professional Broden believes authenticity helped make Cooking with Que a success, which brought in $775,000 in revenue in 2021 and is expected to cross $1 million this year.

“I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I wasn’t trying to recreate the wheel, though. People go for what they like and what they feel the company offers them in terms of good product and customer service,” she said. I haven’t tried it myself. I’ve got some people showing one picture to sell a product but they’ve never used that product in their daily life. I just wanted to show people what I knew and it worked so far.”

Companies use different social media platforms for different purposes and to reach different followers. Marketers will find that about 75 percent of Instagram users in the United States are between the ages of 18 and 44, versus 62 percent of Facebook users in the same demographic. Sixty-nine percent of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 49 while teens make up the largest group on the short video platform TikTok.

“I use Facebook for Live,” Pruden said. “People on Facebook love interacting with you. They want to feel like your family. To me, they want a recipe easily, right in front of them. On Instagram, they want more to see pictures and for those pictures to tell a story.”

Broden also drives social media followers to her website where they can purchase weekly meal plans, find recipes, and make reservations at The Kitchen.

Gazelle uses Instagram’s Stories feature to display products with purchase links. The Shop tab on its Facebook page has a few hot items that can be viewed and purchased with a single click on the Gazelle website.

“We have complete strategies put in place for every platform we use,” Gazelle’s Cross said. “We drive with our best branding forward and then determine how that appears in email, social media, our website and other platforms.”

Not every engagement has to focus on selling a product, as consumers want to participate and even get to know the business owner.

Broden plans every job. Each week, she posts a “Que” recipe and tip that focuses on preparing and preserving food, and shares a “Day in the Life” post that gives followers a look at how her business and a bit of her personal life operates.

“You don’t want to post every day because people might tire of you, but you have to post frequently so your potential clients and customers know you exist,” Prudden said. “If you don’t post, the algorithm the sites use can see that and shoot you a lot of feeds, so users of the platform can forget about you.”

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