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How Small Businesses Should Use Social Media

January 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Social media networks are ideal marketing platforms for small businesses. Through them, a company can garner a very wide outreach at a minimal cost, which can increase both exposure and sales. However, a lot of work goes into a successful social campaign and there are many elements that can be easily overlooked. That’s why it’s a great idea to do your research before diving into a social media strategy headfirst.

To properly give insight on how small businesses should use social media, we’re going to provide some examples of other businesses using social media the right way. There’s no better way to learn than to see it in action!


Giantnerd is essentially an outdoor-lover’s dream site. They sell equipment and supplies for outdoor activities like biking, kayaking, snowboarding and more. Giantnerd’s strategy is particularly interesting because of how they interact with their social followers.

The company has implemented native social buttons throughout their site, which encourages visitors to follow them via social channels. More importantly, when customers click the Facebook “like” button to follow the Giantnerd profile they are also given access to exclusive deals and offers. Not only does this encourage people to follow the appropriate social accounts, but it also entices them to purchase items from the Giantnerd estore. In fact, since the ‘like’ button was added to their site, sales have increased by 50%.

It  just goes to show that native social support through radio buttons and similar elements can be very effective. Keep Giantnerd’s strategy in mind when incorporating similar features on your own site.

12 Keys Rehab

12 Keys is a drug detox rehab clinic based out of Jensen Beach, Florida. Obviously, they specialize in multiple forms of substance abuse and their ultimate goal is to drive business to one of their many rehabilitation programs. If you take a look at their blog, they are constantly posting updates with relevant content. More specifically, 12 Keys introduces a lot of infographics related to substance abuse.

The real benefits come from the infographics, because they are interesting and informative. They also encourage viewers to share the content via social networks. Within less than a month, several of the company’s posts garnered close to 500 “likes” thanks to the native social buttons.

This point goes hand-in-hand with the strategy that Giantnerd uses. In order to gain exposure through social media, you need to post relevant content on a continual basis. Providing the necessary tools is not enough, because you need to give viewers the motivation to follow through. There’s no better way to increase social sharing than to offer quality content.

Young Entrepreneur’s Council (YEC)

Becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business can be rough, and YEC knows that. The company offers a portal full of advice and support for new startups and entrepreneurs.
Just take one look at YEC’s profiles, and you’ll see right away why the company is a great example of how to do social media right. Their feed is full of inspirational quotes, useful advice, relevant images, exclusive interviews and much more.

The company is appealing directly to their community, and that is absolutely necessary in the world of social media. They’re also giving something back to followers by sharing content that may or may not be useful to their interests and lifestyle. This is important, because it shows that YEC truly understands their audience.

Take that information to heart when drawing up your own social media strategy, and make sure you factor in what kind of audience you will be appealing to. As with all forms of marketing, you have to tailor content appropriately if you want to see any sort of response.


I’m willing to bet when Dr. Bob Wagstaff uploaded his first video to YouTube advertising his new OraBrush he wasn’t expecting to see more than 18 million views. Regardless, that is exactly what happened. It has also lead to more than one million unit sales over the course of three years. That’s right — YouTubers saw the video and actually made a purchase because of it.

YouTube is a social media platform just like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and countless others that often gets overlooked. The real point here is to branch out and focus your efforts in some new places. Obviously you’ll want to make effective use of any other platforms you try, but you should never be afraid to try something new. It’s good to think outside the box, especially when it comes to social marketing. Believe it or not, consumers are sick of seeing the same content, ideas and ads over and over again. That’s why a lot of unorthodox marketing campaigns end up being so effective at times.

Try something new, and see how it could work for your social campaign!

About the author

Courtney Gordner, founder of and contributing blogger for graduated from Penn State with a degree in Communications. Her two favorite people in the world are her niece and nephew, Raegan and Lucas. When she’s not playing World’s Greatest Aunt, you can find her watching her favorite shows, sometimes on DVD if they’ve been canceled, (Homeland, SOA, The OC, One Tree Hill, Friends and many more).

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