What approach should you take with social media support for small businesses?

When showcasing your small business on social media, it’s important to know what approach to take; this depends on the business and what it offers. For example, a charity’s presence on social media will be very different to an eCommerce business.

If you want to know more about this difference… You’re in the right place! This blog intends on going through the approach of a retailer and eCommerce business, a charity and a business within the service industry. Additionally, providing some content ideas for each of them… (We are going to make it sound easy 😉 )

Social media support for small businesses

Although there are differences between the three, there are also some similarities…

It is always important to appear human, you don’t want your business to suggest there’s a robot behind it… Who is going to trust that…

No business should be pushing sales all the time, this is too forceful and will drive customers away! A general rule to follow online is:

1/3 About your company

1/3 Engaging with other people’s content

1/3 Joining the conversation

It should never just be about you!

Questions to ask yourself when posting on social media

What is the intention behind your post? What is it you are trying to achieve?

This allows you to understand the purpose of your business and gauge the extent it is achieving this. It also reduces the number of irrelevant posts on your profile.

SMART Objectives for a small business

What are your SMART Objectives?

These help you measure the success of your social media content, is the content you are posting working? Are you reaching your SMART objectives?

(More on SMART Objectives coming soon!)

So now we have covered that… Let’s get started!

Retailer and eCommerce Businesses

Although it seems unnatural for eCommerce business, the number one rule should be not to be ‘salesy’! It’s important to not constantly be pushing your products on your audience, this can appear to have a hard sales approach. As well as appearing biased, it is better to encourage conversation and engagement around your business.  

Indirectly promoting your business causes conversation and sales to increase without always directly discussing your products!

Thinking about how you can help your audience through topics linked to your business provides your audience with reasons to follow and engage with you. Whilst also increasing discussion around your business… It’s a win, win!

eCommerce on social media

Content Ideas

Guides for your social media

Creating guides on things that can help your audience is a great way of increasing awareness… And why wouldn’t you want to help your audience…

This could be a simple how to guide or your top ten tips…

Competitions and Giveaways

These are a great way of increasing the awareness and discussion of your business. Encouraging people to discover your business through participants sharing the competition across their social media platforms

Be sure to follow all the platform guidelines for competitions.

Show how your products work

Providing a simple video using your product is a great way of helping your audience, whilst indirectly advising it! Examples of videos to produce are unboxing the product, tips on how to use it and maintenance.

A great example of this is the Dyson Airwrap, many influencers have produced tutorials, demonstrating how to get the most from your Dyson Airwrap. This has increased the discussion around the product from the excellent results it has achieved. 

Retailers and eCommerce companies who have done this well…

Tesco’s TikTok

Tesco recently used TikTok to increase discussion around its brand. This was simply achieved through a light-hearted, humorous video to duet on Tiktok, asking people to say why they believe they should be the new voice of the self-service checkout.

This indirectly increases the discussion around Tesco but is a fun way of doing so. Did you see the TikTok?

Tesco TikTok
Credit: Tesco TikTok


It is even more important than ever charities appear human, this ensures they look legitimate and valid – increasing their credibility online and will increase the amount of support they get from their audience.

An effective way to do this is to spread the message and values of the charity, demonstrating how the charity is supporting its cause. This allows the audience to understand how their participation and involvement with the charity can help and where their proceeds go – increasing the likelihood of their support.

This should all be articulated positively through social media.

Content Ideas

Tell a Story

Demonstrating how the charity has supported individuals recently and in the past is an effective way of portraying its legitimacy. Further to this, providing examples of individuals supported by the charity is likely to increase the number of respondents engaging and getting involved as they can observe the good the charity has done.

Tell your audience how they can help

Alongside providing success stories, explaining how people can help support the charity is an effective way of increasing the number of those engaging. The audience can understand how they can help, it is important to make this simple as this will also encourage them to support the charity.

Run a campaign

Creating a campaign for the charity and promoting it on social media is a fantastic way of encouraging discussion around the charity. It is also an effective way of increasing the percentage of the audience involved with the charity, by proving a simple way for them to engage.

This could be as simple as a daily step campaign, asking participants to walk 10,000 steps a day for a month for the charity. Promoting this through a simple hashtag, #DBL10K, linked to your charity and the campaign, increasing your awareness!

Charity social media content ideas

Charities who have done this well…

St Barnabas

St Barnabas highlights on their Instagram what the charity will be getting up to and how the audience can get involved. Using a personal image, legitimacy is added to the charity, encouraging more people to get involved with the event.

Charity social media post
Credit: St Barnabas

Businesses in the service industry

Alike, retailers and eCommerce businesses, those within the service industry should also not take a hard sales approach, instead indirectly raising awareness of their company to increase sales through social media. By being helpful and providing advice on the subject, the business showcases its expertise, increasing its reputation on social media – developing the trust the audience has for the business.

Content Ideas

Create a guide

Providing helpful guides regarding your business’s area of expertise is a fantastic way of increasing awareness of your business and showcasing your knowledge on the topic. This increases the reputation of your business by providing support for your business through your expertise, it is likely to increase the trust your audience has for your business.

Tips and Advice

Similarly, by providing tips and advice about your service, your business can help your audience whilst increasing your reputation and trust. These can be quick and simple tips, ensuring they are easy to understand will help increase their value as more people are likely to understand them.  

Hosting a giveaway as a small business


Host a Giveaway

Another simple way of increasing the awareness of your business is by carrying out a giveaway. This can be a fantastic way of increasing the number of people exposed to your business, causing more people to discover the service you offer.

However, be sure to follow all guidelines for the platform you are hosting the competition on.

Service businesses who have done this well…


Barclays have multiple guides on their website that provide advice and support to make their audience’s life easier, this increases the relationship between themselves and their customers.

This advice is further articulated on their social media platforms to further demonstrate their support.

Screenshot evidence of a service on social media
Credit: Barclays UK

So, there you have it! We’ve made it simple for you to understand what approach to take with your smalll businesses on social media.

If you need any further help or advice, do not hesitate to get in touch! We are here to help you!

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