The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing for Small Business Owners

Social media is an essential tool for small business owners to reach out to their target audience and grow their brand. However, it can be challenging to navigate the ever-changing social media landscape, especially for those who are new to the game. 

To help you get started on your social media marketing journey, we’ve put together a list of the Dos and Don’ts of social media marketing for small business owners.

The DO Guidelines


Before you start posting on social media, it is critical that you set down a strong foundation and map for your marketing. This will influence every decision, action, purchase and hiring decision you make from here on!

This critical foundation is the setting of SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Determine what you want to achieve with your social media presence, whether it’s to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or boost sales.

When creating SMART goals for social media campaigns, it’s important to follow a structured process to ensure that the goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Here is a process that can be followed to create KPIs and SMART goals for social media campaigns:

  • Identify your overall business objectives: Before you can create SMART goals for your social media campaigns, you need to identify your overall business objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your social media campaigns? Are you trying to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive sales, or something else?
  • Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your social media campaigns: Once you have identified your overall business objectives, you need to determine the KPIs for your social media campaigns that will help you achieve those objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, your KPIs might be “reach” and “engagement”.
  • Create specific goals: Now that you have identified your KPIs, you need to create specific goals that are aligned with those KPIs. For example, if your KPI is “reach”, a specific goal might be to increase your monthly reach by 10%.

Example of a specific goal: Increase the number of website visits generated from social media by 20% in the next quarter.

  • Make your goals measurable: It’s important to make your goals measurable so that you can track your progress and determine whether you have achieved your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase your monthly reach by 10%, you can measure this by tracking your reach metrics in your social media analytics.

Example of a measurable goal: Increase Instagram engagement rate by 5% within the next month.

  • Ensure your goals are achievable: Your goals should be challenging, but they should also be achievable. If your goals are too difficult to achieve, it can be demotivating for your team. For example, if you currently have a reach of 10,000 per month, increasing it to 100,000 per month might be unrealistic. A more achievable goal might be to increase your reach to 15,000 per month.

Example of an achievable goal: Increase the number of leads generated from social media by 50% over the next six months.

  • Ensure your goals are relevant: Your goals should be relevant to your overall business objectives and KPIs. For example, if your overall objective is to generate leads, a goal of increasing your Instagram followers by 10% might not be relevant.

Example of a relevant goal: Increase the number of signups for a new online course by 25% in the next three months through social media marketing.

  • Make your goals time-bound: Finally, your goals should be time-bound so that you have a deadline to work towards. For example, if your goal is to increase your monthly reach by 10%, you might set a deadline of three months to achieve this.

Example of a time-bound goal: Increase Facebook ad click-through rate by 10% within the next two weeks.

DOKnow Your Target Audience

One of the most critical aspects of social media marketing is understanding your target audience. By knowing your audience, you can create content that resonates with them and speaks to their pain points. Research your audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviours to craft targeted content that will capture their attention.

DOEngage Your Target Audience

Social media is a two-way street, and it’s essential to engage with your followers. Respond to comments and messages promptly, and take the time to thank your audience for their support. Engaging with your audience shows that you value their input and can build a loyal community around your brand.

DOMeasure Your Success

To determine whether your social media strategy is working, it’s crucial to track your metrics. Use social media analytics tools to measure your reach, engagement, and conversion rates. Measuring your success allows you to tweak your strategy and achieve better results.

Now it’s time to look at the things that will hinder your success

The DON’Ts Guidelines

DON’TOver-Promote Your Products Or Services

Social media is not a platform for constant self-promotion. Over-promoting your products or services can turn off your audience and damage your brand’s credibility. Instead, aim to provide value to your followers by sharing educational, entertaining, and informative content that aligns with your brand’s values.

DON’TNeglect Your Social Media Accounts

Creating social media accounts is not enough to achieve success on social media. You need to regularly post fresh and engaging content to keep your followers interested. Neglecting your social media accounts can make your audience lose interest in your brand and hurt your online reputation.

DON’TIgnore Negative Feedback

While positive feedback can be uplifting, negative feedback can be a hard pill to swallow. However, ignoring negative feedback is not the solution. Take negative feedback as an opportunity to improve your products or services and show your audience that you take their opinions seriously.

DON’TBuy Followers Or Engagement

Buying followers or engagement may seem like a quick fix, but it can have long-term consequences for your brand. These fake followers will not engage with your content, hurt your organic reach, and tarnish your online reputation. Focus on building a genuine following by creating engaging and valuable content.

The Dos and Don’ts At Different Business Stages

The Dos and Don’ts of social media marketing remain relevant throughout the life stages of a business. However, the approach may vary depending on the business’s maturity level. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Startups: As a startup, your main focus should be to establish your brand and create awareness. Focus on creating shareable content that highlights your unique selling proposition (USP).
  • Growing Businesses: As your business grows, you can focus on building relationships with your audience and engaging with them on a more personal level. This involves interacting with your audience through social media posts, comments and direct messages.
  • Established Businesses: Established businesses can leverage their position in the market to establish authority and thought leadership in their industry. They can share valuable industry insights and position themselves as a go-to resource for industry-related news and updates.

No matter which stage your business is in, here are some general Dos and Don’ts of social media marketing to follow:


  • Create a strong social media presence that reflects your brand’s personality and values.
  • Create engaging content that resonates with your target audience and encourages them to interact with your brand.
  • Use social media to build relationships with your audience and to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Use social media analytics to track your performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Respond promptly to comments and direct messages to show your audience that you value their engagement.


  • Don’t post too often or too infrequently. Find a posting schedule that works for your brand and your audience.
  • Don’t neglect your social media presence. In today’s digital age, a strong social media presence is essential for any business.
  • Don’t engage in negative or controversial discussions on social media. This can damage your brand’s reputation and deter potential customers.
  • Don’t use social media solely as a sales tool. Instead, use it to build relationships with your audience and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Don’t ignore social media analytics. Use them to understand your audience and adjust your strategy to better meet their needs.
  • In conclusion, social media marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. 

By following these Dos and Don’ts, small business owners can develop a strong social media presence that engages their audience, establishes their brand as a thought leader in their industry, and ultimately drives business growth. Remember to set SMART goals, and adjust your strategy as your business evolves. With a little effort and persistence, social media marketing can be a game-changer for your small business.

Want to check up on your Dos and Don’ts in your social media campaigns? Let’s chat!

We’ll share advice, the workload or build you a winning strategy. Start today!

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