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How small business owners can use social media to grow their business: The playbook for 2021

Ready to build your brand online? The small business owner's social media playbook

We believe every small business has the ability to grow their brand using social media. So why do a lot of small businesses struggle or find themselves burning out?

While there can be many contributing factors, it tends to come from not knowing the how, what, or why behind content creation for social media. In short, there isn’t a purpose behind what’s being posted. For personal social media, this is fine but for business, not so much.

What does this mean then? Basically, everything you create needs a purpose to make your marketing effort worth it. Successful social media doesn’t come just from pretty photos or beautiful branding, all of the content you create should have a strategy that is driving it.

This is where we’re here to help and bridge the gap between your content and your strategy with The Small Business Owner’s Social Media Playbook. This playbook is packed with the information needed to help small business owners navigate social media and use it to grow their business in 2021.

Read on for some more insight on what social media means to your small business’s customers and how you can cater your content to them to grow your business.

Build a connection with your customers

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it forced us all to spend more of our time inside, which meant a lot of time spent behind phone screens and online. These factors highlighted our reliance on social media platforms to facilitate our conversations and connections as we all socially distanced.

This created a unique opportunity for businesses to build real and authentic connections with their customers that they may not have prioritized or even explored before. Because so many customers missed an in-store experience, businesses needed to find creative ways to recreate it. Social media platform features like Facebook Live, Instagram Reels, and stories made it easier to experiment with video to bring dimension to content and feel more personal.

Why social media matters to small businesses

On the human side of things, building relationships with customers online is already a win but there are practical wins for your business as well.

In a survey we conducted, brand awareness is a key reason behind building a social media presence. This makes sense, considering the positive long-term implications it has for business now and in a post-pandemic world. For small businesses, proactively building brand awareness on social media today paves the way for purchases tomorrow.

Graph showing the primary social marketing goals among small businesses

Applying these types of goals for your own business will help you determine the purpose behind your content.

If you aren’t sure or need more help with social media marketing goals, our social media playbook will help you determine your own goals and strategies to achieve them.

Making social media work for your business

When COVID-19 shut down in-person interactions, it forced many businesses to get creative with how they operate. As a result, businesses have seen the way social media can bring a sense of in-person experience to customers while remaining online, a trend we expect to see even out of the pandemic.

The small businesses that got creative and took advantage of social media did so in high numbers. In a survey we conducted, we found that the frequency of social media sharing between February 2020 and February 2021 among respondents radically increased across platforms.

Graph showing the pandemic's effect on small business sharing

“Without a doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has forced small businesses to increase activity on social media. We are seeing this across social platforms, but it is most prevalent with regard to Instagram where we have witnessed a 40% increase in frequency of sharing. Additionally, we saw a 33% increase in Facebook and Twitter sharing over the same year-long period,” said Clay McDaniel, Ripl CEO.

How small business owners can use social media to grow their business

As more businesses have realized the power of social media marketing, it’s fair to say it will only play a bigger role for them from here on out. Customer expectations of how businesses engage with them has shifted and they not only want to see their favorite brands online but they expect them to!


Whether you’re a solopreneur, side-hustler, small team, online seller, or brick & mortar business, social media can work for you. Download the playbook and start building your small business social media strategy today.


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