Utilizing Social Media Advertising to Boost Small Business Visibility

Marketing is the backbone of small business and today’s business landscape requires businesses to have social media presence in order to stay competitive. Prior to social media, businesses often relied on traditional marketing channels like newspapers, billboards etc. Although those worked before, the cost-effectiveness and ROI is small in comparison to social media advertising. In this post, we’ll cover how small businesses can start leveraging social media to acquire new customers and build their brand.

For small businesses, content marketing offers an opportunity to level the playing field and compete effectively against larger competitors. By consistently delivering high-quality content that resonates with their target audience, small businesses can position themselves as thought leaders, cultivate long-lasting relationships with potential and existing customers, and ultimately drive customer engagement and growth.

Importance of visibility for small businesses

Small businesses used to get the majority of their customers through local avenues like word-of-mouth recommendations, print advertising (newspapers, flyers, billboards), and foot traffic from nearby areas. The major change that has taken place since the advent of social media is where customers are spending their time. If you want to become a marketing leader and reach your audience, you have to be where they are. The modern customer, especially Gen-Z, spends the majority of their time online. If you’re not marketing to them where they are, you simply won’t reach them.

Visibility in today’s business landscape is synonymous with being online. More than 40% of Gen Z spend over 4 hours per day online and millennials have similar time spent online. If you’re not marketing to them at all on any of these channels, it’s very difficult to be visible let alone top of mind for most of these customers. This is why it’s paramount for small businesses to have an online presence and advertise to their customers on platforms they’re on.

Types of social media advertising
The first step in using social media advertising is to understand it. The most popular social media platforms for advertising include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and increasingly, TikTok. Each platform offers various ad formats and targeting options that cater to different business goals and audience preferences. Not all of these platforms are equally effective depending on your niche. For example, a gym will likely find much more success advertising on Instagram than LinkedIn. The better you understand your core customer base, the better you’ll be able to choose which platform works best for you.
Advertising on social media can take various forms. The most common paid advertising options on social media include:
Image Ads: Static visual ads that can showcase products, promotions, or brand messaging.
Video Ads: Engaging video content that can be used to tell brand stories, demo products, or capture attention.
Carousel Ads: Multiple images or videos in a single ad unit, allowing businesses to showcase multiple products or features.
Story Ads: Full-screen, immersive ads that appear between user stories on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Sponsored Posts: Paid promotion of organic social media posts to reach a wider audience.

How to Leverage Social Media Advertising
To effectively leverage social media advertising, small businesses should follow a strategic approach. With leveraging social media, we’re defining our goal as to get more output for every social media input. The more you do these activities on social media platforms, the better you’ll be able to advertise to your customers.
Define your goals: Determine your advertising objectives, whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, or sales. This is the first step and will influence all your actions moving forward. An example of a goal can be book more meetings/calls with social media advertising. This gives a clear and trackable goal that your team can work towards.

Choose the right platforms: Select the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and engaged. This can make or break your advertising depending on your industry and niche. For example, if you’re selling asphalt services, it’s much better to advertise on TikTok in comparison to LinkedIn. If you’re completely unaware of what platform is best, you can try experimenting with a small amount of ad dollars and double down on which platform was most effective for your business. Grow your TikTok audience by creating engaging content that resonates with your target demographic and leveraging popular trends and hashtags to increase visibility
Create compelling content: Develop eye-catching visuals, engaging copy, and relevant ad formats that resonate with your audience. Your content is one of the most impactful levers you can control in your marketing. You want your audience to have a good impression when they discover it, so you want to make sure it makes sense with your brand. If your brand sells relaxing teas, your content should focus on wellness and mindfulness topics, like breathing exercises…

Tracking and optimizing campaigns: Continuously track and analyze your ad performance, making data-driven adjustments to improve results over time. The difference between a successful campaign and a failed one can be 100 to 1 in terms of ROI. You can only get to your optimal marketing campaign by continuously testing and tweaking your marketing. The more you can A/B test your marketing, the quicker you can find what works best.
Best platforms to start social media marketing on:

Now that you have a general idea of how to leverage your social media marketing, it’s time to choose a platform. Here are a few of the best performing social media platforms and an idea of what types of businesses advertise on there:


With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the most popular and comprehensive social media platforms for businesses of all sizes. It offers a wide range of advertising options, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and more. Facebook advertising is particularly effective for businesses targeting a broad audience, as its user base spans diverse demographics and interests. Some businesses that thrive on Facebook include:

1. E-commerce stores and online retailers
2. Local services (restaurants, salons, home services)
3. B2C brands and consumer products
4. Lead generation and online education companies

Facebook’s advanced targeting options, such as interest-based targeting, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences make it an ideal platform for reaching potential customers effectively. Although Facebook has been around for a few decades, it’s still one of the most effective social media platforms for most businesses.


Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a highly visual platform that has gained immense popularity, particularly among younger demographics. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram offers businesses an opportunity to showcase their products or services through visually appealing content. Instagram advertising is often favored by businesses in industries such as:

Fashion and apparel
Beauty and cosmetics
Travel and hospitality
Food and beverage

Instagram’s ad formats, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and story ads, allow businesses to create engaging and eye-catching content that aligns with the platform’s aesthetic nature. Additionally, Instagram’s influencer marketing capabilities provide opportunities for businesses to collaborate with popular content creators and tap into new audiences. An Instagram audit can be a great place to start.


Twitter, with its real-time nature and large user base of over 300 million monthly active users, is an ideal platform for businesses seeking to engage in conversations, share news and updates, and build brand awareness. Twitter advertising can be particularly effective for businesses in industries such as:

1. Media and entertainment
2. Technology and software
3. Sports and events
4. Nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups

Twitter’s ad formats, including promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends allow businesses to amplify their content and reach a targeted audience based on interests, keywords, and location.


As a professional networking platform, LinkedIn is a valuable resource for B2B businesses and companies targeting decision-makers, professionals, and entrepreneurs. With over 800 million members, LinkedIn offers advertising opportunities for businesses in industries such as:

1. B2B services and consulting
2. Recruitment and staffing
3. Professional development and education
4. Enterprise software and solutions

LinkedIn’s advertising options include sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and display ads, enabling businesses to reach their target audience based on job titles, industries, and other professional criteria.

These platforms represent just a few of the many social media advertising options available to small businesses. It’s best to focus on one and test out your marketing for a period of time before deciding to double down on any particular channel. These platforms have hundreds of millions if not billions of users, so there’s ample opportunity to reach and service customers if you’re patient enough to familiarize yourself with the platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *