Size isn’t everything: How small ecommerce brands can compete with the big guys on social media

There’s lots of benefits of being small

There are approximately 3.6 billion internet users actively using social media worldwide, so it’s no wonder so many businesses choose to reach their customers via social media marketing. As a new business, it can be a minefield, especially when you see big names in your industry killing it on social, with their 450k followers and 2k likes on their Instagram posts. 

However, being small could be your biggest advantage.


Organic social media


Getting personal 

When growing a social media audience, many people fall into the trap of tracking the number of followers they have as a sign of success. It’s much more beneficial to measure your engagement, as this is a sign that the people who follow you are interested in your content.

Keep an eye on who is engaging with your posts, what’s their age? Who else do they follow? What are their interests? 

The more you know about your audience, the more tailored your marketing strategy can be.


Building relationships

As part of your organic growth, it’s vital that you engage with your audience. If someone comments on your post, reply,  and make sure you engage with your followers content too! The more you interact with your audience the more loyal and connected they will feel towards your brand.   

If you have 500 followers but your engagement rates are high, that is much more valuable than having thousands of uninterested followers. 

The Facebook and Instagram algorithm also means that your content will be shown more often. Long gone are the days of a chronological feed, the algorithm bumps up posts from accounts that have high engagement and that a user already interacts with. For brands, this means that focusing on community engagement is key.


Shoppable posts

Another great option to grow your business is to set up a store for your Facebook/Instagram account and allow your customers to purchase your items with ease. It provides a seamless experience for your customers to shop directly from your posts meaning you can easily convert your interested followers into customers.

Big name ecommerce brands are already doing this, with some seeing traffic increasing by 44% since implementing shopping on Instagram. As a small business, if you want to compete with the big names on social media, you can’t afford to miss out on this feature!


Social Ads


Focus on USP: What makes you different?

It’s expected that this year around £4412m will be spent on social ads in the UK. That’s a lot of ads to be competing against! So it’s key, as a smaller business, that you know how to stand out from the crowd.

Look at your competitors and what they are advertising and think about your niche. Why is your business or product different? 

Are your products sustainable? Do you offer next day delivery? Whatever makes you special needs to come across in your ads as this will make you stand apart from you competitors, regardless of their ad spend. If your ad is successful in driving sales and traffic, your ad will be shown more often to your target audience.


Specific interest based targeting

Similar to organic social media, it’s important you have a strong understanding of who your audience are and how to reach them. The more specific you are in your targeting, the more relevant your ads will be. And, since ads with a high relevance score have a higher CTR than those with low relevance score, using niche targeting means better results from your campaigns!

So if you sell flowers online, rather than targeting ‘flowers’ as an interest on Facebook, think outside the box! You could target people who have recently announced an engagement with ad creative involving wedding flowers.

When creating your ads, Your messaging should be tailored to speak directly to your customer and offer your solution to their problem. So the more you know about them the better!


Detailed targeting

Similar to Interest based targeting, knowing the day to day habits of your customers is a great way to make sure your ads reach them. Knowing details like what device they use the most and what times they’re most active will make your CTR high and your ads more likely to be shown ahead of your competitors.

If you know they work 9-5 for example, you can target your ads to show on mobiles in the mornings and evenings, during their commute to and from work. 

The same applies to which social channel you use to reach them. As a smaller brand there is no need to be active on every social media channel. Find where your customers are most active and focus your efforts on that. If you’re selling wallpaper for example, focusing your attention to Instagram and Pinterest will be more effective than using twitter. Or if you have a teenage audience, you may want to target Instagram.


Social media marketing is about connecting with your audience, not just pushing out your content to the relevant people. Having a smaller audience will make it easier for you to connect with and understand them. Yes, you may not have 450k followers straight away, but it’s better to have 2000 loyal, dedicated followers than millions of uninterested followers. If you need help with your social media strategy, get in touch!


Latest News & Blogs