In an age full of TikTok trends and viral Instagram images, it’s no secret that social media holds a unique type of influence on the world – especially for businesses. When properly utilized, social media can enable small businesses to get their name out there, expand their reach and attract new customers.

With this in mind, we asked some of our Spotlight Shop small business owners how they make time for social media, and how it has positively impacted their operations.

Q: How do you make time for social media?

The Tool Library: “As a small nonprofit organization with limited staff capacity, most of our social media posts tend to be spontaneous – like celebrating a new tool donation, posting a picture from one of our service days or introducing a new volunteer. We also regularly reach out to our members for user-generated content. We love seeing what sort of projects our members are building with borrowed tools, and so does our audience!”

Deddle’s Mini Donuts: “I schedule time on my calendar every day to post, but sometimes the day gets away from me or I’m just knee-deep in making donuts and can’t stop to post. So I’ll jump on and repost something if I don’t have time to create something new to post.”

Lake Hour: “We have an incredible social media manager who has helped be our voice and organically gain a following. It is the best way to interact with fans and see what people are responding to out in the wild. We plan on doing even more with our social media this spring.”

Q: Why do you think it’s important for small businesses to utilize social media?

Buffalo Gift Emporium: “Social media is an extension of your brand, and not staying front and center or becoming relatable could potentially keep your business on the back burner. Everyone is on social media these days – it’s important to pick the platforms that make sense for your business and create content that is crucial for keeping your customers informed.”

Lake Hour: “It’s the best way to get people to identify with a brand and put a face to the product. For us, we want to be able to tell our story our way. There’s no better way to get your story across than through using social media.”

Charm City Run: “Social media gives small businesses a way to share who they are, what they do and keep customers updated.”

Q: Have you gained customers because of social media?

Buffalo Gift Emporium: “Absolutely. We often hear from customers daily that they saw our content ‘online’ and are looking for a specific product we posted. It definitely drives in-store AND online traffic.”

The Tool Library: “When we ask participants how they hear about our free community programming, anywhere from 20–30% of folks say they saw it advertised on social media. As a nonprofit with a limited to nonexistent marketing budget, social media is FREE! It is one of the best ways we’ve been able to recruit new volunteers, sign up new members and share our message of sustainability and solidarity.”

Deddle's Mini Donuts: “Absolutely. I would not think of being in this industry without social media.”

There you have it, folks. Social media isn’t just funny memes and cute animal pictures – it’s an incredible resource for business owners to promote their brand and grow their customer base.

Want to learn more about utilizing social media as a business owner? Check out our blogs on social media holidays and getting the most out of TikTok.

The content of this page is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.