7 tips for social media marketing success

As the social media landscape gets louder and more sophisticated, standards are getting higher and higher. Here are seven tips for creating incredible content that cuts through the chatter.

At a glance

Here's a snapshot of the advice from our interviewees:

  • If you've got limited time and resources, focus on one platform where you can best reach your audience and work that really well.
  • As AI-generated content infiltrates our social media feeds, real and human content is what we're craving.
  • Influencers can be beneficial for your business and they're accessible for all budgets.

Rising above the online noise to connect with your audience has never been tougher. Gone are the days when simply having a social media presence was enough. Amid the cacophony of posts, stories, and videos, content needs to shine brighter than ever.

For today’s small businesses and sole traders, creating standout social media content is the difference between being scrolled past and being noticed; between a forgotten brand and a remembered experience. Keeping up with the latest trends and even creating just a single piece of viral content can have a tremendous impact on your business’s journey to success.

Here are seven tips from social media strategists and small business owners who know how to nail it on social.

1. Consider which platform is best

If you have limited time and resources, hone in on the platform where your customers or audience hang out, advises social media manager Sam McFarlane, who creates content for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for service-based small businesses and sole traders.

As a guide, Facebook is typical for the 30+ demographic, Instagram is 25-40 and TikTok is under 25, while LinkedIn is ideal for B2B companies.

“Pick one and do it really well,” suggests Sam. “Once you feel like it’s working for you, then maybe look at another one.

“Or if you want to be across multiple and you don’t have time, outsource it.”

2. Embrace video

In 2021, Melbourne-based Lauren French took over Motto Fashions, the company started by her parents 37 years ago. The company sells through retail stores and online, and social media has transformed the business.

“We make funny TikTok videos, makeup tutorials, behind-the-scenes videos, sneak peeks of our upcoming clothing collections, and live streams with fashion and styling tips,” explains Lauren.

Not all business owners are so passionate about creating videos of themselves. But Sam says it’s important they do it.

“Video is really easy for people to consume so it’s going to cut through much quicker and enable you to build that ‘know, like, and trust’ element.

“To make it easier, try facing away from the camera as if you’re interviewing, or record one sentence at a time, which adds different layers to the video too. Maybe talk while you’re busy working.”

The key is keeping the videos tight; the optimum length is 10 to 15 seconds.

If you want to edit your videos, iMovie, InShot and Cap Cut are useful apps, while the social platforms themselves offer captioning tools.

3. Make your content raw, real, and human

User-generated content – that is videos, pictures, or swipes generated by customers themselves highlighting your products or services – tends to outperform any branded content, says Laura Dew, managing director of Perth-based Marketing, PR, and social media agency The Wonder Co.

People want authenticity in their videos. Behind-the-scenes content also works well. It might be a day in the life of a team member, a customer, or your CEO. Everyone wants to see everyone else’s life.”

Sam’s ideas include: sharing tips and tricks; telling a story about an (unnamed) client you’re working with; and polls, competitions, and giveaways.

But beware of using AI to create images and captions though, she warns.

“If people aren’t finessing their AI content to give it a human element, it just won’t be engaging. A consistent tone of voice that is uniquely yours is crucial.”

Two brands that really nail that human touch are Frank Body and mortgage brokers Finspo, she says.


Have you tried my Glycolic Body Scrub? If not you’re missing out babe. Scoop a handful, apply to your bod, wait a minute (Cue Willow Smith), then wash me off. Sam is the cutest 💅 #frankbody #glycolic #samguggenheimer #showerroutine #backtocollege #skincareroutine #dryskincare

♬ original sound – frank body

“Frank Body is really cheeky and fun, while Finspo speaks to you like a human, which in the financial industry is really important.”

Perth-based Deyana Wroth is the general manager for a small business that owns and operates Laika Coffee, which has around 50 employees. She makes operational decisions around what’s going to look good on socials.

Her top-performing content includes videos introducing her baristas, and community-based events, which gain a lot of engagement among locals.

“Create something cool and funky that can pick up a bit of traction. We recently did a Korean fried chicken pop-up with one of our chefs who’s Korean and we turned her face into a logo.”

4. Use influencers

Influencers are great for endorsement but also for reaching new audiences, and are available for every budget. To save time, agencies can connect you with them for a fee, while #gifted allows you to gift a product or service in exchange for free influencer-generated photos, videos, and reviews.

Motto Fashions uses influencers at least twice a week.

“Our customers really need to see clothing on as many different people and body types as possible so they can relate,” says Lauren.

“We recently invited Australian comedian, television presenter, and actress Julia Morris to come in and showcase our upcoming collection, which was really popular.”

 5. Get collaborative

Collaborations – with the right businesses – can also work wonders.

“Choose brands that share your values, your target audience and have a similar amount of followers to you, but don’t compete with you,” suggests Laura. “If you do gourmet hampers, you could look at partnering with one of the premium products within your hampers. If you’re a fashion brand, partner up with a makeup brand.”

Laika Coffee is planning an upcoming collaboration with a local boutique ice cream company.

“We’re providing the coffee beans and our coffee espresso and they’re turning it into ice cream,” says Deyana. “Hopefully, we’ll see our coffee ice cream affogatos go viral, which will boost our socials.”

6. Jump on trends

If businesses are targeting Gen Z on TikTok, they should pay attention to Sounds, which can be a song or another piece of audio.

“The idea is that you jump on the trending sound as it’s emerging – say at around the 20,000 mark – so there are fewer people attaching their content to it,” says Laura. “You’ll also get more longevity out of your post because it will move over to Instagram Reels quickly thereafter.”

7. Don’t forget to engage

While the quality of your content is paramount, more people are likely to see it if you engage with other content on the platform.

“Engaging is just as important as consistent content,” says Sam. “Social media platforms like it when the accounts are active.

“It’s a great way to get your account seen by others.”

Growing your business? Talk with a Prospa specialist about how a Prospa Business Line of Credit could help.

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