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Creating authentic and relatable social media posts can help your small business grow in 2022.

If you don’t have a second stream of income, 2022 is the year you should turn your hobby into a side hustle. 

The past two years have stressed the importance of having more than one income.  While the pandemic has been tough on many sectors, it also saw the rise of small business owners.

Many people turned their passions into profitable business ideas. Some even saw passion projects going viral on social media. 

According to the US Chamber of Commerce more than four million new businesses launched in America in 2020. 

A white paper released by Mastercard in 2021 showed that “41% of SMEs that implemented digitalisation initiatives, had stronger revenue growth in 2020 than non-adopters”. 

Boost business growth with social media

Social media expert, Miliswa Sitshwele, says using social media allows people to tap into new audiences.

“We have seen the boom of businesses mostly from using Instagram as a marketing tool, so there is no reason why people should not put their side hustles online and gain more followers and business,” she says. 

Sitshwele has worked with some of SA’s top brands including Momentum. She uses her social media knowledge to build lasting brand, client, and human relationships. 

The Durban University of Technology alumna says you don’t need advanced knowledge of social media to find customers online. You can get your business off the ground with basic skills and a knack for advertising online.

“The beautiful thing about advertising your business online is that it’s all about trial and error, so once you see that something works and works well, then you do more of it or you refine what doesn’t work until you have a formula that you are happy with.”

Top social media tips for new businesses

Sitshwele says using social media without a proper strategy is one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make online. 

“I cannot overemphasise the need for a proper strategy, this will anchor you and keep you grounded on what you need to achieve,” she tells us.  

Here’s a look at her top five social media tips for beginners: 

Get a strategy.

Decided which platforms you want to be on.

Write content and update it regularly.

Invest in a good camera and take quality images.

Engage with your audience and find out what makes them tick.

Free social media tools to get you started, Sitshwele recommends small businesses start with the following free tools:

Hootsuite: Schedule content, get insights, and have a bird’s eye view of your brands.

Canva: Design images. logos and so much more. 

Pexels: Free stock images.

No matter what you do on social media, do not copy what everyone else is doing. Sitshwele says authenticity matters. “I cannot stress the importance of this in ensuring your success online. You owe it to yourself and your followers to be authentic, relatable, and yourself. People want to support brands that they can connect with and the most important thing to do is to be yourself so that your community buys into your products and services.”

Main image courtesy of iStock/jacoblund

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