A small business guide to social media in 2024

28% of small businesses in the UK say social media is their main driver of sales, according to BT

As 2024 gears up, the digital marketing landscape for small UK businesses and startups evolves at pace. For small businesses, navigating social media is a full-time role that’s both exciting and challenging. So how can you manage social media for your business without a full-time member of staff? Do it using people already in the business that have a genuine interest in social media, or outsource to experts, that way you get specialist skills without the full-time salary.

Platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok offer great opportunities. It’s super important small businesses see social media as one part of the bigger marketing picture when being strategic in achieving their goals.

Let’s take a look at the more popular social media channels for small UK businesses, microbusinesses and startups…

LinkedIn: Connecting professionally

For small UK businesses aiming to build business-to-business (B2B) relationships, or establish themselves as industry leaders, LinkedIn is THE platform and one of my personal favourites (must be my corporate background). This year video content will gain momentum on this channel.

For those starting out on LinkedIn stick to the basics, keep it simple and make what you do engaging. More importantly, be YOUR genuine self for people to connect with you and your business brand. For more advanced LinkedIn users, get into LinkedIn Lives for real-time interactions. Whether you’re starting out or upping your game, show you know your stuff by sharing industry insights specific to your business or clients.

Tip! Mix LinkedIn activity with other on and offline marketing activities to gain maximum mileage from everything you do. Remember! You need to repeatedly reach the right people 6,7,8,9 times for them to remember you.

LinkedIn is just one social media platform you can use to market your business in 2024.

YouTube: Visual storytelling

Don’t knock it! YouTube’s influence continues to grow through visual storytelling for UK small businesses.

For beginners, create simple, informative videos about your products or services. More advanced users can start to experiment with long-form content, and for those of you that get overwhelmed when it comes to social media, start with YouTube Shorts (does what it says on the tin…) for snappy and engaging clips.

Tip! Add YouTube content to your website and share it across other social media channels to show a consistent and professional brand message that keeps your business in the minds of customers and clients.

Instagram: Visual first

Instagram started out as an image-led platform and still is to this day. Authenticity (a word we can’t avoid!) is essential here, and in 2024, the platform thrives on it.

Beginners can start by testing out quick Stories and grid posts to build and connect with their audience. More advanced users can dive into longer-form video content through Reels or experiment with Instagram Lives!

If you’re feeling lost with Instagram, go back to basics and ensure any piece of content you create has a strong image and text that is simple and clear. Over time you can expand the types of content you’re creating and increase the frequency of your posts.

Tip! Localise your content -make use of location tags and collaborate with topic-specific or local influencers to strengthen both local and regional presence.

Facebook: Building communities and targeted ads

Love it or hate it Facebook remains a versatile platform for UK small businesses. Facebook beginners should focus on creating a Facebook Business Page and building a community through engaging posts. For the more advanced users, delve into Facebook Ads, the targeting is excellent and works well for certain types of businesses, so it’s always worth testing this out with two or three ads to see which performs best in generating leads.

Tip! Don’t start advertising on Facebook by boosting posts – a complete waste of time unless you want to achieve a broad, untargeted reach with anyone and everyone. It’s scattergun!

TikTok: Video-led creativity

TikTok’s explosive growth is set to continue in the UK throughout this year. For those starting out go with short-form videos. More advanced users can start to collaborate and get more creative with influencers. Micro-influencers hold lots of untapped potential here as they tend to have a target audience focused on certain types of products and services. Those who are feeling a bit blah or lost with TikTok, explore the ‘For You’ page for inspiration.

Tip! Inject personality and show off your sense of humour to create real and raw videos (no one wants polished and perfect!) to make it relatable and appealing to your target audiences.

Try showing more 'behind the scenes' content on your TikTok channels to bring your business to life!

Try showing more ‘behind the scenes’ content on your TikTok channels to bring your business to life!

Marketing Best Practices

See the bigger marketing picture for a sustainable business

Make sure you’re seeing the bigger picture for your business both on and offline. Social media is just one piece of the marketing puzzle! 🧩 Having a mix of consistent marketing activities each month ensures you reach target audiences in a number of different ways. And remember, it’s not just about marketing to get new business, it’s also about marketing to look after the customers you already have! The trust is already there which makes it much easier to do more great business with them.

Tip! Don’t just focus on socials! Work out the best mix of marketing activities for your business, and then make them work as hard as possible for you! The perfect combination for your unique business will mean you’re reaching your customers and repeating the same message in a number of different ways 🤓

Have confidence in your approach

Whether you’re a beginner, advanced, overwhelmed or not a fan of marketing that’s ok! Keep things simple when it comes to your marketing. Know your business goals and then take action each month that’s aligned with those goals. By keeping things simple, you’ll start to become more confident in your marketing skills! Having a level of confidence in marketing doesn’t require you to be an expert, it’s about being clear and consistent, so no rocket science required 🚀🤓

When all your marketing activities are aligned to a strategy and plan that’s aimed at reaching the goals of the business, you will succeed. All your marketing content will sync up with your brand values and make your marketing more genuine!

Taking charge of your social media

Make social media work for you! Being in control of your social media allows you to shape your business brand confidently and appeal to your ideal clients.

Recognise that social media platforms are just tools, and whilst you don’t own them, you can use them to your advantage in creating and maintaining brand awareness.

Social media channels are just one of many free or low-cost marketing tools that your business can make use of in the right way. It’s the strategy and the actions that sit behind all your marketing activities that matters most when it comes to putting yourself and your business out there in a way that’s right for you.

Strategic Independence: Reduce the reliance on external platforms

Relying solely on external platforms such as social media can be high risk, especially for small businesses.

Remember! You don’t own your social media. One easy way to reduce your independence on social media platforms is to strategically drive traffic to your website. Think about other cost-effective marketing activities that put you in control i.e. collecting customer emails, telephone numbers and addresses. By having a well-rounded marketing strategy that doesn’t rely solely on social media marketing, you’re strengthening your business!


Social media is here to stay, and by following the tips and tricks shared in this blog, you can find an approach that works for you and your business! The main thing to remember is, although social media is a powerful ally, it doesn’t have to be the sole driver of success for your business. With the right marketing foundations in place using a strategy and plan, you’ll be fully equipped to manage the marketing of your business both on and offline with confidence, meet your business goals, and keep on top of trends that will always come and go.

Want support to build your dream marketing plan?

Check out Anna’s Masterclass all about the 5-step simple marketing plan she teaches small businesses here.

Need more personalised support? Book a free mentoring session with a marketing mentor here 👇

Meet the Mentor

Anna Short, small business owner and founder of Boo! Marketing is all about making marketing simple by creating focus, direction and consistency for small businesses and early-stage marketers, that way they get to play to their strengths, enjoy what they do best and grow confidently.

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