America’s SBDC represents America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)—the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the U.S. and its territories. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private partners, and funded in part by the United States Congress through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. According to a recent feature from America’s SBDC, even the smallest of businesses and influencers can thrive with strategic social media marketing. You don’t need a stacked team of specialists or a paid partnership with a celebrity to launch your brand successfully.

America’s SBDC advises small businesses to follow these small business marketing best practices for social media to achieve steady growth by letting people know what your business has to offer.

Here are some of their best practices. Click here to read about all 12 marketing tips.

1. Outline Clear Goals and Desired Outcomes
When you first create your business’s social profiles, it can be tempting to blast out social posts right away to get out content and fill out your feed. But before you publish anything, it’s important to determine what you want out of your social media strategy—otherwise, your posts could fall flat. Desired outcomes could include: product or service sales, email signups, website visits or just general brand awareness.

2. Strategically Choose Platforms That Will Achieve Your Goals
Many businesses think they need to be on every social media platform to reach the most people. But too often, this appears inauthentic and spreads the brand too thin. Instead of a spray-and-pray approach, consider doubling down on a select few platforms that will deliver the best results. Consider your target audience, remember your goals and research your competitors.

3. Recycle Content for Cross-Posting Across Channels
Once you’ve created your social media accounts, don’t feel like you have to create completely unique content for each channel. If you have limited time and resources, it’s perfectly fine to reuse content across different platforms—with a few caveats.

4. Batch and Automate Your Posts to Save Time
As a small business owner, your time is precious. It’s easy to get sucked into creating and shooting content nearly every day, but it doesn’t have to be this time-consuming. All it takes is a solid social media scheduling tool and knowing when to post for the biggest impact. Consider planning one or two days a month to create and shoot all your content, and then schedule your content throughout the month.

5. Boost Engagement by Featuring User-Generated Content
Another way to boost engagement and have real conversations with your customers is by encouraging them to share content featuring your brand. Ask them to use a specific hashtag or share photos of them using your product, and incentivize them by reposting their content to your story. User-generated content also increases your brand’s reach, which means a greater potential to bring in new customers.

6. Allocate a Spending Budget and Stick to It
You’ve spent time strategizing, planning, designing, and posting—now it’s time to get the most out of your posts. Decide on a monthly budget for social media, including any of the following that are applicable to your business: paid ads and boosted posts, influencer marketing, photo and video production, copywriting and editing, and scheduling, automation, and analytics software.

There are nearly 1,000 local centers available to provide no-cost business consulting and low-cost training to new and existing businesses. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on a variety of topics. Click here to learn more about America’s SBDCs.