Small Business Saturday Blog

Big vs. Small: What Advantages Do Small Businesses Have On Social Media?

Monday, April 13 at 10:29Customer Service | Marketing | Social Media

There’s no denying that bigger businesses have bigger budgets to spend on marketing campaigns, and whilst this can seem like a daunting prospect for smaller businesses, there are actually three great advantages for small businesses when implementing social media strategies:

Personality Potential

Having just a few individuals working with your social media means that you can celebrate and promote each person at your company within your social media campaigns. This can be anything from photos and videos of employees using a product, to articles written by a team member or specific ‘Q&A’-like sessions.

A great reason for doing this is the boost in familiarity your customers feel towards your brand. Showing the ‘real people’ in your business will simultaneously increase the likelihood that customers will trust your brand, recommend it to others and return to it.

Larger companies tend to be more faceless because they have hundreds of people operating their social media in order to cope with the volume of traffic they receive on a daily basis. Most of their personable aspects involve simply a by-line under an article or a first name sign-off at the end of a tweet. Instead, small business can take advantage of their individuality and give their followers reliable, human personalities they can trust.

Individual Customer Interaction

In a similar line of thought to making the individual personalities in your business stand out, the way in which you interact with customers and respond to them online can also be an invaluable way to build your business reputation.

Larger companies who deal with complaints on Twitter or Facebook often reply with a generic “Hi xxxx, sorry to hear about that, please contact our Customer Services on…” This method becomes little more than a signposting exercise, which ushers the complaining customer behind closed doors to talk about their complaint quietly. This re-direction also implies that it’s ‘inappropriate’ to use social media for complaints, when in reality, it’s the first port of call for unhappy customers hoping to get a little bit of support from the crowd along the way.

As a small business, you can grit your teeth and deal with public complaints on social media head on. As long as you do this with respect and tact, you’ll be seen to be actively and transparently problem solving, and working with the customer rather than against them. The flip side of this coin also means that if you get positive reviews and testimonials, you can engage with customers in a public, positive way. The rule that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery is also true on Twitter, and re-tweeting a customer’s review or comment to your followers will also reinforce relationships as you build them.

Story Telling

Smaller companies also have a great opportunity to get creative with ‘story-telling’ on their social media. Whether this is an unusual description for a product or a video sampling an individual service, smaller companies can often take advantage of more focused group demographics in order to tailor content specifically for these target audiences.

Larger companies can often be restricted by the need for overarching, crowd-pleasing content that will navigate language barriers, cultural differences and politics. Whilst it’s always important to take these factors into account when creating organic content for your business, the flexibility of a small business communication means you can talk to customers on a more colloquial level, incorporating details from a specific region, age group or interest.

If you begin a campaign in which you ask customers to participate and get involved with the storytelling, as a small business you’re also likely to receive a more manageable amount of responses, which can lead to some engaging and unusual collaborative projects that are authentic and difficult for other businesses to replicate.

By Olivia at Shake Social

Overcoming a ‘NO’ in sales

Wednesday, February 11 at 17:31Customer Service | Sales

Overcoming a ‘no‘ in sales. Ok, we’ve all been there. We give it our all in what we think is an awesome sales pitch. We think the deal is done but then word comes back. The client wasn’t feeling it, so it’s a ‘no’.

All of a sudden every ounce of confidence you had in your sales strategy is out of the window. Questions float around your head… ‘Did I say something wrong?’, ‘Did I give the wrong impression…’, ‘Did they just HATE me?!’

Slow down.

Before you go off on a tangent and starting to pick your very existence to shreds, get your head around these tips that will help you to overcome a ‘no’!

It’s not about you, it’s to do with your offering

I can promise you, the main reason that a sale doesn’t go through is not to do with your appearance, way of talking or other personal attributes. It’s predominantly because they don’t need your offering enough at that precise moment in time. Maybe you haven’t tapped into their pain points in order to stress why they need it. But, a ‘no’ isn’t a no forever, so plan to revisit that customer in a few months or even a year’s time as their circumstances may have changed and what you are offering may suddenly become the right fit, or you will have improved your sales technique and be able to tap into why you’re product is right for them better than the first time you tried.

Think about how many times you meet someone at a party who tells you they’re a mechanic, for instance. At that point in time your car may be smooth sailing with no problems whatsoever, but a year down the line they may be just the person you need to call because you’re in enough pain for it to make sense (i.e your car has broken down)! Build rapport with that customer during your initial meetings so that they will want to come back to you, and work on your technique in the meantime.

Use it as a lesson

To delve in a little further, what is the feedback telling you? If you haven’t gotten any, make sure to ask (in a non pushy and friendly way) for some feedback... the reasons the client didn’t take up your offer. Ask questions such as

‘What didn’t work for you?’
‘What did you specifically like?’
and ‘What could I have done to make it better for you?’

What is to learn from the results? By the way, you don’t need to agree with the feedback, just take it graciously and see what can be learnt from it. Don’t place blame on your customer, make excuses or get defensive. Look at how you can improve your sales strategy. Could you sharpen your message? Tune into their needs and pain points more? Make notes and use these as guidelines for future sales opportunities.

Remember, there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback!

No-one converts at 100%

Before you go putting yourself down or passing blame on to the customer, remember this. No-one converts at 100%. Not even the most successful sales people with the best sales strategy on the planet. Not even the Wolf of Wall Street himself!

Every sales journey has it’s ups and down, as with life, so don’t pressure yourself to close every sale. Work on improving your ability to tune in to your customers exact needs.

Has that cheered you up a bit?!

By Leigh Ashton

Leigh Ashton is the sales guru and co-founder of, a new platform which gives small business owners the training they need to overcome their sales setbacks.


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