Smaller businesses oftentimes find themselves in a bit of a pinch. Why is that?

In many cases, they do not have the sizable marketing and advertising budgets to allow them multiple exposure opportunities in front of countless customers.

While your small business may feel this way, take note that there are myriad of means by which you can compete with the big boys.

One such means is social media.

Okay, you may start to fret that you will have to hire a social media team, pay them all kinds of money, then cross your fingers and hope that their initiatives deliver the desired results.

As it oftentimes turns out, you don’t have to spend wads of money to do social media the right way. In fact, it can essentially be done either by you, one of your team members (that means someone who knows what they are doing), or even outsourcing it on a part-time basis.

No matter which way you decide to go with your social media plans, make it your business to include social networking in much of what you do.

Learn from Proven Results

Just because your business is small in size or financial means, don’t think you can’t make an impact with consumers.

There are plenty of proven examples of small businesses making inroads with the buying public as a result of their social efforts.

For instance, look at food trucks and how they can benefit from social media usage.

If you’re a food truck owner (especially in bigger metro areas where you can attract crowds on their morning trips to work, lunch and dinner breaks etc.) you should be using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. to alert the public where you’ll be on any given day and approximately at what time. Next thing you know, customers can be texting their co-workers and others to alert them to your schedule.

Another example would be those self-employed accountants.

For the smaller accountants out there who do not have the name recognition of the big firms, using LinkedIn is an especially good idea.

A simple profile on the site can lead to it being passed around between family members, friends, and co-workers when they need accounting help. Before you know it, you could be inundated with job requests.

So, where does all this social media talk go from here?

The golden rule as a small business owner is to always be looking out for examples of other brands’ efforts on social media. Whether they are the biggest companies out there or one’s you may never have heard of, there is so much to learn from how other brands take to social media.

For example, Pepsi put together a social media promotion last year to not only showcase its products, but to recruit the public to take a new challenge if you will to “do something different.” It was an updated version of previous campaigns that Pepsi has run, but this time leveraging social media influencers.

Another company successfully using social venues to its advantage is Hampton Creek Foods.

The growing San Francisco-based food company offers a line of products (Just Mayo, Just Cookies and Just Cookie Dough) nationwide. It promotes those products quite visibly through a variety of social media channels, including a popular YouTube channel where it films simple and healthy recipes being crafted.

Put Your Plan in Action

So, are you ready now to get your social media ball rolling?

If the answer is yes, don’t try to be too many things for too many people.

Start out on one site, perhaps Facebook or Instagram.

From there, share engaging posts that are more than just self-promotions, posts that show you to be an informational and authoritative brand in your respective field.

As consumers take to asking questions, coming to you with issues, do your best to answer them in a timely and productive manner.

Lastly, don’t expect overnight success from social media.

Doing social media correctly takes time and effort, but the rewards can be oh so good.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about small business topics on the web.