Tips, tricks and advice for NGO’s, small businesses and anyone else who needs social media marketing

Social media is used by 58.4 percent of the world’s population and the average daily usage of social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes, according to Datareportal reasearch from January 2022. The start of the COVID-19 lockdown period contributed even more – there has been a significant surge in internet and digital activities. But the number of people using social media is still continuously increasing, with an average of 13 new people signing up for the first time every second.

With the usual apps of Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, FB Messenger and Wechat which have taken over the first six places on the chart of globally most used social media platforms, TikTok had announced that it had passed the 1 billion monthly active user figure at the end of September 2021. It has taken TikTok just 5 years to reach this milestone.

Considering the just growth of social media we can see the importance of digital presence for brands, small businesses, non-governmental organizations etc. Big and successful brands are trying their best to hire professionals in marketing industry who have exceptional skills and creative mindset to create the best image of their brands online, on the platform that their clients are using. Hiring a whole team of professionals and investing in marketing is worth millions of dollars and the results of campaigns are often not tangible – brands invest enormous amounts of money to be visible, recognizable, important which leads to other values such as customer loyalty.

But what about small businesses and organizations who can’t pay a team of professionals to do the social media marketing for them? If you have just a little bit of creative component in yourself, the will and time – you can do it yourself for no money!

I have started doing social media marketing at the start of my studies when I joined the student council. Then I started working with small companies and NGO’s who didn’t have the time for social media. As a student I couldn’t afford expensive systems for creating and organizing content, so I have found multiple free platforms that helped me work through the barriers.  Five years have passed since I’ve been actively learning about social media and the trends that are changing rapidly. I did my master’s study in Marketing field, learning more about digital marketing and content production. According to my short, but valuable experience I am writing a list of tips, tricks and advice for doing your own social media management.


Deciding on the platform you want to use is up to the fact where you can find your targeted public. The young audience (18 and less) is usually not on Facebook anymore – instead, they mostly use Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. People in business are on LinkedIn, and generations up to gen Z are on Facebook. Datareportal platform offers up to date information on Global Social Media Trends. If you determined your targeted audience, you will easily find the social media platform that would work best for you. If you have multiple accounts and a website, try combining it on free platform You can always add and remove links from it.

Share your profiles with people whom you know, follow other accounts that could be valid to you or who you want to support. If you have a workplace that other people visit, create a QR code with QR Code Generator so they can easily scan it and follow you! 


Maybe it would be the best to get yourself a pen and paper, at this point. Write down your company name and start an association game. What do you do? How could you represent your offer/products/activities online? Along with this, could you include other content that would interest your audience – like showing the process of making your product, tips&tricks, advice, quotes, recommendations, interesting facts? Please, be careful here to put the source and make sure to fact check the information.

The timing is the one thing you would have to test. For example, Instagram likes consistency. You can try posting at 4 pm for one month, and at 8 pm the other, and see when your audience is moslty online. Instagram also likes when you use the new tools it offers, such as reels – so try all the new with every update because then Instagram will push you on its own.


Social media is mostly a visual tool and therefore it is important to create visualy pleasant content. The start point here is to determine your brand color palette, you can take it from your logo if you have one. This is when Canva comes in handy. Canva is a free graphic design software that lets you alter photographs without having any prior expertise or knowledge of photo editing. Using Canva’s free color palette generator you can easily get the colors you can work with. You can use Canva to create all of your content – you will quickly figure out how it works since it is very user and beginner friendly. It is also a great source of inspiration!


Did you know that you can schedule your content so the chosen platform posts for you? A lot of people are not familiar with this life saving tool! The one that is free and that I use is called Creative Studio by Meta, you can find it in the search bar inside the Facebook applications. It connects Instagram and Facebook profiles and posts at the time you want. When posting try coming up with an interesting, but not so long text that will interest your audience in reading, liking and commenting. Remember, every like, comment and share is valueable as it’s rising your online visibility! Also, don’t forget about the hashtags… They are not of much use on Facebook (only if you want to put an emphasize on something), but on Instagram they are extremely valuable if picked correctly. For this purpose, I use a mobile app called Tagify and choose the moderately popular hashtags. You don’t want to put the most popular ones as they have a couple of thousand uses and your post will just get lost then. And please, use emojis – the world is a prettier place with emojis. ☺ 


For photo editing I use Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom, and for video here is Video Guru app. If you want to see how your Instagram feed would look like in advance, before you post anything – you can try the mobile app Feed Preview. All the messages from Facebook and Instagram are combined in a mobile app called Business Suite

The world wide web provides us with many free options to manage our own social media. Although the platforms are free, the social media managing can be pretty time consuming, but worth it in the end! It is a great way to connect with your audience and stay important online. All the apps and platforms I recommended are user friendly and I guarantee you they will make your life easier if you want to get your socials on the next level and learn on the way.

Author: Paula Petrinec

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