For start-ups or solo-preneur social media is a beckoning siren. What good is it to have a website if nobody knows about it? Social media is the absolute best and most affordable way to bring awareness to your business hands down.

As the founder of a successful up-and-coming business incubator and accelerator of new and growing entrepreneurs, social media is not only key to my business success but a key element of my client’s marketing and branding strategy.

Social Media is one of the most undermined, overused yet undervalued tools you have at your disposal. Here are five things I always advise my clients:

5.  “The internet is NOT written in pencil; it is written in ink” as The Social Network movie reminded us. Just because you hit delete, hide or un-list, the digital imprint lives on in cyber world FOREVER.  You are the brand behind your brand as an entrepreneur the line is blurry at best.

4.  “Selfies” Why? What value does it bring? This is what I call the Celebrity Entrepreneur. Unless you are using your image as a branding strategy or backdrop for insightful tips or marketing strategy or sharing valuable information such as letting the world know you are at an event or sparking dialog don’t do it.

3.  Viral Envy. This I have noticed is most prevalent on Facebook where business pages rely on “invitations to like a page”. Entrepreneurs often use growing a large body of “friends” on their personal page to then invite to like their business page.

In order to get noticed and attain “engagement”, you see a number of numerous post asking the silliest, mind numbing, controversial or suggestive “content”. Remember it is still linked to your brand. If you are asking someone to like your business page, you mean business.

Getting people to know the soften, leisure, personal side of you is a great marketing strategy and used as a business strategy Facebook can be an incredible asset to your brand.

2.  Word Walls. Keep it short. Break it into small easy to read segments.

1.  Linked-in vs Facebook. Having a linked in account is a must. It is your digital calling card and living portfolio of your work. There are so many free resources available that give you valuable information.

If you are putting together your digital branding and marketing strategy on your own, use current information from reliable sources.  I have read many of William Arruda’s posts on Linkedin that give amazing solid information to name one.

A great strategy will include showcasing and updating your content regularly with valuable, timely information.

It is not a matter of LinkedIn or Facebook a good strategy will have LinkedIn AND Facebook.  Just remember to present work in the context and manner that each community appreciates and respects.

Phew, longer than I intended it to be. Thank you for seeing it through.

Carolina Billings, MA-IS, CPCC, CHRP, SHRP-SCP

Twitter: @carolina_PWT

Founder – The Wellness Group www.thewellnessgroup.ca a boutique business incubator & accelerator specializing in business development & branding.

Founder – Powerful Women Today www.powerfulwomentoday.com a forum for   the advancement of financial independence and growth for women.

Big Fish Coaching. www.bigfishcoaching.com Executive & Business Coaching, Conflict Resolution, Professional Branding.