Social media is the new way for the word to spread: from product recommendations to advice on what to do, where to go, and what to do. From little conversations that mean nothing to meaningful revelations that could change lives, from stupid pictures to inspiring profiles – social media has it all.

Customers have the final word now. News gets out faster. Other users and buyers are now the trusted sources. Social conversations are now the holy grail of business reputation management.

Social media is social proof that materializes quickly. Small businesses are indeed tapping into the power of social media.

Here’s how some businesses do it:

Recruit Military

Simplicity, minimalism, and purpose, that’s what comes to mind when you look at Recruit Military’s Page.

Recruit Military is a military-to-civilian recruitment site that helps veterans and transitioning military personnel find jobs. Its mission is also to help ex-military professionals set up businesses or improve their skill sets.

What stands out with its Facebook page is the minimalistic design, use of images and quotes, the way it uses Facebook events, and their content mix that includes military facts, images, and quotes.

Hostel World

Hostel World is a leading hostel booking portal that caters to worldwide wanderlust. It’s for scores of travelers looking for affordable accommodation when they travel. It caters to travel addicts, backpackers, and travels who want to escape – both long and short term.

Its Facebook page is loaded with pictures. It’s not a continuously updated picture gallery though. Hostel World’s Fan Page is a great engagement engine.

It asks questions, post teaser pictures often tantalizing fans with questions such as “Where to next?”, “If you had to choose one place to go to this weekend, which one would it be”, or even a picture followed by, “Where on earth is this?”.

Engagement without fancy apps, too much content, and plenty of interaction? Visit HostelWorld’s Facebook fan page to see it all.

Coconut Bliss

What can an Ice cream company do on social media? How could a relatively commonplace business achieve tremendous social proof, engagement, and sales?

Coconut Bliss – an Ice cream company achieves just that with its social media efforts. The company uses images of its products as primary content along with promotions, awards, contests, and giveaways. It’s also one of the few small businesses that uses the strategic power of partnerships to its advantage.

Ice cream with social proof – it’s all in the pudding.

Kim Garst social media branding

Kim Garst is a social media expert and her influence is testimony to that fact. While she’s active on both Twitter and Facebook, there are few things worth noting about her social media interactions.

She’s busy but she responds to everyone on her Twitter account and on her Facebook page. She constantly Tweets and posts updates on little nuggets of advice. She has a way to use hashtags and catch up with the trends so that she can include them into her updates.

Her social media accounts are great sources for business motivation while her Facebook page is a good example of visual branding done well.

Legendary WhiteTails

What can a great cover photo, fantastic use of apps, an effective reveal tab, and great use of content do for a small business Facebook fan page?

Legendary whitetails is a family-owned business that sells casual apparel, gifts, and related products. It’s a small business with Facebook presence that’d shame some large businesses.

Here’s another insight about Legendary Whitetails: the content receives a lot of shares just because they ask for it – a good case for ‘ask and you shall get’?


Search engine optimization is a dicey topic and is as fickle as Google’s algorithms. Yet, SEOmoz, led by Rand Fishkin, manages to create an authoritative presence with one of the most trusted blogs on the topic of SEO while creating some of the best SEO toolkits for search professionals ever.

It uses “gaming mechanics” to ramp up social engagement, use high degree of interactivity, and extensive engagement efforts to make sure that it builds a community that’s built to last. Its implementation of social proof is also one of the best on the internet today.


If you’ve ever wondered whether social media really has any real benefits – as in cash or business profits – OraBrush is a good example to draw inspiration from.

Dr. Bob Wagstaff, the founder of OraBrush, gave YouTube a spin and his first video attracted that witnessed more than 16m views and generated more than 1m unit sales in the course of three years.

Apart from YouTube, the video is also embedded on Orabrush’s home page. It’s a video that addresses an aspect that many people want answers to while it’s still short and succinct. The video grabs attention in less than five seconds and does offer something for free at the end of it.


Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, and that much we know. It then feels good to have a community that understands, appreciates, and encourages entrepreneurs and start-ups.

YEC’s (Young Entrepreneur’s Council) Facebook page has it all – inspiring quotes, custom-made graphic posters, intriguing questions that lead to discussions, videos, photos, entrepreneur interviews, featured posts, and so much more.

It truly is a community to belong to. Given the way entrepreneurs work and consume information, it’s another example of using what social media has to offer.


Web Design and development is a rapidly changing Industry and an authoritative Facebook page really helps fans (clients and web enthusiasts) keep themselves abreast of what’s latest in the web design industry.

WebpageFX’s page makes a judicious use of mixed content in the form of improvised comments, related posts shared from elsewhere on the web, videos, photos, and separated tabs for an in-Facebook website (complete with quotes and portfolio), Facebook events, RSS feeds, social media connection tabs, etc.

It also has a “Top Fans” tab to celebrate the best fans along with a review tab.

Social media has a lot to offer small businesses that embrace the channel and use it to push content and possibly even bring in sales. We hope that the small businesses mentioned here can inspire you to get serious about your social media strategy and help you take engagement to the next level.

What small businesses do you know that have been using social media to their advantage? Please share them with us below.