How to Use the Social Media Big 5

big-5If you are an entrepreneur owner using social media to promote your business, you need to know about the Social Media Big 5.

Different digital marketers are going to have varying opinions, but for the most part, the majority will agree the Big 5 are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

If you’re wondering about Pinterest and Snapchat, they each get an honorary mention, at least in my book.

It’s important to be aware of the Social Media Big 5 because when you’re an entrepreneur, your time and resources are finite. You need to maximize your ROI (return on investment) wherever and whenever possible.

By focusing your social media marketing efforts on the Big 5, you will do just that.

The Big 5 are social media’s current heavy-hitters because they have proven track records as powerful marketing tools for business owners.

These social media platforms aren’t disappearing any time soon, and pretty much everyone and anyone you are trying to engage is on at least one of the Big 5.

Like members of a superhero mega team, each member of the Big 5 boasts its own individual features and characteristics – no two platforms are alike.

Here is a brief run-down of the unique features of each Big 5 social site you’ll want to leverage when marketing your business:


Pretty much everyone alive and their grandad is on Facebook these days, so it’s a logical move to get your business on there as well.

Just make sure you get both a personal profile and a business page. You require a personal profile in order to create a business page – there is no working around this, it is a requirement from Facebook.

But you can still use your personal profile to promote your business to friends and close colleagues if you friend them on Facebook, but be aware that there are some restrictions. Also, Facebook sort of frowns upon it.

Just make sure you fully understand the nuances and differences between running a Facebook business page and a personal profile. They are two different things that operate differently.

Also, do not restrict your posts to just links and written content on Facebook. Photos and videos perform very well on Facebook – better than links. Learn how to use tags and hashtags on Facebook too – these may seem like frivolous things, but if you learn how to use them properly, you’ll gain more visibility on Facebook.

Finally, learn how to read the analytics that Facebook provides for you if you have a business page. Facebook provides a wealth of information (for free!) that can help you understand your target audience better.

For instance, a very useful analytic that Facebook provides is when your Facebook audience is most often online.


Twitter is a great platform to broadcast your business blog, if you have one.

To get the most out of Twitter, make sure you’re engaging and interacting with other people on Twitter.

Just make sure your blogs are genuinely helpful and that your headlines are catchy. You need to become an expert on delivering big bursts of “wow” in 140 characters or less if you’re going to dominate Twitter.

Use an URL-shortener (like,, or to save characters and track the clicks you are getting on you tweets. Tracking your clicks will give you feedback on what’s working and what isn’t.

Also, learn how to use hashtags on Twitter.

Don’t forget – you can also attach a photo or video to your tweet so that it gets more visibility.


LinkedIn was originally a job-search site, and it still is to this day. However, it’s evolved immensely since its creation and now entrepreneurs can use this platform as a networking and business marketing tool, even though they’re not typically looking for a job in the traditional sense.

You might be wondering why a business owner needs to upload a resume and educational history and all the things LinkedIn asks for in order to complete a profile. I mean, when was the last time you even used a resume, right? Entrepreneurs don’t have resumes! Put it this way…

If a potential client is thinking of doing business with you, often times, they will do a Google search on your name and do a little background check on you. (Don’t act so shocked, we’ve all done this.) Search engines like Google love LinkedIn profiles, and they rank high in searches. So it’s really in your best interests to have a complete and well-written LinkedIn profile for this reason alone. Just make sure you complete your LinkedIn profile as a business owner, and not as an employee candidate.

Also, LinkedIn is great for connecting with other business owners. You can find referral partners, suppliers, subcontractors, and potential clients if you learn how to network properly as a business on LinkedIn.

And finally, LinkedIn has a free blog feature. FREE! Maintaining a business blog is an excellent way to market your business and brand yourself as an expert in your industry. LinkedIn’s blog feature is very simple to use; there’s really no excuse for any business owner to not have a business blog anymore. Did I mention it’s FREE?


The reason why YouTube is on the Big 5 list is because it is a VERY powerful search engine.

It’s the second-most powerful search engine in existence, actually – second only to Google.

And… it’s owned by Google.

So if you want your content to rank high on the most powerful search engine in the world, you need to be making quality business videos and they need to be on YouTube. The end.

You can maximize your YouTube efforts by learning how to use keywords and tags and then incorporating them in your YouTube videos’ titles and descriptions.


Relatively speaking, Instagram is the new kid on the block within the Big 5.

Do not underestimate its power, though. Instagram is an incredibly effective business platform.

Instagram is more engaging than Facebook and Twitter COMBINED.

Everyone knows that having a successful Instagram marketing campaign is contingent on having a steady stream of fresh, beautiful, engaging images in your stream.

What often gets overlooked, however, is the fact that you can upload short videos to Instagram too.

Also, I’ve mentioned the importance of using hashtags a couple of times in this article, but if there is one social media platform where you will benefit tremendously by using hashtags, it’s Instagram. You’re allowed to use up to 30 hashtags per post – use 30 whenever you can!

Instagram has recently rolled out a business account status that gives entrepreneurs access to some new features and analytics, in a similar way that Facebook does for business page owners (not surprisingly, Instagram is owned by Facebook).

It will be interesting to see how Instagram evolves as a business marketing tool.

Did you find this post helpful? Got a question about social media marketing? Leave me a comment below!

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Want to see Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, AND Robin Sharma live in Toronto?

aa-summit-socialBIG NEWS, Entrepreneurs!

Those of you who follow my Fav 5 know how much I LOVE sharing the wisdom of Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, and Robin Sharma.

I admire these great thinkers to such an extent that I’ve felt compelled time and time again to share their infinite wisdom with others.

And now… not one, not two, but all three of them are speaking LIVE in my hometown, Toronto, at the Archangel Summit on September 21, 2016.

Of course, I’ll be in the audience.

And as usual, I feel compelled to share.

If you’d like to purchase tickets to this amazing event, I have a 40% discount code for you to use. But you have to act fast, because this discount offer expires 11:45 pm on Sunday, September 18th.

Click here to buy your tickets to see Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, and Robin Sharma at Archangel Summit 2016 in Toronto.

Enter the promo code AMB15 for a 40% discount.

I can hardly believe all these people are going to be in the same place at the same time. It’s like Woodstock… only better.

Also speaking at this event: Gretchen Rubin, JJ Virgin, Giovanni Marsico, Philip McKernan, Natalie MacNeil, Dan Martell, Nicholas Kusmich, Jadah Sellner, and Jayson Gaignard

Hope to see you at the after-party!

Click here to buy your tickets to see Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, and Robin Sharma at the Archangel Summit 2016 in Toronto and enter the promo code AMB15 for a 40% discount.

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FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (September 6, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!


5 Things To Try This Month – September
Carrie Green – Female Entrepreneur Association

The paradox of the flawless record
Seth Godin

How To Ethically Cut Someone Out Of Your Life [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

The 5 Mentalities of Mastery [VIDEO]
Robin Sharma

How to build a business that lasts 100 years
Martin Reeves – TED Talks

Be amazing!


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Posted in Blog, business, entrepreneur, Facebook, Favorite Five | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What is the Best Social Media Site for your Business?

which-social-instgramAs an entrepreneur, deciding on a social media site to promote your business can be very overwhelming, because of all the choices.

So. Many. Choices.

So the obvious question is… where to start?

You can put any anxiety to rest right off the bat by recognizing that you don’t need to be on every social media platform in existence. In fact, to try to do this is a recipe for disaster. For one thing, doing so will dilute your focus, efforts and resources.

The smart thing to do is to channel your energy into one or a handful of social media platforms that give you the greatest results.

So what’s the BEST social media site for your business?

I wish there was an easy answer, something like… “FACEBOOK! FACEBOOK EVERYTHING.”

But sadly… no.

The answer is going to be different for every business owner, because every business and every entrepreneur is different.

But don’t hyperventilate! Here are some simple steps to take you through the process of determining what social media marketing platform is right for you and your company:

1. Trust the Big 5

You can narrow down your choices (and spare yourself a ton of anxiety) by turning to social media’s so-called “Big 5” first.

The Big 5 are social media’s current heavy hitters and have proven track records as powerful marketing tools for business owners.

They are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

These platforms aren’t disappearing any time soon, and pretty much everyone on the face of the Earth who doesn’t live under a rock is heavily engaging on at least one of them. In other words, if you are trying to reach a potential client, chances are they are on one of the Big 5.

2. Lock on target

As a business owner, you must have a handle on your target audience.

If you do not know exactly who you are trying to reach, you need to revisit your branding.

After all, how are you going to reach an audience if you don’t know who they are?

Once you have an idea of who your target audience is, find out where they are on social media. Where are they engaging, where are they asking questions, where are they socializing?

Find out, and then go there.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that everyone is going to sign up for Twitter just because you are on Twitter. That will happen if your brand is already immensely popular and has a lot of clout, but not otherwise.

Know your audience, locate your audience, and then join your audience.

3. What kind of content producer are you?

Know your audience AND know yourself.

Be honest. Are you a good writer? Do you take amazing pictures? What kind of content are you good at making?

Shoot videos if you are great in front of a camera. Do audio podcasts if you’re amazing at conducting interviews. Write a blog if you can write well.

Then choose a social media platform that leverages your talents.

Alternatively, don’t try to be a on a platform that doesn’t align with your content creation abilities: in other words, don’t be on YouTube if you can’t produce quality videos on a consistent basis.

Keep in mind that delivering bad content is worse than not delivering good content. Putting out inferior content will work against your brand.

4. Don’t forget to have fun

Pick a platform you enjoy.

Yes, using social media for business is 100% work, but it can be fun work.

You are are more likely to stick with it and be consistent if you enjoy it.

Furthermore, your audience will sense when you don’t really want to be there. Remember that social media is SOCIAL and it is very difficult (virtually impossible) to fake it.

It’s okay to lose your passion for one social media platform and then drift to a new one. After all, your target audience does the same thing. If you feel like you want to pull away from a social media platform for a while and try something new, it might be your business intuition trying to tell you something.

5. Understand the nuances

Pick a platform that you are willing to understand on a deeper level than most people.

You are, after all, using social media for business, so you need to treat it like a business (even if it’s fun business).

Understand (or be prepared to learn) the nuances, such as: how to use hashtags, best formats for posted media, what kind of posts get the best response, when is the best time to post, etc.

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FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (August 23rd, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!

Worrying Is Making You Miserable And Sad [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

Why Mobile Matters
Tony Robbins

Marketing in four steps
Seth Godin

The Inner Skills of Billionaires [VIDEO]
Robin Sharma

Why and Where You Should Expand Your Ecommerce Empire
Matt Orlic, Entrepreneur

Be amazing!


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Posted in business, entrepreneur, Favorite Five, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Where to get Free Stock Photographs for your Blog and Social Media

free-stock-pics InstaIf you are an entrepreneur and have a business blog and use social media to market your business, you need to have access to quality photography.

Using photos will draw more people to your social media posts and improve your blog’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In other words, adding pictures to your blog and social media posts will get you more web traffic and that will help you grow your business.

As with anything, you get what you pay for. But hiring a professional photographer is not always in an entrepreneur’s budget.

Luckily, we live in a day and age where there are many great online resources for business owners to turn to, and you can get quality photos for little to no expense.

Keep reading, and you’ll find a short list of free online resources aimed at helping you find photos that you can use – for free — for your business blog and social media posts.

I’ve curated this short list with the following criteria in mind:

  1. Photos are easily searchable

Some stock photography websites boast galleries of thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even millions of stock photos, but it can be an arduous task trying to find something that fits your specific needs. The best sites make it so you can easily find photos using key words, by subject, colour, or some logical way. I’ve limited the list to sites that are well-organized and easy to navigate so that you, my precious readers, will have an easy time finding what you want.

2. Photos are appropriate for business

These online resources for stock photographs will have lots of different images for you to choose from, but I’ve chosen sites that have content that will make sense for a business owner to use.

Artsy, abstract images can be gorgeous, but in the business realm, they might be confusing or get lost in online traffic. Remember that the image you select has an important job to do: it has to catch the eye of your target audience and entice them to click on something. The images will often be seen as small thumbnails in a cluttered social media stream, so you don’t want to pick a photo that needs to be large in order to be truly appreciated.

This doesn’t mean that you have to pick images that are too literal or “on the nose”, in fact it can be more fun and attention-getting if you don’t. For instance, if your blog is about awkward yoga poses, instead of choosing a picture of an athletic woman doing yoga (predictable, won’t stand out in a search or stream), you might find a funny picture of a giraffe awkwardly bending over to drink water (more light-hearted and funny… probably the only giraffe in a sea of yoga posts that come up in a Google search).

  1. Photos are good quality

Look, you’re getting something for free and in all fairness, you really don’t have much of a platform for complaining if the quality of the photographs don’t meet your high standards.

That said, you can’t use poor quality images for your business blog or social media, because doing that will damage your brand. Low quality photos will make you, your business, and your brand look inferior.

There are two important factors that make a photo good quality. First, make sure the resolution and size of the photo is appropriate for where you intend on using it. If the resolution or size of the photo is too low, it will appear pixilated (or blurry) and that will cheapen your brand. Most of the time, you won’t need very large or high resolution images, but for Facebook covers and LinkedIn blog banners for example, you will want relatively large photos with a resolution suitable for the web if you want your picture to look crisp.

The second factor to consider when choosing a quality photograph is the overall attractiveness of the shot. Don’t choose something that looks like your kid shot it on your phone (although, I have to admit, sometimes the new generation surprises us in this area). Pick something that at least looks like you paid for it.

  1. Photos are readily accessible

Some stock photo sites require lengthy registrations and logins. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  1. Photos are legally free to use

I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, so while all the photos on the sites should be free to use, make sure you don’t have to attribute (give credit to the photographer) before using the photos you select. It should be blatantly clear before you download any image.

To be safe, use photos that are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. Basically, Creative Commons Zero means you’re allowed to copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, even for commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or the website the photo came from.

For what it’s worth, paying for stock photography doesn’t have to break the bank. And if you can’t find a photo that exactly fits your requirements, you can usually purchase a great stock photo for under five dollars.

Besides, photographers work hard and they deserve our dollars!

BY the way, speaking of FREE…

Sign up for my e-blast so you don’t miss out on free social media news and tips, as well as articles to boost your entrepreneurial mindset!

And now for that list of websites that offer free stock photos you can use for your business blogs and social media:




IM Free

Negative Space




Got a favourite stock photo site that isn’t mentioned here? Tell us about it in a comment below!



Posted in Blog, social media marketing | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

FAV 5 Recommended Reading For Smart Entrepreneurs (August 9th, 2016)

Hello Entrepreneurs,

Welcome to our FAV 5… recommended reading/watching to help you obliterate your business goals!

Stop Blindly Following Other People [VIDEO]
Dr. Isaiah Hankel

How to Be Successful By Being Yourself
James Altucher featuring Gary Vaynerchuk

The two risk mistakes
Seth Godin

The Small-Win Principle For Maximum Performance [VIDEO]
Robin Sharma

4 Data-Backed Strategies For Writing Email Subject Lines That Get Opened
Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

Be amazing!


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Posted in digital marketing, entrepreneur, Favorite Five, LinkedIn, Uncategorized, Videos, YouTube | Leave a comment