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From millennials to baby boomers, almost everyone worldwide with an internet connection is on some form of social media. For entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, social media sites and platforms offer unprecedented access to advice and expertise from some of the greatest business minds of our time.
But in all the white noise of business-related content that goes out on social media each day, how do you find advice worth your short supply of time? We’re breaking down the most popular social media sites to help you get the most out of your spare time spent online.
If you’ve been an entrepreneur for any length of time, you know by now that Facebook is about so much more than just cat memes, friends’ baby pictures, and political squabbles between your relatives.
First of all, if you’ve listed yourself as an entrepreneur, CEO, business owner, or the like on your Facebook profile, you’ve probably already been met with the litany of B2B advertising reserved especially for small business decision-makers.
Once you’ve officially let go of any naive notions of separating personal from business on your Facebook newsfeed, check out a few of our favorite pages worth following.
Whether you need a daily dose of inspiration or simple and practical advice, Cleverism’s Facebook page is an excellent go-to for entrepreneurs in the startup scene. Check them out to gain practical insights into business planning, marketing, and even product development tips.
Operating on the principle that innovative businesses can change the world, Fast Company has its finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest in business and technology. Follow their Facebook page to keep up with the most recent business news and trends, including expert analyses of how these innovations could impact your own industry now or in the future.
No matter what you’re trying to achieve in business, what you do every day comes down to habits. You need to build great habits to be a successful entrepreneur, and you likely need to influence your customers’ habits in order to integrate your product. On Facebook, Gretchen Rubin is a breath of fresh air, offering you tools to create habits that work for you with an underlying tone of calm and serenity.
From Twitter, to Snapchat, to his own award-winning Convince & Convert blog, Jay Baer is a social entrepreneur who can be found everywhere online, all at once. But on Jay’s Facebook page in particular, you’ll find the hub of his best work and insights from the perspective of a genuine, helpful friend. And as one of the premier experts on marketing in the digital age, Jay is a great friend to have!
You’re reading Seth’s blog, right? Right?
Really, as an entrepreneur, if you follow nothing else related to entrepreneurship on social media or otherwise, you should read Seth Godin’s blog. Updated daily and frequently with posts under 300 words, this daily dose of insight has inspired and directed thousands of entrepreneurs to make needed leaps in their businesses.
Seth doesn’t really do social media—so whichever platform you choose to follow him on, you’ll mostly just see links to his daily blogs. However, the discussions provoked among his readers in Facebook comments and Twitter mentions can be equally insightful and well worth your time.
As a leading expert in social entrepreneurship, Econet Wireless CEO Dr. Strive Masiyiwa is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs who hope not just to make a profit, but to genuinely make a difference through their business endeavors. He seeks in particular to serve as a resource to African Philanthropreneurs—and his Facebook page offers a first class interactive community for those on a similar journey of business and philanthropy.
If you dig around, you may or may not also find a group somewhere on Facebook where some pretty brilliant entrepreneurs are gathering to network and share insights that aren’t always available on their public profiles. But of course, if such a group existed, we wouldn’t link to it—because it’s a secret.
We get it—LinkedIn is kind of boring. The audience is pretty straight-laced, there are very few cat memes, and the entire platform tends to reek of stuffy corporate America.
But LinkedIn is a valuable platform that has its place in social media, and there’s actually fantastic content being shared and connections being made on the site. Here are a few groups and influencers worth checking out on LinkedIn.
If you ever hope either to be an angel investor or to find an angel investor for your business, LinkedIn’s Angel Investor Group is highly regarded as a very worthwhile resources for an inside look into the world of angel investors.
The group can be selective about who it accepts, so be a conscientious contributor and don’t spam with product or investment information. But if you take the time to thoughtfully participate, this LinkedIn group offers incredible opportunities to learn about financing and make valuable connections.
We all know that entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. Whether you’re starting out the journey solo or have a few team members but feel the isolation of being “in charge,” it can be helpful to have a group of peers who just get it.
That’s the premise behind Band of Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization and LinkedIn group that offers resources in public relations, technology, finance, marketing, and even legal help—as well as mentoring and training for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Check out this group and consider becoming a registered member if you’re looking for a solid entrepreneur community.
The internet has a never-ending supply of business experts eager to share their successes and tips for the so-called right way to start and operate a business. Far fewer offer the raw, honest approach that James Altucher is known for—a willingness to share mistakes, failures, and lessons learned the hard way.
In his own words, Altucher creates great content for entrepreneurs by “look[ing] for the most painful and embarrassing situations in [his] life and find[ing] the gems inside of them.” His LinkedIn channel is an aggregate of his best written work, along with a strong community of commenters eager to discuss and learn from his insights.
Out of all the most popular social media sites for entrepreneurs, Instagram stands out as its own special breed. A departure from the traditional industry news, case studies, and expert advice found on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and more, Instagram’s focus has a decidedly motivational twist.
When you’re all worn out on the “how to” pieces and just need some good ol’ fashioned encouragement, check out these Instagram accounts to get your inspiration on.
It’s safe to say a guy who calls himself @cashy911 on Instagram is going to have some hilarious and poignant things to say about business and success. While his glossy images might be frequently paired with a cheesy cliche, we challenge you to show us the data refuting the power of the highly motivational Instagram meme.
Right from the start, Andy Frisella will let you know that his social media sites are not for “delicate flowers.” He’s foul-mouthed, rough-and-tumble, and gets straight to the point. But if you’re looking for a real, unpretentious perspective on the life of a fellow entrepreneur—along with motivation to achieve the same—Andy Frisella is a guy worth getting to know. We picked his Instagram in particular for visuals of hot cars and hilarious bulldogs.
Sometimes being an entrepreneur is hard, and you just need a good inspirational quote to get yourself through the day. Zig has those in large supply on his Instagram feed. And since he’s “one of Earth’s most quoted leaders,” you can bet these kicks in the pants will probably do the trick.
Not so very long ago, reading advice from knowledgeable entrepreneurs and business influencers required stumbling upon their individual blogs, which you would then subscribe to in your email inbox or seek out individually every time you wanted to read a post. But lately, Medium has totally changed the blogging game into a democracy of incredible written content more readily accessible to all.
Here are a few of our favorite influencers and brands you shouldn’t miss on Medium:
You know Biz Stone as the co-founder of Twitter, so obviously you should be following him on… Medium? Oh, wait, turns out he co-founded this one too! At this point, Biz Stone is a serial startup-preneur in the social space, and now he’s taken a leap to the highest ranks as CEO of his new company, Jelly. It’s not often you can get advice from a fellow entrepreneur who’s simultaneously “been there, done that” while also learning and sharing as he grows in a new position. Stone does just that with his own content on Medium, and the result is a consistently valuable and compelling read.
This small but mighty startup is quickly becoming the gold standard for business management and transparency in the startup culture. Joel, Leo, and their team are quick to share the good, bad, and ugly of their experimentation and growth as a startup, and their blatant over-sharing is the best thing that can happen to any entrepreneur.
Want to know what other CEOs in Silicon Valley make, or what they pay their employees? Not sure how to define your business values, or what the fallout of that process may be? Buffer has been there, done that, and written about it—both on Medium and on their own Buffer blog.
Do you want to see the future, and know how it will impact your business? Infamous Apple collaborator Robert Scoble is always on the up-and-up with what is coming in tech—not just in the next two years, but in the next two decades!
If you want to imagine what innovation will bring to the next decade of tech and the world at large, let Robert Scoble’s Medium blog be your personal crystal ball.
There’s one thing that makes Periscope stand apart from any other social media site on our list: every single interaction is live. When you log in to Periscope, you have the opportunity to make one-to-one connections with business influencers in real-time, learning the real, raw, and unedited version of who they are.
Unfortunately, that can make for quite a few Periscope channels that are flat-out boring or hard to watch. However, here are a few notables worth following.
Whether you want to invest in winning brands or want to attract potential investors to your startup, Chris Sacca’s Periscope channel is a great one to follow. As an early investor in Twitter, Uber, and a frequent participant in ABC’s Shark Tank, Sacca is a reigning expert in identifying and building up great business ideas.
As one of the earliest adopters and the reigning “First Lady of Periscope,” Kim Garst is one of the best resources out there for learning to use this relatively new platform to expand your own reach online. Garst scopes live almost daily, sharing various ways you can use livestreaming to maximize word-of-mouth connections for your business.
Dry-witted and straight-talking with a thick British accent, Mark Shaw might give you flashbacks to X Factor or American Idol. And he pulls no punches when it comes to business and social media advice. Unlike many so-called influencers, Shaw doesn’t stick to a preset schedule of Periscope hits, but rather commits to only popping on when he has something meaningful to share.
If social media is anything like high school (and we all know it too often is), Snapchat is most definitely this year’s Prom Queen. After months (even years!) of persistent nagging from the earliest adopters, social media influencers in the startup space have been flocking in droves towards Snapchat in recent months—eager to share their own authentic, behind-the-scenes look at the world.
Here are a few of the originals that helped build Snapchat into what it is, as well as a few more recent advocates of the platform who can demonstrate how to make use of its spontaneous and authentic interactions to elevate your brand.
One of the earliest Snapchat adopters, Brian Fanzo is the best combination of a guy you’d genuinely want to hang out with who also happens to be totally in-the-know. He’s built an incredibly loyal group of followers to his brand, iSocialFanz, through a mash-up of raw authenticity and genuine know-how. Follow Brian to keep up with the cutting edge of social media for business.
Chances are, you already know why you should be following Gary Vee on Snapchat—and Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and everywhere else! This guy is full of stories about entrepreneurship that’ll make you smarter and more inspired. We chose his Snapchat because it’s the most candid and unfiltered. But wherever you connect with him on social, it’s likely to be a positive learning experience.
Though relatively new to Snapchat, Peter Shankman has clearly adopted this platform as his latest favorite medium, where he shares everything from fitness inspiration to social media branding tips and behind-the-scenes looks at his daily life as a solopreneur. Come for the business advice, but stay for the cameos from Peter’s adorable toddler.
Depending on who you talk to, Twitter is either the internet’s best 24/7 cocktail party—or that obnoxious roach that just refuses to die. Even as someone new pops up every 6 months or so to announce Twitter’s impending doom, a strong faction of loyalists are eager to defend the value of sharing a vision of the world in 140 characters or less.
If you’re an entrepreneur who happens to also be a Twitter apologist, you’ll be in good company following these fellow enthusiasts:
A serial entrepreneur, business mentor, and mom to twins, Ali Brown is an incredible resource for women launching their own businesses. On Twitter, Brown shares success tips, offers highlights from her women’s entrepreneurship podcast, and discusses topics relevant to female business owners.
If you’re a woman navigating the complex waters of female entrepreneurship, or you work in public relations—or you just, you know, have a business that relates with the public—Heather Whaling is a great person to follow. Along with tips from her own expertise in marketing and PR in the digital age, Heather offers an authentic, real-time look at the ups and downs of operating a growing business.
As a long-time marketing consultant for small businesses and the author of the popular Duct Tape Marketing blog, John Jantsch knows a thing or two about bootstrap marketing for up and coming businesses. Follow him on Twitter for a steady stream of his best marketing advice.
You can’t hope to succeed at promoting your business online without learning a thing or two about SEO. Luckily, Moz founder Rand Fishkin uses Twitter to make SEO education accessible to up and coming entrepreneurs. Follow him for tips on web optimization, as well as insights from the ups and downs of a long-running tech startup.
As the Zappos CEO famous for turning the company’s structure on its head in pursuit of a “teal” Holacracy-driven model, Tony Hsieh frequently tweets controversial ideas about business guaranteed to make you think. For many, the jury is still out as to whether Hsieh’s ideas are brilliant or B.S. But either way, his tweets serve as a valuable reminder that there’s more than one way to run a business—no matter the size.
When you’re an entrepreneur, time is money. So if you’re going to spend some time kicking back and watching TV, you might as well learn a thing or two for your business!
From business tips and training to building practical skills, here are some of the best YouTube channels out there for entrepreneurs.
When starting a business, you probably know you need strong visual imagery to convey your brand—but you might not necessarily have the budget for a professional photographer!
To learn the ins and outs of creating great images on your own, New York-based photography shop Adorama’s YouTube channel, Adorama TV, offers fantastic tutorials for various types of beginning photography. Yes, even if you’re armed with only your iPhone! Adorama’s tutorials are a long-held secret for bootstrapping content marketers and entrepreneurs alike.
Sometimes the best way to figure out how to grow your own brand is simply to see how other businesses operate. That’s the premise of Behind the Brand, a YouTube channel that combines expert interviews and behind-the-scenes tours to serve as a powerful resource for entrepreneurs who want to learn from the best.
Just because you have a great idea for a product or business, doesn’t mean that you know how to manage your project and make it happen. While tools like Trello and Asana can be helpful, any tool is only as productive as the person using it. If you’re looking for help with project management for your new business, ProjectManager.com’s YouTube channel is a widely well-regarded resource.
So you want to learn more about using social media for your business, but you’re constantly distracted by a black hole of pointlessly hilarious BuzzFeed videos. Fear not! Amy Schmittauer’s Savvy Sexy Social is your perfect hybrid. Amy’s video content is entertaining and relatable enough to watch from your couch on a Friday night, but just as informational as any other social media site on this list.
As an entrepreneur, you’re never really done working, but this channel will help you feel like you still have a savvy, sexy social life!
David Siteman Garland is a self-professed “mediapreneur” who helps people create and sell digital products and programs online. On his YouTube channel, The Rise to the Top, Garland offers simple and actionable advice that can quickly help users grow their online audiences, create awesome content, and make their digital content profitable.
If your product or service is primarily digital and you’re building your target market almost exclusively online, this is a channel worth checking out.
“Wow,” we hear you saying, “with so many awesome resources for entrepreneurs on so many different social platforms, how can I possibly keep up with them all?!”
Don’t panic! While we’ve broken down many of our favorite influencers, publications, and other resources to highlight many of our favorite social media sites that every entrepreneur should consider following, keep in mind that many, if not most, of these individuals and companies have a presence on multiple social platforms.
You don’t have to monitor every single social media platform to get the best advice and insights available online. Look for any of these experts on your social channel of choice, and you’re sure to run into some fantastic resources that will advise and encourage your own business journey.