Key Platforms for Getting Started with Social Media

What are the key platforms for a business owner or solo professional to consider using for establishing and developing a social media presence?

It's the Simplicity, Stupid, cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

I’m the first person to say that companies and solo professional need to get their basic social media strategy right before jumping in and using various social media or social networking platforms and tools.

I acknowledge also that a lot of business people are looking for practical, business-savvy advice, sooner rather than later, on what social media tools and platforms to use.

From one point of view there are so many that it is a challenge knowing where to start. But I believe that a couple of useful principles for getting started and keeping going effectively are:

  • to keep remembering the point is to do business better, not to become a tech expert
  • to become familiar and practiced with the use of some key, accessible platforms, as a basis for building and growing a effective social web presence

Out of the many social media platforms and new variations appearing continuously, the following is the basic set or framework which I recommend for solopreneurs and other small business owners.

Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube | Blog

I recommend however not trying to use them all at once, or things could get too confusing and frustrating. It could make sense to consider just using one to get started and then adding others progressively.

Just taking on those five, or even two or three of them, will require a serious commitment of time but the potential rewards can make that more than worthwhile. And there is not much future in the “do nothing” option.

I intend to post about each of the five in coming weeks, basically some thoughts, from my experience, of how these platforms can be used effectively by home based professionals especially.

And in September (only a week away!) I’m launching a new coaching program for people looking for some guidance and coaching with using social media for their business. I’ll be starting with a free teleseminar on Social Media Business Strategy on Wed Sept 8 and repeated on Thurs Sept 9: more details here.

Cartoon credit: Hugh MacLeod at Gaping Void – Creative Commons license

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. Dear Des,

    Thank you for the clear guidance and to the other bloggers for their support and social media distinctions. Making effective use of Social Media networks and my online time is important to a solopreneur like myself.

  2. Recommendation that not trying to use them all at once, or things could get too confusing and frustrating.,is the best advice I can take from this article.Because I was thinking to network on too many social media sites
    It could make sense to consider just using one to get started and then adding others progressively.
    I am going to follow your recommendation.
    I really appreciate .

    Beautifulmingles’ Associate

  3. Michael Nunn says:

    Hi Des,

    The five platforms you list are each qute different, and would seem to work together well to build an overall online presence.

    LinkdIn is a type of site that one might say gives the structure or bones of an online presence. It is here one might have listed their credentials or professional achievements.
    Facebook really is about networks of friends and acquaintances.
    Blogs can be thought of as our personal broadcasting platform, where we can vent or give our opinions as we see fit.
    Youtube and Twitter are both great marketing platforms and can allow us to share our message with thousands of people rapidly.

    This is just my take on the group anyway. Others will see it differently. Anyway, I think your strategy of using the five different platforms to build an online presence is great.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Michael

      In a workshop I delivered recently for a consulting company there was explicit appreciation when I listed a “basic set” of platforms to focus on for building the company’s brand presence in the social web. It’s so easy for people to get overwhelmed, I feel it’s really helpful to give people a starting point like this. Even so,
      as you would know, there is plenty of work involved in making even that handful of platforms work for you.

      I appreciate and reciprocate the good wishes.

  4. “to keep remembering the point is to do business better, not to become a tech expert”

    I totally agree

  5. I agree, you’ve got to establish yourself first on one platfrom before buildingyourself on another. Hours and hours would be spent on monitoring them.

  6. Thanks Shirley

    That is excellent implicit advice, to secure one’s identity on those platforms. I regret that when I first registered with some platforms I used what I suppose I thought at the time was a cute handle – i.e. “beachblogger”. The fact is it was an indulgence and had nothing really to do with my brand. With one platform someone else now has the “deswalsh” handle and even though that person doesn’t actually use their account the name is blocked from my being able to use it.

  7. Shirley George Frazier says:

    These five social media sites are also tops for me, Des, and I totally agree that jumping into all of them at the same time is a recipe for disaster, or at least a recipe for low achievement.

    What was most important for me was capturing my identity on each of these platforms. With that secured, I completed my profiles and began adding content to each at segmented times that fit within my project planning.

    I look forward to your posts about these programs and the upcoming coaching teleseminar.