A recent survey of SMEs suggested that almost a third are signed up to three or more social media accounts.

It is well-known that different platforms suit different types of business better than others; image-led sites such as Flickr and Instagram are rarely going to be of massive value to professional services firms for example.

But what the results of the questionnaire may well suggest is that more and more businesses are ensuring that they’re signing up with the “big three” – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – as a matter of course.

These sites are generally leading the way in terms of the size of their audience while being distinct enough from each other to persuade many firms to sign up.

Twitter’s greatest strengths are brevity and breaking news. If you’re an accountant trying to get the attention of potential clients on Budget day, there is no better platform. The fact that more than 85 per cent of users access the site on their phones is also useful if you’re trying to reach out to people who are on the road far more often than they’re at their desk.

If you’re looking at the raw number of users, Facebook is out in front by a considerable margin – there are around 1.5billion regular monthly users. While certain sectors may find it harder to engage an audience to begin with, the sheer volume of people on the site makes it very difficult to ignore.

LinkedIn is different again, a site characterised by far more people using desktop PCs and excellent opportunities for business-to-business networking. While it may lack Twitter’s lightning fast conversations or Facebook’s mass market appeal, there is arguably no better place for businesses  to forge close links within their industry.

The advantage to having a presence on all three sites is that not only will content reach a greater number of people overall but it will give businesses the best opportunity to work out what yields the biggest benefits for them.

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