Twitter's Mark Luckie reported that small businesses can drive visibility by following the lead of prominent publishers.

Small businesses looking to expand their social media presence should focus on fostering discussions with prospects, rather than purchasing ads on different platforms. A report from YouGov suggests most users of Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks ignore ads appearing on the networks.

However, those that follow SMBs on Twitter or Like business pages on Facebook want to see content from these companies. Whether it’s special offers or just images and other posts, many will engage without the presence of paid advertisements.

Thirty percent said they disagree with the statement that “users do not mind being served ads based on their social media activities.” Moreover, 23 percent said they “disagree entirely.” While this will not prevent the networks from offering companies ad spots, SMBs should focus more on providing social media content to the users that Like or follow them.

Beyond prospect preference, social media marketing is less expensive than advertising on these networks.

It appears as though many SMBs have already started investing more in social media marketing. ContentLEAD recently reported that 39 percent of small businesses plan to increase their Facebook marketing presence, while 24 percent look to do so on Twitter.