Business Argus has launched a new weekly column this week in conjunction with Digital Tuesday.

So we decided to ask the local business community how they use social media to enhance their businesses...

Ross Porter, managing director, Clear Sky Recruitment, Blackwood

We use social media a lot in our business. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are useful in order for us to increase our brand awareness and in candidate attraction. Twitter is the most widely used platform to enhance our business and we work hard to increase our number of followers. Like lots of businesses, we have our Twitter account embedded in to the front page of our website and it is a useful tool for job seekers to keep abreast with the latest vacancies and goings-on in the world of Clear Sky Recruitment. Follow us @ClearSkyRecruit.

Robin Hall, managing director, Kymin, Newport

We use a number of social media platforms to enhance our brand and company profile and to engage to professional connections and contacts and more increasingly with clients. We have Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram accounts which we use on a regular basis to engage with our followers and connections. I believe that if you are going to put a message on one of the platforms you should have a consistent message which goes out on all of them and for that we use the HootSuite application. With this you can schedule your messages in advance and even have them automated. In this day and age digital marketing is becoming more and more important and therefore as a company you need to be using social media alongside traditional methods of marketing. I would say the best platform for us at Kymin is currently Twitter. It is quick and easy to use and is good for putting bite size chunks of relevant information out there in a timely manner.

Peter Heathcote, managing director, Budget Vets, Newport

It is important to recognise that the failure to engage with social media will invariably have a negative impact on a business, ignorance is not an option. Many companies using social media focus on business-to-customer communications, but in an increasingly marketing-saturated virtual environment these messages tend to become 'white noise' and as paid promotion becomes more common-place, organic reach is rapidly decreasing. We prefer to focus on customer-to-business feedback and platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow us to constantly develop the products and services we offer to our clients through real-time monitoring and analysis. Social media utilisation also presents a valuable opportunity to fulfil corporate social responsibility, for example: our page 'Budget Vets Lost and Found Pets Wales' successfully reunites lost pets with worried owners and promotes the rehoming of abandoned animals.

Katie Darlow, Roberts and Co Estate Agents

We have recently joined up to Facebook and Twitter which have proved to be really beneficial. Primarily we use Facebook to promote ‘Properties of the week’, price reductions and also to update our followers on charity and social events we take part in regularly. Obviously, the internet has become a major part in our marketing with applicants using Rightmove and along with our own website to browse for properties but social media just enhances the way that people today are searching for and finding properties.

Alan Roderick, head of marketing and e-commerce, Monmouthshire Building Society, Newport

As well as the benefit of using social media to communicate directly with customers who have Facebook and Twitter accounts, we’ve found that broadening the conversation beyond our products and services ensures our social media voice is relevant, topical and allows us to showcase our ongoing community support which is a key part of our mutual ethos. We’ve found that our engagement with followers varies massively with Facebook and Twitter but both have a very important role to play. Whereas Facebook is a ‘closed’ group with engagement from staff members, their friends and our customers, our Twitter account has much more business to business and community interaction and it’s exciting to see the more ‘open’ content being engaged with by peers, journalists, charities and other businesses throughout the UK.

Sarah Price, marketing manager, HardingEvans Solicitors, Newport

We have a dedicated marketing department and part of its role is to build and develop the firm’s online brand and reputation. We identified many years ago that our clients wanted communication via social media platforms and since then we have embraced it fully, providing content that is valuable and educational that our clients and potential clients will find useful and timely. We use informative messages to continue to build influence and relationships to plant a message and grow our brand, business and show we have a fun side. Properly managed social media raises awareness and loyalty. We use several platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube and blogging to post content providing us with interaction with clients and potential clients. We find blogging supplies our online audience with valuable and useful information that assists them in business and life. The platform that yields the most interaction for us is Twitter, where our messages supply value, show the personality of our brand and provides us with a whole new client interface opportunity that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. Why not follow us today @HardingEvans.

Dave Matthews, operations director, Centric Recruitment, Newport

Social media is becoming increasingly important to our business, helping us reach new audiences and engage with our clients and stakeholders. As we continue to expand providing recruitment solutions to the needs of SMEs and larger employers across South Wales, we are finding platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow us to reach key audiences and share information and news - both with our clients and service users. Fundamentally it’s our team of recruitment specialists whose expertise allows us to find the employees that our clients need, however social media does allow us to share these job opportunities on a larger scale, while sites like LinkedIn also provide us with ways of engaging with new clients. I think in the future social media will become even more important to the recruitment sector and we as a company are working to be at the forefront when it does.

Fiona Weaver, Hutchings and Thomas Chartered Surveyors, Newport

Our favoured social media platform, at present, is Twitter. We're continuously building up our follower base and using it as a tool to engage with individuals and organisations across the region and beyond. It's an excellent way to directly connect with customers while providing us with the opportunity to raise brand awareness. Twitter is a great source of instant information, using the news feed to identify the latest in current and business affairs which have a direct or indirect impact on our business operations. Twitter is the fastest way to access information in real time, expand our reach in 140 characters and promote our company - and will doubt continue to be an influential social media platform for many years to come.