When it comes to creating a strong brand presence on social media, small businesses are at an advantage, an industry expert has said.

Nicola Clarke, features editor at Marketing Magazine, explained that the advantage small brands have over larger companies is that they are not at risk of being faceless brands that seem out of touch with sales leads at the grass roots level.

“What I think a lot of big brands are trying to achieve through social media is to create a community where it doesn’t actually exist, whereas with smaller brands you genuinely do have that community,” Ms Clark said.

She added that Twitter can be used by firms to cultivate a personality and generate leads from social media populations.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Business Week, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of social networking website Facebook, said that big brands have increased their advertising spend on Facebook by as much as 20-fold.