Here are this week’s links to a few good stories that we found and selected. We feel they might add valuable insights and perspectives for small to midsize businesses.

Are you sold on the impact of social media and what it could mean to you and your business? If not, you might want to consider what happens on the internet every sixty seconds:

  • YouTube users upload 300 hours of video, compared to 72 last year.
  • Pinterest users pin almost 10,000 images—up from 3,400 last year.
  • Tweets are up to 347,000, an increase from 277,000 a year ago.
  • Did you ever “like” something on Facebook? You are clearly not alone there either. Facebook users click the “like button” about 70,000 times every second. (To learn more about these impressive statistics, read Larry Kim’s article, Here’s What Happens in 60 Seconds on the Internet.)

Are you concerned about brand identity? Do you worry that your prospects aren’t getting your message? Do you have trouble standing out from your competition? If you are a small business owner, all of these things should concern you. Finding a solid unique niche in your industry is something you should constantly be striving for, because once you think you’ve figured it out, your competition might be saying “me too.” In his blog post, Selling With Conviction: Your Brand’s Purpose, Jeff Charles gives some great advice and suggests that business owners always stay in touch with their company’s purpose.

Entrepreneurs get their start in business by thinking they can develop a new mousetrap—or at least a better one. Successful business owners know this is not enough. According to economist Sam Wilkin, it is important to create something unique, and then find a way to close the door behind you so no one can follow. Watch his brief video, Why Successful Entrepreneurs Have to Think Two Steps Ahead, which was posted on the Time website. If the strategy worked for Bill Gates, it might be worth considering.