Inc. 5000 honorees tell us how they would tackle a common business challenge. This month: How did you figure out your company's voice on social media?

Sarah Dusek

Co-founder, Under Canvas (travel and hospitality) 
No. 573 2017 rank  |  791% Growth  |  $8.6M Revenue

"Through trial and error, we've figured out a balance between aspirational, for people who aren't ready to travel with us; inspirational, for people actively planning an Under Canvas trip; and helpful. We have agents who make bookings and plan itineraries, and it made sense to continue that dialogue on social. We want to be an expert that also helps you dream about where you might go next."

Chris Gathright

Founder, Sportique (retail)
No. 3,164 2017 rank  |  103% Growth  |  $4.7M Revenue

"When we started, we focused on informing folks about outdoor brands. But as we expanded into fashion, home, and beauty, it became more about letting people know that we're trying to curate amazing products in general. We're simple. Our tone is fun and playful. We know we're not curing cancer."

Tom Gimbel

Founder, LaSalle Network (human resources)
No. 4,450 2017 rank  |  56% Growth  |  $55.5M Revenue

"Because we're both a B2B and a B2C business, LinkedIn is the most important platform for us. And we use LaSalle's social networks to entice college graduates to come work for us. On Instagram, we'll post pictures of a party for an employee's work anniversary, and we'll get 80 to 100 likes and comments from their friends."

Ann Oleson

Founder, Converge Consulting (education)
No. 2,037 2017 rank  |  183% Growth  |  $3.1M Revenue

"We try to serve as a narrator that brings people in the higher education world together. We answer questions in Linked­In groups and started a Google group that has more than 500 members, where people pose questions and we try to engage everyone in answering them."

Kristy Sammis

Co-founder, Clever (advertising and marketing)
No. 1,706 2017 rank  |  229% Growth  |  $7.4M Revenue

"The most important thing, which a lot of businesses skip, is to know what you want. Even though social media is casual and conversational, think of it as marketing. You would never start a marketing campaign not knowing what you're trying to achieve."

Rankings and data are taken from the 2017 Inc. 5000: Growth is calculated from 2013 to 2016; revenue is from 2016.

From the May 2018 issue of Inc. Magazine