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Social media is fast becoming part of the savvy small business owner’s world. The most popular sites coming out of the revolution are social networking sites. At the most basic level, a social networking site allows you to identify your business contacts—from prospects and customers to partners and associates—and establish a personal link between you and each of them. Some ways that a small business can get involved with these sites include:
Setting up a free Facebook account for yourself and creating a page for your business is a good way to enter the social networking space. You can announce new product features and events, post pictures, and communicate directly to your fans. These people have essentially "opted in" to receive messages from your company.
Establishing a LinkedIn account (the basic level is free) for yourself is a great way to get started creating an online identity and exploring how social networking sites work. Blogger, tech evangelist, and former Apple employee Guy Kawasaki offers some great tips on how to create a useful LinkedIn profile for those getting started.
To set up a free Twitter account, go to twitter.com, create a username and password, and begin finding people to follow. When you feel your little bird is ready to share its song, start sharing brief messages called tweets. For more help, blogger Chris Brogan has posted a Newbies Guide to Twitter.
With all the different technologies out there, it is important to remember that ultimately, content is king. If you are providing useful and interesting information, your small businesses can establish your brand, connect with customers, provide more information about products and services, build networks, and find like-minded colleagues, new clients, and even mentors.
Co-Founder and Communications Director
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