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How to Use Social Networking Sites to Market Yourself

How to Use Social Networking Sites to Market Yourself

Ann Evanston | NonProfitPeople

Do you need more exposure for your business? Do you want ways to connect quickly with many people? Then social networking is for you!

Many entrepreneurs, like myself, are on social network sites like NonProfitPeople.com. The opportunity to expose our business is there, but do we understand how to use it to grow?

Web 2.0 has greatly changed the face of business – it is simply amazing! What you want to realize is that trusted friends – online and offline – refer and do business faster and more efficiently than, say, advertising.

Here are my tips on using online social networking to increase your business:

1. Join sites that interest you, so you will have fun participating. Pick sites that will you a chance to showcase your expertise. Being a member on NonProfitPeople has allowed me to share my insights as an entrepreneurial woman which increases my business exposure.

2. When you sign up, make sure you are a REAL person! Don’t be “sxychk2008” or “businessmama.” Use your real name – NOT your company name because it feels like you are selling your business. After all, how can people do business with you if they cannot find you? As a small business owner, I need people to be able to get access to me easily – the harder I make it the less likely they are to do so. And your name should ALWAYS be search-engine optimized!

3. Actively participate by commenting on discussions and starting your own discussions. Be careful that you do not shove your business down everyone’s throat! A common mistake I see is someone joins the network then immediately posts a “discussion” about their business. Your profile is about what you do! When you can weave your expertise into a discussion, then you build your business credibility. Remember: you are there to be social first. Your business can grow because you “play” according to the site users’ interests!