This isn’t a direct marketing tool, this is human communication says Rob Key, chief executive officer of social marketing firm Converseon. Social networking is fast growing into a future-business-tool. Most businesses grow with the word of mouth, especially recommendations from peers and communities. Using social networking for business has widespread benefits. most importantly it allows interaction with professionals in a informal way. Probably its the easiest way to reach out to hundreds, or possibly thousands of without any expenditure. With a number of social networking tools available more businesses no sooner than later people would embrace the internet as their networking tool. Clearly, the power of social networking cannot be underestimated. Supporting the social networking spree for business, we decided to provide you with the 10 best social networking tips for business.

1. Quitting Traditional networking mode

Let's begin with a Charles Darwin quote: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

The same applies for business either change with your business strategies with trends or be left behind. For some businesses it's not easy to change the whole set up, especially those habituated with attending chamber mixers and industry events. The crux of the matter is if you keep on doing what you have been doing you would get what you have always gotten. So, why not take a step further when your rivals have already taken to social networking techniques. Try to include a new technique or online marketing outreach into your marketing plan every month. For social networking you can set up a LinkedIn profile or a blog on your company website. Establish a group forum and try some simple questions.

2. Using Facebook for business

Facebook allows you to build a business page for news about your company. Not just that it also offers you an Events page for business activities and even a Fan page. Update you account and make networking efforts frequently, at least after every 2-3 days. Remember when it comes to business, it effective communication that counts. Be professional until you get to know each other.

Try to create special-interest forums and groups for crisis management. You need to surface your blog posts on your profile page using RSS feeds. The basic things you need to apply is add notes or links to blogs, add videos to your profile and pages and upload presentation. All you acquaintances would be interested to know what you do for living and what's your earning. Feel free to chat about it. Create a company page and keep on updating. Make it a page where your fans would go to watch the updates.

3. Making the most of Twitter

Twitter is fast growing into a powerful business tool. Using Twitter you can keep your followers up-to-date on latest deals; establish direct contact with your potential customer; provide people with quick updates. Some Twitter apps like Twitterfeed are quite handy. However, your business's primary Twitter feed should be hand-fed. With a flood of impersonal links your Twitter account would seem to be a advertising channel. Link to the very best stuff on your blog, as well as relevant stuff you see elsewhere on the web, and also post items that don't contain links at all.

In Twitter you can follow colleagues in related companies and in your field. Further you can follow relevant brands and journalists and pundits in your market, and even those competing with you. Reply to the tweets that seem relevant, as it might be a potential customer and use Twitter to figure out what your customers are interested in.

4. Using LinkedIn to your advantage

LinkedIn is the hub for professionals, especially those looking to network for business. Use LinkedIn to build a network of your past colleagues, friends, and industry experts. Create and administer a group on LinkedIn and use it promote your business. Don't stick to promoting your business discuss anything from politics to local economy. Let people know you and then your business. Optimize your LinkedIn profile with proper keywords so that clients can find you easily. For the starters you can use your LinkedIn profile keep up-to-date with the latest information on your small business offerings. Try to connect with others and ask questions on LinkedIn Answers every week or at least once in a month.

5. Take advantage of the apps and widgets

Most of the top social networking sites offer cool apps and plugins to ameliorate business activities. There are some top-notch Facebook apps for business that we had explored. Coming to Twitter if you have a blog connected to your business use services like Twitterfeed to directly channel your new blog posts into Twitter posts. Often in Twitter you need to add links. In Twitter you can use URL shortening service for links like tinyurl.com, cli.gs, and zi.ma.

6. Try multiple social networks, but focus only on few of them

Time is an invaluable asset in any business. Although MySpace is one of the largest social networking sites, but it doesn't leverage your business much when you try to reach a large audience. There are several other networking sites that you may try, however they might not be fit for your target customers. Although you can test a number of sites to see which works best, but stick to one or two of them that servers your purpose.

7. What to post and what not

There's a general opinion among certain sections of entrepreneurs who question the effectiveness of social networking for business. Well, online marketing and social networking as as effective as you can make them. Setting up a Twitter or Facebook account and posting personal dealings is sheer waste of time. You focus should be on building your brand recognition and getting maximum exposure. One of the best ways you can do this is through a blog. Use it to provide valuable information to your potential customer or client. If your focus lies on your local market write your blog posts targeting that demography. Responding to the e-mails and comments is important to pull target audience to your blog or site.

8. Highlight your expertize on forums

Forums and groups are the best platforms to highlight your USP. Make sure you voice something interesting and use it to establish your credibility. One of the best things you can do is comment on the blog posts. Reasonable comments are highly appreciated and helps you to be recognized as an expert. To provide more details add links to your comments.

9. Look for recognized authorities

Social networking allows easy person-to-person networking. Look for the seasoned pro's in your field. In LinkedIn you can send networking invitation and in Facebook you can send a friend requests to the concerned person. Don't forget to add a message introducing yourself and provide a viable reason why you want to join the person online. If the person adds you, make sure you talk on business-related motives.

10. Privacy Online

The top professional sites offer many privacy setting that allows you to decide whom to allow into your network, set up filters and e-mail notifications and even block people with whom you don't want to connect. However, you must filter invitations carefully, as you don't want lose any potential new clients or customers.

Thats it for today, I plan on using the next few days off to get some more of my notes online, as well as introduce you to some new text ad exchanges that are showing excellent response to my solo ads. Take care.
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