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How to Start a Business on the Internet: Social Networking can be your Tool


Small businesses need to ensure that they do not overdo their social networking efforts.

While the brouhaha over social networking continues unabated, the truth seems to lie somewhere in between in terms of its real effectiveness in spreading the message about a particular business.

Agreed that there are numerous big companies effectively using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to market themselves, and reaping rich rewards from their efforts, but small companies and businesses should never lose track of more tried and tested, traditional means of promoting themselves.

Social Networking for Small businesses

This is particularly true for small businesses since they have limited manpower and resources to work with. Large companies are invariably deploying full time staff for manning their social networking endeavors – a luxury that most small online businesses simply cannot afford.

Small businesses also need to remind themselves about large social networks like MySpace and Second Life – whose shelf life in terms of appeal for business promotion eventually turned out to be reasonably limited, and the companies which spent enormous amount of time and money establishing themselves on them, only found their efforts wasted eventually.

Don’t ignore Social Networks

That said, social networks are something which you would prefer not to ignore either, especially considering the enormous amount of time that people tend to spend on them these days. The key lies in striking an effective balance in terms of the time and efforts that you spend on them, and the rewards that you derive from them.

The endeavor has to be to channelize and drive traffic from your social network page to your own website, and not the creation of a separate identity of your business on these networks. Remember that your social networking presence is meant to complement and substantiate your actual business presence in terms of your own website and not substitute it.

You should ideally have little snippets of your website on the social networking sites which will eventually egg people on to visit your website. You could do this by uploading images of happenings in your businesses or informing people about new product launches and offerings and so on. But remember to whet their curiosity just that little bit, so that, for the complete lowdown, they definitely make the tread to your own website.

Ultimately, traditional means of advertising and promoting one’s small online business must be relied upon.

Facebook & Twitter

That said, while you are in the midst of your efforts to tweak up your Facebook business page, it would be a great idea to follow up with some appropriate Tweets from your Twitter business account. That way, a lot of people will be informed about new developments in your business, and it will serve as a sort of a cross-platform promotion across both the sites.

Spreading the message about your business

Finally, you will see that these little endeavors of yours will go a long way in spreading the message about your business. They will not take up too much time and effort, and yet will get you the rewards that you are eagerly looking forward to obtaining.

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