As I said last time, as are the “experts” saying , social marketing can be a very good marketing and networking technique for small business. I did a bit of research this weekend and boy, there are a ton of social related sites and services out there, more than I ever knew! I am not going to list them all here, but here are some links.

A. Social Networking Sites – here is a great list of networking sites, providing their sizes, focus and registration info.

B. Social Bookmarking – Social bookmarking websites allow you to save bookmarks on-line and tag them with keywords instead of saving them as bookmarks in your browser. For two pretty good listings, check out blogmarketingtactics and this Digital Point forum posting.

C. Blogging – probably the most common form of socializing on-line. There are many different options, some free, some you install on your web site, etc.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog_software

Ok, you have seen the lists; with so many choices, what should the small business owner do?

First off, you need to decide you want to commit the time. Sometimes writing/bookmarking etc. will go quickly, other times it will not. The time you are using should be considered an investment in your business.

Second you need to decide, what is your goal of “socializing” online. Is it to get more customers, networking within your field, work on your reputation? etc.

Finally, you need to decide which vechile to use. Do I use WordPress or blogger.com etc. Which networking site should I create an account in? And so on.

When I started my initial ventures into social sites, I went on the recommendations of others in my field. Also I studied my competition and peers to see what and how they did things.  This is probably the best way to do it. If someone has found a good combination, try it and see how it goes. The great thing about the Internet is that it is dynamic. If you do something today and do not like it, try something new tomorrow.

The final point is that, you try something. These sites and services are very user friendly and do not have a step learning curve. So get out there and mingle, you will be very glad you did. If you need or want some assistance, please feel free to contact me any time.