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Can Social Networking Help Home Businesses?

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 11/6/2010

With the explosion of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace, some may think these are just for speaking with family and friends. However, if used correctly, these sites can actually help your business. Can social networking help home businesses?Read on to see how!

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    Social Networking and You

    It is safe to say that the Internet has changed the way we meet, speak, and greet people. We can find friends online through different means, keep up with family in other cities, states, or countries, and of course meet new people through our friends' connections. But the Internet hasn't just changed how we interact with our friends and family, it has also changed how we do business with each other.

    Social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and My Space have made it easier for a business to reach out to current customers and even bring in new customers who befriend them. But can social networking help home businesses? The answer to that is yes, it absolutely can. Many home businesses and corporate businesses use social networking to expose their business to people who may not be aware of it.

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    How Social Networking Helps Home Businesses

    Social networking has changed the way businesses conduct business and that is equally true for home businesses, where you may not be able to actually get people to come by your office door. For those that are self-employed or freelancing, they may not have the know how or money to market the way a larger business or corporation can.

    So how exactly can social networking sites help home businesses? Well, it's as simple as looking at how social networking works in the first place. Social networking allows for people to talk with or, in the case of Twitter, follow. Through either word of mouth or by association, people who are associated with others are likely to associate with people or groups that their friends associate with.Can Social Networking Help Home Businesses? 

    Take Twitter for instance - signing up, you can do a search for other businesses that deal in your certain trade (freelancing, clothing, food, etc) and start to follow them. More often than not, those that you follow will also follow you. Your followers will also have other followers; the ability to see who is following someone allows for another business' followers to view your Twitter page, Tweets, and website (if listed) and then they will start to follow you. Their followers will see who they are following and so on and so on.

    Take a site like Facebook - currently, the social network has over 500 million people using it; that's 500 million people that you could reach. If you already have a Facebook page and friends on it, then you know that you can reach a lot of people just starting with your friends and family, as their friends may want to be your friends.

    LinkedIn is probably the more business orientated of the social networking sites, allowing for all types of businesses to sign up and link with others, basically getting referrals from people who would benefit from their content. But again, this can also be achieved on the other social networking sites. The important thing to remember about social networking (and the Internet itself) is that there are numerous ways in which to market yourself and your home business. The Internet allows you to reach across the world, not just your city, while social networking allows you to connect with your clients and customers, set up meetings with them, or even answer questions while on the go.

    Just make sure you aren't spending all your time social networking instead of working; it is quite easy to let the day slip away while playing those Facebook games.

    Image content @ Twitter