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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Sales and Marketing > Small Business Marketing

Social Networking for Small Business Marketing

Social networking and event networks can be a marketing tool for hot consumer companies and niches that are building a business watering hole!

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Palo Alto, California-based Facebook counts some 80,000 users who have registered as small business owners, says Alex Craddock, head of small business marketing for VISA, which partnered with Facebook in mid-2008 to create the VISA Business Network.

Additional social networking and event sites that are being used by small businesses for marketing include LinkedIn,,, and Yahoo groups.

Networking for Entrepreneurs

A number of networking groups meet small companies' specialized needs. Ladies Who Launch (, a free network which is dedicated to budding female entrepreneurs seeking inspiration and support from fellow women-run start-ups. is another specialized social networking site. It matches entrepreneurs seeking financing with potential investors. links freelancers with companies in need of their services.

Many small businesses use social networks almost exclusively to market their products, finding they offer a quick and inexpensive way to get the word out to large groups of existing and potential customers.

Social networking spaces such as MySpace are a way generate traffic to Web sites through grass roots marketing efforts for consumer product lines such as Big Feet Pajama Co. The social network is used to send emails when hot products are featured at celebrity events and these newsy emails can result in 5 to 7 percent of the traffic on a Web site from MySpace, according to the Big Feet Pajama Co owner.

A variety of specialized sub-communities are forming around specialized industries. Check out these social networking and event sites to see where your tribe is hanging around a "watering hole".

That will probably be the best place for you to create a presence. Be aware that it takes a lot of time to do it right...and get into the flow. If you have appropriate news or content, this mobile world might be waiting to hear from you!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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