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Now there are still a lot of people who don't 'get' it and many people think it's just another place to waste time on idle gossip (it can be) but it's also a great place for online networking.
It's not that different from networking offline - it's part of your marketing strategy and if you're going to use it for business then you need to have some form of strategy to make the most of it. Talk to the experts if you need to find out how to make it work for you.
The 'social' part means you don't need to be rigidly formal all the time. You also don't or shouldn't post purely about business. Just like face-to-face networking, no one wants to be bombarded with a constant sales pitch.
Use it to keep in touch and have conversations with people you meet in the off-line world. Get to know people online before you meet them face-to-face. It certainly helps to break the ice as you feel you already know them.
Expand your network beyond the limitations of face-to-face networking, where you're more restricted by time and location.
Social networking is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with a wider audience. It's also a good to way to bring people to your website.
Connect with people on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Search out the websites, forums and discussion groups for your industry. Find the social media networks that work best for you and