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Social Networking is a great way to stay connected to old friends and network with new people. It is an especially powerful tool for entrepreneurs. It affords potential clients or other business owners the opportunity to gather information before deciding to do business with you. Even though you are networking via the Internet, traditional, old fashioned etiquette still applies.

It is important to establish relationships and express interest in what others are doing. Take a few minutes to read others' posts and like, comment; or even share or retweet. Not only will your online friends appreciate the support, but you will inevitably come across information that can help you as well. It is always good to know what resources you have in your network. When commenting or responding to a post, your comment should be related to the topic of the post. If you need to connect with the person about something else, you should inbox them or post separately. If someone posts something, then it is important to them; even if it is not important to you. So it is rude to disregard what they said and just say what you want to say, just because you see that they're online. Once you have established a relationship, your online line friends will be more willing to promote and share your events or announcements. You should never just randomly tag people or post advertisements on their wall or pages, especially if you have never interacted with them or supported them in any way.This will turn people off and cause them to just ignore you all together.

Finally, it is a good practice to always respond to your friends. If someone congratulates you, wishes you well or shares one of your links, you should at least acknowledge the gesture; even if it's only with a like. This goes a long way towards establishing solid relationships. However, never participate in negative exchanges on any social networking site. If someone posts something negative on your page or wall, delete it and address it privately. If you cannot resolve the issue, then the best thing to do is disconnect from the person. Any form of negativity will drive positive people away from you. So avoid it at all costs!

Remember, it's called "social" networking. There are no strict rules. But, if you are governed by common sense and good manners; you will be a lot more effective.

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Tags: marketing, networking, online, social

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