By definition, home-based businesses do not require a large workforce; in fact, they often consist of a force of one. No matter what size your workforce, however, you will need customers, and social networking is a great way of connecting your home business with those who are in the same industry or could benefit from what you have to offer. Social networking can also provide new avenues to make friends, relieving some of the social isolation that can result from working alone.
Networking Is Key
Another benefit of social networking is that you can get valuable tips and suggestions for running your business from others in your network. The more contacts you make online, the better your results will be. These contacts can come through guest blogging, micro-blogging such as through sites such as Twitter, interacting on FaceBook, and so on.
The great thing about social networking is that you can find people and businesses in your own industry who can form the basis of a productive friendship or partnership.
If you are involved in a fast-changing field such as technology, social networking can be particularly valuable in allowing you to stay abreast of the numerous technological changes that are constantly occurring both within the Internet industry and in the marketing field as a whole.
Even small, home-based businesses can benefit from outsourcing through sites such as freelance.com, and these companies can offer a range of services that can be valuable to your business.
Finding Employees with Social Networking
Social networking provides an arena through services such as a LinkedIn for finding people who can help you with your business. If you choose this course of action, be sure that you get references and perform a background check on those references.
Do it Better on the Mac
There are applications for the Mac that make participating in your social networks more convenient. Socialite is a third-party application from Apparent software that provides access to several of the most popular social networks in one application. Socialite provides access to FaceBook, Twitter, Google Reader, Flickr, Digg and your RSS feeds all in one interface.
Flock is a Web browser for Mac and PC that specializes in social networking and Web 2.0. Flock integrates such social networking services as MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Blogger directly into its interface. Flock has a feed reader that supports Atom, RSS and media RSS feeds.
If you prefer, you can check your social networks right from your Mac OS X dashboard. FaceBook:: Alert is a popular widget that allows you to check and read your FaceBook messages. Hotmail + Messenger, as the name suggests allows you to check Hotmail and use MSN Messenger directly from the Dashboard.
Social networking can be a tremendous aid in lowering your advertising and marketing costs while exposing your products and services to a larger customer base at the same time.
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