There is no doubt that social media seems to be taking over the world. It has become socially acceptable to opening talk about tweeting, Facebooking, poking, liking, unfriending and flick(e)ring – these terms appear to have seamlessly slipped into our vocabulary. Whilst spending time on Facebook and other social media platforms can be very counterproductive (and quite frankly great for procrastination), it can also be an extremely powerful tool for businesses.

Social media sites allow you to spread the word about what you do, to anyone that will listen, for free. As long as you abide by Facebook’s rules and guidelines in terms of promotions, competitions and spam, you’re good to go. build a little biz‘s blog post, facebook rules: blocking spam & shutting down pages, explains what Facebook are up to at the moment in response to some businesses not following their guidelines. This post is well worth a read if you’re not familiar with what is allowed/not allowed on Facebook.

Maintaining social networking pages for your business does take time. It does take commitment. But you get out of it what you put into it – and you’ve got nothing to lose.

The bottom line: social networking is free, yet priceless for small businesses. Social media sites such as Facebook provide you with a free platform that you can brand to match your website and other marketing tools, and use to reach potentially every single Facebook user in the world. That’s pretty powerful!

So before you write social media off as ‘just another thing to do’, think again!

What have you found has worked best for your business in terms of social networking? If you haven’t gotten your business on to Facebook, what is holding you back?