Social networking sites can be a great took for entrepreneurs looking to advertise their businesses. However, using these sites can also backfire. With so many small businesses using social networking sites such as “Facebook” and “Twitter,” the quantity of advertising is overwhelming. In order to use these sites successfully, business owners must create a strong presence within the networking community. Here are six tips to remember when using social networking sites.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Make sure that you understand the site you are choosing to use, and remember that each site is unique. Time is valuable, especially when small businesses are concerned, and it should not be used constantly updating dozens of social networking sites. Pick those that you understand and invest your time accordingly.

2. Don’t become an outsider.
Understand the social networking site you are using. For example, “Facebook” operates differently than “Twitter.” Before you begin, research the site thoroughly in order to create a strategy that will benefit your business. Specifically, make sure to understand your audience and tailor your information to that group.

3. Get the company involved.
Inform colleagues and employees that the business will be utilizing certain social networking sites. Chances are the majority of them are familiar with one or more of these sites. Ask for ideas, suggestions, and tips. Combine knowledge and work together to make your business stand out.

4. Make social networking sites a means to an end.
The goal of using these sites is to draw attention and build a reputation toward your business. Do not operate through sites such as “Facebook.” Rather, use the site to draw users toward your individual business website so they recognize you as a business rather than simply an advertisement.

5. Engage!
Answers questions that are received, respond to comments and engage the online community through the site. Simply posting on these sites will cast a business along side of the millions of others that do the same. Interaction with users will peak their interest, thus leading them toward following up with your business.

6. Use social networking sites as a supplement.
Remember that these sites are not the end all be all of advertising. Make sure they are utilized as only a piece of your marketing strategy. These sites are popular, however traditional methods of advertising are also just as effective.