Social networking is not just a way to connect with friends and meet new people; it can also be a lucrative business tool. Social networking allows you to advertise, network with others in your field as well as potential customers, and make valuable business contacts, all for free.

Utilizing social network websites for these purposes is a little different than just using them for fun and entertainment, however, and there are a few things you should know if you want to be successful at social networking for business purposes.

One of the simplest ways to draw attention to your social network profile is to choose a relevant username. When you are setting up your networking profile select a username that will create interest and will tell potential clients, business partners, and anyone else what your business is all about.

Using a nickname, some variation of your real mane, or something cutesy like lovesbunnies5 is ok if you are only there for entertainment, but if you want to use social networks to succeed in the business world you should pick a name that reflects your business interests.

There are many different social networking sites that you can join, and the most popular ones that are inhabited with adolescents and 20 something’s are not always the best places to go for business purposes. Sure if your product or company’s target audience is this age group then by all means create an interesting profile for advertising purposes on Myspace or Facebook, but if your target demographic is older or a niche audience then you need to go to where they hang out. Find social networks populated by people who fit your demographic or niche audience for the best results.

You have to be interesting if you want to attract people to your profile and you need the right balance of business promotion and fun. Make your business known, your goods or services may be needed by others in your social circle which is where you can benefit form free advertising. But at the same time, you have to participate in the community and stay interesting for people to remain interested in your profile and to continue expanding your network of friends and potential customers.

If you approach social networking the right way you can use it as a business tool. Just remember to stay active in the community and add value so that people remain interested in your profile which will also expose them to your business bringing you the potential of many new customers.