In a continuation to an earlier post, these two brief points explore some of the ways to ‘handle yourself’ on social networking websites.

Neither of these are one-size-fits-all recommendations – each technique for marketing off-site will vary with the ‘flavor’ of each site.

Spend a few hours on any site before you create a profile, becoming familiar with how others are posting, linking out to, or sharing resources. And always read a website’s terms of use before investing your energy into adding content, creating a profile, or building a network.

Don’t Directly Sell or Market Your Wares

On social networking (web 2.0 enabled) sites it is far better to educate, assist or mentor others than it is to blatently sell or transparently market your affiliate links and products.

Social networking is not about hype and prosper it is about honest communication and connections. Position yourself as an expert or trusted friend first and only then can you share opinions that will foster trust, eventually leading to customer relationships.

Contracting the Social Work Out

Although I have taken on a few corporate contracts for increasing the brand worth of companies on Web 2.0 social networking sites, this is nothing that the small business owner can’t do themselves in just a few minutes per day.

The ‘trick’ is to be smart about it – by chosing the most worthwhile site (sites that are both high-traffic and appealing to your market, and perhaps even pass page rank) to network on.

Be yourself, let your personality and knowledge shine! This is all about real people connecting with each other – not corporate constraints and profiling.