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Putting the Web to Work for Your Small Business
Here’s a look at some of the social networks that you may want to bookmark and use for business.

Social Networking

Social networks aren’t only for college students and young professionals. Small business owners, whether it’s a budding entrepreneur or an established one, can benefit from social networking. While the obvious choices—Twitter and Facebook—first come to mind, there are a slew out there that cater to small business owners.
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LinkedIn

To date said to be the most popular social network Web site for professionals, LinkedIn is like a Facebook for networking professionals. According to the site, more than 60 million professionals in 200+ countries use it to network, stay on top of the industry and establish new contacts. According to company stats, a new member joins about every second, with roughly half the members coming from outside the U.S. On the site you can find, be introduced to and collaborate with other like-minded professionals. The site also lets you search for jobs and post/answer questions on community boards.
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PartnerUp

PartnerUp is a community targeted at small business owners and entrepreneurs. The site connects users and allows them to search for start-up and small-firm job opportunities and commercial real estate listings.  A small business owner or entrepreneur can also use it to find vendors and service providers.  PartnerUp, which is free, also has a premier membership that costs $299.98, if you pay for a 12-month membership. With the paid subscription you can contact as many members directly as you wish – even if they are not part of your network. With the free service you are limited to contacting only five members outside your network per month.
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Ryze

Ryze.com is a social network for businesses that gives members a free homepage, from where they can send messages to other members. Users can also join networks related to specific industries, interests and locations. According to the company, more than 1,000 organizations have networks on the site. While most of the social network is free, members can pay a few dollars a month to conduct advance searches or contact distantly connected members. Ryze boasts more than 500,000 members in more than 200 countries. When a member first joins, Ryze provides a list of several people in the country or state potentially worth looking into making a connection with.
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Xing

Xing.com is a global network that boasts more than 8 million active members using the site to manage business contacts. In addition to managing contacts, it lets you search for people and job openings. In the Xing profile page you create an interactive-online business card that can hold a picture and include professional background information. With Xing, you also get a homepage, and a chance to see how other peopl1e are connected, which the company says could help with business leads.
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Putting the Web to Work for Your Small Business

Here’s a look at some of the social networks that you may want to bookmark and use for business.

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