One of the most important things you can do for your business is put together a comprehensive and well-rounded marketing strategy. Traditional marketing has its place, but there’s a new kid on the block, social networking also know as social media marketing.

Social Networking plays to the unique opportunities offered through the Internet. The social aspect is found in the various websites that are based on social interaction through groups and communities. Sites like Hubpages.com, Facebook.com, Squidoo.com, Twitter.com and many others give business owners a unique opportunity to interact and communicate with potential customers.

Social networking basics are easy to understand but mastering them can take hours of trial and error. When not utilized properly, they can actually be detrimental to your goals. There are courses that can help you get started and these are highly recommended to those interested in social marketing but not technological experts.

Social marketing at its core is based on a few simple but effective principles that are easily implemented. They are:

Get Involved: Find the sites that you can join for free that have a large subscriber base. These will give you the largest possible forum for your views and opinions, while at the same time offering a large potential client pool to explore.

Invest Your Time: Once your profiles are set up and linked, it’s time to post some material. This can be a little tricky. You’re doing this to solicit traffic to your pay site, but you don’t want to give the impression that it’s the only reason you’ve set up an account. Post should be personal, well thought, and contain information with some “meat” on it. Give an opinion, rant about something, back up your writing with solid examples and references to give it more credibility.

It’s also important to regularly log in to your account and update your blogs. This let’s people know that you’re an active member on the site and you know what’s going on in communities you’ve joined. This is a key concept of social marketing basics and can be very effective when done right.

Give a little, get a lot: Once you’ve established yourself as a productive member of a site you need to look at other people’s work. Join communities, make friends and socialize with them. Nothing adds credibility to a blog more than a group of friends that post comments regarding your page. Go to other people’s pages and make productive, insightful comments on their posts. It may take a little time, but this is the most crucial part of social networking basics.

Maximize Your Audience: There are numerous tools available at little or no cost that can really boost your potential audience. Google’s Feedburner is a prime example of site that can exponentially increase the number of people that have access to your posts and in turn yield more potential customers.

In the end, social networking basics can be taught quite easily and there are courses set up that will guide you step-by-step through the basics and into a more advanced approach that will give you a more precise and comprehensive approach to social marketing and the advantages it can give your business.