By now, the phrase social networking has been emblazoned on most of our minds. The problem is, not a lot of people understand how it really works or how to use it to promote their sites and their blogs. When used properly, social networking can be very beneficial and can help you pick up a lot of new readers.

The key is learning how to use it effectively and learning the right techniques. Using the right social networking sites can mean the difference between a few hundred readers or a few hundred thousand.

Social Networking

Let’s start off with services like Twitter. Although your blog has a built in RSS feed, not everyone will subscribe to it. Twitter is a very popular new service that allows you to build your very own social network. You’ll get updates whenever someone in your Twitter circle does something, and as such, they will get updates whenever you do.

Adding a Twitter module to your site allows you to reach out to your readers and adds a little more interest to your blog. This is also a very effective way of publicizing new events and building up word of mouth for your site.

Next, there are sites such as Digg.com and Technorati. Both are very popular, but they are not quite similar. Digg.com is more of a democracy, where Technorati uses a different means of indexing and promoting stories. You need to use both to cover both sides of the angle and attract the most readers.

Digg.com can be pretty tough to break into and you’ll need to pay special attention to the type of content that does well on the service. For example, top ten lists are generally much more popular than simple posts on a news event. Find a way to incorporate a top ten list that is funny, interesting and related to your site and you’ll be able to do quite well on Digg.

Technorati works a bit differently. You’ll need to sign your site up for the service (it’s free) and then submit your RSS feed.

Whenever you publish new content, you’ll need to use what are called “tags.” These are pretty much key words that describe your content. On the main page of technorati, you’ll see what is called a Tag Cloud. The biggest words are the words that are the most popular on the site.

If you include these words in your posts, you’ll have a better chance of getting ranked better on the Technorati site. For the best results, set your blog software up to “ping” or notify Technorati whenever you publish new content.

Social networking is meant to be social and this means that you’ll need to reach out to your readers. It is all about building up relationships as well as readership. You can see great results with social networking and it can make a real difference in the popularity of your corporate blog as well as your regular site.