Social networking sites aren't just for teenagers anymore. In fact, social media and social networking sites have evolved into something altogether different than what they once were – more than half of MySpace vistors are now 35 or older.

Today, social networking sites span the spectrum of demographic groups. While teenagers are still more apt to use them than older people, there is now an abundance of niche social networking sites, which target people who all share some common interest, ranging from skateboarding to investing or internet marketing to videos.

Now, in addition to teenagers and adults, social networks are increasingly used by another group – businesses. That's right: many businesses are now using social networks to advertise in some subtle manner – and then replicate their message through systems that are already available within the social network.

The most prominent social network is Facebook.com, which has a user base of over 200,000,000 users.

Facebook is a great place to being the process of social marketing your product, as you will be able to reach the largest crowd quickly.

Now, there are a number of different ways in which you can market your affiliate product through Facebook. One way is to setup a profile and then begin adding friends to your list on a daily basis.

You will want to add a personal profile for yourself and talk about your business/product on your page; or you may want to simply create a profile for your business (fan page) and use that to separate business from personal.

While you can send out bulletins advertising your product through Facebook, this is generally discouraged by the Facebook staff and could lead to you getting banned. So the best bet would be to avoid this type of marketing; instead, post related bulletins that don't advertise your product, but talk about it as the topic pertains to the conversations that are going on.

This will drive interested visitors to your page, where they can learn more about the product or service you are selling. Note, however, if you are working with affiliate products you will have to link to a non-affiliate page, as affiliate links are expressly forbid on Facebook. You can use a blog or website as the landing page for those affiliate products.

Once you have had some experience marketing to the Facebook crowd, you will want to consider looking at other social networking sites.

A very prominent and growing site is Twitter, which you can find at: twitter.com. This is considered a micro-blog site and it a great resource for information, research, interaction and many other things.

Friendfeed is another growing community that is just starting to grow. You will also want to look for niche networking sites, which will afford you an opportunity to capture a more targeted audience.

Whichever sites you decide to use your goal should be to develop a network of people who share a common interest and could potentially be interested in your specific product.

For this reason, it is always a good idea to think long term (i.e. don't do things that are going to get you banned); instead, concentrate on building your network and introducing them to your affiliate product.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Pigoni is the Internet Marketing Guide here at SelfGrowth.com and a Social Media Virtual Assistant. Working to help businesses grow their online presence through social media.