For a long time the best way of making new business contacts was walking with a wallet half filled with business cards that you could hand over to the next person you met; not anymore, all you need today is to master the art of business social networking. There are professional business networking sites through which you can make business contacts and expand your professional network. We all know how these networking sites work; someone invites you to join the network, you visit the site and sign up after you create a profile where you describe your interests. After that you connect with your friends and colleagues thereby expanding your own network. When you are new to a business social network platform you can easily make mistakes that will work against you; try the following tips to make the best of your experience.

Choose carefully: Avoid joining every online networking site you are invited to. There are many sites which focus on different industries and are more tailored toward you experiences within that industry You don’t want to find yourself in a networking site where 90% of the members are 20 years younger than you who may not have any interest in enterprise networking.

Understand the culture and rules: Social network sites for business professionals can be compared to high school; there are different rules and customs. Take time to clearly understand the culture of any site before you sign up. All you need is a simple email introduction before you gauge the site.

Keep it professional: You will be surprised to learn that some social network sites that are used to keep in touch with friends can easily be accessed by career and business related connections. When creating your profile, you want to make sure that you don’t include anything you would be embarrassed to share with your boss. You don’t know when your potential employer will stumble on your profile on that professional social network or any social network and what judgments they will make about you based on that.

Try to be gentle: A majority of members that are apart of online networking sites will tell you about their bad experiences with some arrogant pushy members. You must avoid trying to look pushy at all costs in trying to get into someone else’s networking circles; you don’t want to be known to be too persistent because this can be annoying and it will damage your reputation.

Keep your word: If you are going to preserve your reputation in any social network site for business people, you must be known to fulfill any promises that you make. Whether you promised to facilitate an introduction or give somebody a telephone or email contact, make sure that you follow through to the end. The most important thing you want to remember about online networking is that this is a reciprocal game; the more you help others, the more likely that someone else will help you.

Author's Bio: 

This article is penned by Lora Davis. Networking in today's business place is a must, a good network can lead to job and business opportunities. The importance of good networking has been written about in books and blogs. Online networking like LinkedIn etc are source for business contacts and beyond. Its never too late, start creating your professional social network, if not sure consult the professionals at