More and more small business owners are being invited to join on-line communities and the list of choices grows daily. Used correctly Social Media is a powerful element in the overall small business marketing mix.

Peg Corwin a marketing chair for SCORE in Chicago compiled a terrific list of sites she finds useful for small business owners.   Her list include some sites I check regularly such as and StartUp Nation and others I check from time to time such as eCadamey.   For the complete list and descriptions go to her post.

As you review the list, it can seem almost overwhelming, how do you balance and organize?   My suggestion  just as you would do with off-line networking,  check out many, pick a few and become actively involved in those communities.

Select different tools for different reasons (LinkedIn is a good address book tool, but cumbersome for conversation) and as Kyle Lacy suggests in his post today pick at least one small geographically based tool, where you can connect with members both on and off line.  Conversations begin on line and relationships grow off-line when you can “meet up”

But is this all just a huge waste of time?  This month 75% of my overall revenue comes from networking (mostly Rainmakers) and 25% comes from connections made through on-line networking.  So for me… this is serious marketing, and it should be for you!