Social networking sites are becoming the hub of online interactions. Where once the internet was a sea of anonymity web users are now seeking ways to interact with others who share their interests. Websites now exist that keep friends and family connected, and to unite strangers who want to share information.

If you own a small business ecommerce site you might be wondering how you can make social media work for you. After all, even if you do not participate in social networking, it is likely that your customers do!

The obvious place to start is with two of the most popular social networking sites – Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook allows owners of small business ecommerce websites to create Fan Pages. To begin you should research how other fan pages have been set up. What do you like about them, what do you think you could do better? Put together information that you think your customers should know about your business, products, services, and promotions. Gather pictures that will be of interest. Then go to and use the simple wizard to create your page.

Twitter is a great way for business owners to notify their customers of special offers, tips related to their products or services, and changes to their business such as new products or changes to business hours. Because the tweets are limited to 140 characters you should limit these types of post to either quick notices or links to longer pieces of information on your website or blog.

Another good way to reach your customers is by creating a video and posting it to You Tube. You can create a "how to" video that shows how to use one of your products, a video that gives a tour of your brick and mortar store, or anything else that is related to your business. When posting your video You Tube gives you the ability to link to your website.

One social media site that many small business ecommerce website owners over look are Flickr. You can upload pictures of your products, videos, or post comments in the blog. Flickr also gives you the ability to link back to your site.

Finally, connect with groups or participate in forums that relate to your business. Type in your type of business and either forum or group in one f the search engines. For example, if you own an online children's clothing store type in "children's clothing forum" and you will find many websites that are designed to connect people who are interested in your products.

The key to using social media though is to add value when you post or comment. Don't simply plug your website or products. You want to be viewed as an expert in your field, not simply someone trying to promote their business!