There are plenty to choose from of which many can be joined for free. Joining a network involves more than just signing up if you want them to work for you and your business. Which ones should you join and how many?
How many should you join?
Take a look in category tutorials to get an impression what you need to do on sites like LinkedIn, Squidoo, Stumble Upon, etcetera. You will understand that it is not a good idea to join them all at the same time; it would cost too much time to do all what is needed. My advice is to determine which are most suited to your needs and that appeal to you and focus on those. I would not focus on more than 2 at the most. Which does not mean you can’t already sign up for some others. That seems a contradiction with my first line, I will explain a bit further in this article.
Which social media sites should you join.
It very much depends on your objective. Your main objective is probably selling your products or services and/or get sign ups for your program. However you should not start with that right away in an aggressive direct manner. You must give people a reason to buy from you. You can do by positioning as an expert and a trustworthy person or business. It will cost time to do this. So which one? In general i would see to choose business networks to promote an opportunity or services of interest for online marketers in general like advertising, promotions tools and software, etc.
When you have a consumer product or service my choice would be a network that is not mainly crowed with people promoting an affiliate opportunity.
I think it is always good to join sites like Twitter and Facebook because many networks offer the opportunity to share your content with these sites. My advices would be to share relevant stuff for your niche (also from others) and make an effort to make your shares interesting, do not just post links.
Possible arguments to join a social media site.
I am a member of some sites that I actually dislike because of the huge amount of spam and scam and a membership that mainly use these sites to copy and paste links and hardly read anything. The reason I use them is mainly for the tools available. As an example sites like APSense and IBOtoolbox.
Proper use of some tools results in better indexing by search engines in general. IBO and APSense both have nice widgets that display your latest articles. Content posted on IBO is posted in several blogging networks like NetworkedBlogs; NeworkedBlogs is connected to Facebook. Content is also picked in digital newspaper paper.li to which people can subscribe. APSense has Augine with a widget that allows you to post your news on other sites. In your own network that have the widget or on sites/blogs from others. In that case you need to buy or rent that land with virtual money. I get new connections indirectly from these tools. I do not spend a whole lot of time there. I post my blogs and a few comments and I am done in twenty minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, you can find good content and connections on above sites but you have to search for it. For building new business connections and possible prospects I prefer a paid only site like kooiii and sites like LinkedIn, Dig Itt and others listed in category tutorials. These are the type of sites I invest most of my time in. Which does not mean these are best for you, some may have better results on niche forums. I can’t give a recipe suited for all since everybody’s situation is different.
No matter which one you join, once you have a good reputation and network on the first, it will take less time on the next. Many people are on multiple networks and will follow you there as well. Through those you will also get connections from that particular network you do not know yet.
My advice in general would be to focus on and work at, a few at the time and work from there.