Social Media: New Businesses

Social media can provide powerful tools for listing your business, gaining exposure and connecting with other businesses.  These tools are really most beneficial for businesses that are already established, though and are looking mostly to market themselves.  For those businesses that are just starting out, traditional social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter can be helpful - albeit daunting - but budding companies can use all the customized help they can get.

The social media world has not forgotten about the truly American idea of fostering competition, commerce and business. is the Facebook of entrepreneurs and young businesses. Started in 2007 with the help of Facebook's Peter Theil and PayPal's Max Levchin, Younoodle is the leading site for university entrepreneurship technology.  Younoodle supports more than 50 college business competitions that encourage ingenuity and creativity and services thousands of young businesses and people hoping to start businesses.  Essentially, the site is a forum for people hoping to break into the business world - either online or in reality.

On the site, join forums and news feeds tailored to your interests as businesses just starting out, connect with other professionals, and collaborate to build business together.  The simple, inviting home page displays Younoodle's newest members and people, where you can view profiles and find further information.  You can join entrepreneurial or professional groups, subscribe to their hip newsletter and keep up with the latest events.  Younoodle even produces downloads – widgets of the membership, start-up, or event variety so you can more easily keep track of all that the site has to offer.

Like any successful online business, Younoodle's reach is virtually unlimited (no pun intended) and is at least all over this country, though its physical location is in San Francisco.  Many of the start-up businesses listed on Younoodle are Internet companies; though that does not capture the stunning variety entrepreneurs are producing in that realm.  From social media for gamers to closing the gap between advertising and consuming, Younoodle is bringing together businesses from all realms that might otherwise not be likely to talk.

The bane of Internet users' online existence is, of course, privacy of all forms.  Personal privacy is more of an issue on sites like Facebook (and don't we all know that by now!); intellectual property issues arise in forums like Younoodle and OPENForum.  Younoodle's suggestion is to merely summarize what your business does, rather than give details.  Younoodle, like any other online site, cannot guarantee privacy; though I assume most people these days know that.  It is worth the risk, however, as the world is now basically viral.

This sort of brevity is good for marketing anyway, actually.  Instead of spilling the beans on your business up front (as, arguably, most social media sites encourage), short summaries and keyword-sized hints serve to entice customers to learn more.

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