Small-business owners who want to leverage social networking to reach more customers but feel pressed for time should resist the urge to contract it out, writes Lisa Barone, chief branding officer at Outspoken Media. "The basis of social media is transparency," she writes. "It's about exposing a bit of yourself to your customers so that they feel like they 'know you,' that they can 'trust you' and that you're someone they want to do business with."

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