When Maxine Gardner started an online business selling original artwork in 2010, she says she felt compelled to immediately dive into social networking to promote it.
She had just completed several workshops on entrepreneurship where free sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were a hot topic. She also didn't have enough money to buy advertising because her main source of income until that point—freelance photography work—had dried up.
But Ms. Gardner says she didn't know which social networks made the most sense for her Huntington Woods, Mich., start-up, called Artful Vision, or how to begin. She also had a slew of other tasks on her plate and wasn't sure if joining sites like Facebook should take priority.