One of the most popular trends of the past year has been the use of social media by entrepreneurs and executives to engage and interact with customers directly. It has gone from Twittering about the company and special things going on to full out disclosure of a CEO or founder's every move. It's not surprising. Plenty of examples show that being visible has value. It's in part why there's an entire business built on helping companies to generate traditional media exposure -- and now the same exists for social media online. Plus, the tools available today give companies of all sizes the ability to market themselves, build a following and reach audiences at little or no cost. It would almost be crazy not to somehow take advantage. Whether it's Twitter or MySpace, Facebook or FriendFeed, Polyvore or just your own personal or company blog or email newsletter, now more than ever people in business are at an advantage to spread the word about themselves and gain business and fans.