By now, most business owners and professionals either use or have sampled the usual suspects of social media engagement: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. While the breadth of options is breathtaking, the depth necessary to help you make the right connections on the right platform may remain a challenge.
But there’s a whole world out there waiting for your clicking and eyeball attention. (Hello world, here’s a song that were singin’…). If you’re looking for some less-crowded social media networks focused on business owners and professionals, give these a try:
Newcomer Sunzu.com Is Philosophical about the Art of Business: This strictly business (but not strictly ballroom) social network emerged from the acquired ashes of a site called Ecademy. SunZu’s founder, Lyndon Wood, is based out of Dublin, Ireland.
He named his business baby after Chinese general and philosopher Sun-Tzu, who is famous for his (alleged) ancient battle strategy, The Art of War. The SunZu site offers free membership and is all about offering business people knowledge rather than help. Mr. Wood doesn’t like the “h” word, so you won’t find it on the site.
SunZu intends to grow internationally by attracting businesspeople in Australia, the U.S., and the Middle East. He also plans to make the site as easy to navigate as possible and to put “business first.” If nothing else, sample SunZu for the philosophical hipness factor!
Biznik.com Believes in “Going It Alone. Together”: Biznik is an online community (organized by U.S. cities and regions) for independent business owners who would like to network with each other. Since this site’s sole focus is on business owners connecting with their peers, it claims to be an “MLM-free zone.” A link to their zero-tolerance policy is at the top of the home page. There’s absolutely no selling on this site.
The main reason you may not be familiar with Biznik is that it no longer offers free membership accounts. The Seattle-based founders have no desire to compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. If you’re a freelancer or independent business owner, I strongly recommend you visit their “Why Biznik” page – it’s quite compelling.
Here’s another reason to experiment with Biznik: I love that the first tagline used by founders Lara Feltin and Dan Mccomb was “Business Networking That Doesn’t Suck.” The entry-level membership costs $79 a year. Hmm, not bad at all…
Talkbiznow.com Wants You to Talk Business…Now!: The Talkbiznow community provides business networking and marketplace services to small business owners and professionals. The site offers many features meant to cajole you into using it as a one-stop home for services: webinar hosting, voice conferencing, advertising, blog management and curation, etc.
One really cool feature is their Webstore, which allows you to create an advertorial website that is search-engine friendly. I navigated all around the site but couldn’t find any membership pricing, so apparently, it may be gratis. The head honchos are co-founders Martin Warner and Mark Parker. (The site originates in the U.K.) I don’t actually know anyone currently using Talkbiznow.com, so proceed with caution.
Business-to-Business Social Networking Is an Online Revolving Door: Many online business communities have launched and then folded during the past several years. It must be hard work for these sites to grow and thrive, even though most of them claim to have no interest in competing with the current “reigning champs” of social media.
Comprehensive lists of new, trending B2B social platforms are as rare as my son’s unsolicited patience, but here are two that I found. The Wikipedia list itemizes all active social networking websites (not just B2B). The Sitepoint article (’20 Social Networking Sites for Business Professionals’) is almost a year old. This translates into at least 2 – 3 “brick and mortar” years, but you should still consider scrolling through the compiled list.
Which B2B social networking sites are you using that operate off the radar screen (and you’re just fine about it)? If you already tried any of the online business communities highlighted here, what was your experience? I know your time is precious, but comments are always appreciated!
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a no-obligation project quote today!