LinkedIn may be the king of networking-focused social networking sites, but it isn’t the only option out there. While smaller sites might get overlooked, there are more focused options that are popular in other countries, among specific industries, and more.
Whether you’re looking for regional groups, international groups, or communities for your specific industry, don’t worry–you can go beyond LinkedIn for social networking sites for business professionals.
The Best Social Networking Sites for Business Professionals Besides LinkedIn
If you’re looking for a social networking site that isn’t LinkedIn, try one of these choices.
If you’ve never heard of Xing, don’t be surprised. It’s one of the most popular business-focused social networking sites in Europe, but primarily serves the German market. Until 2012, Xing catered to the global market. It has since shifted direction to primarily serve German-speaking audiences, but if you’re looking for a way to reach German companies, there is no better option.
Xing offers multiple subscription tiers. The most basic level is free, while the next three iterations cost increasing amounts of money. The two most relevant are Xing Premium and Xing ProJobs. Xing Premium allows you to see who has viewed your profile, track the engagement your profile receives, and more.
Xing ProJobs has all of the benefits of Xing Premium but also includes features that make it easier to land a job.
Opportunity calls itself a professional matchmaking site. Like other networking sites, Opportunity offers both a free option and a paid version called MyOpportunity PRO for $29 per month. Opportunity comes with some interesting features like the ability to have your messages proofread before you send them off, automatic follow up messages, and more.
What sets Opportunity apart from similar services is that it’s a targeted matching service that connects freelancers and job seekers with those looking to hire. There are specific profiles for both freelancers and hiring managers. Fill out your profile with your previous work experience and jobs practically fall in your lap.
Surprised? Facebook Groups are a great way to connect with others in your field. There are groups for every topic and industry imaginable. For example, there’s a group for FinTech Professionals and another for SEO Professionals. Most groups are welcoming, and you can join as many as you want.
If you aren’t sure which group to join, just search on Facebook for the topic you’re interested in.
Slack is known for its instant-messaging capabilities and is already widely used internally among companies, but you don’t have to be part of a team to use Slack. In fact, there are a lot of dedicated communities that can help you connect with others in your field and make connections.
Just find an open Slack community to join and you can make connections with people from all over the world. There are many ways to do this, including visiting the Slack subreddit, searching a Slack database, and more.
Nexxt combines a job seeking platform with an education platform. You can find a huge amount of information articles on a variety of topics, as well as connect with people looking for the right candidates.
For job listings, all you have to do is enter the job or specific keywords you’re looking for, as well as your location. If you want to find relevant articles, just enter the keywords you’re interested in. It also provides a huge list of links you can follow to find additional resources.
Think of Shapr like the Tinder of business networking. It matches you with individuals that share mutual interests and goals. Shapr is both a web and a phone app. When a potential match appears, just swipe left or right. You can choose whether to meet in-person for drinks, over lunch, or just to set up a phone meeting.
Shapr only suggests 15 people per day, so you have time to evaluate potential matches. Take the time to decide if their expertise, connections, and other strengths make them worth networking with.
How many times have you attended a trade show and met tons of people, only to lose half their business cards on the flight home? 100AM is a website and app designed for networking with individuals at trade shows. You can see who else is attending the show, set up appointments, and chat one on one with guests.
After the event, you can add contacts to your phone’s contact list and you will receive updates if their contact info changes. It’s an easy way to simplify in-person networking.
Networking For Professionals
Networking For Professionals is a smaller, targeted community of entrepreneurs. While the reach of the community isn’t as large as others, the smaller size and required subscription cuts down on the amount of spam messages you might receive.
The site is limited to three areas: New York, Arizona, and New Jersey. If you aren’t in one of these areas, this website won’t be of much use–but if you do live in one of these three states, you’ll be able to network with other driven, goal-focused people in your area.
LinkedIn is a great site to be on, but you aren’t limited to it. There are a lot of other networking sites that can fill the void, and it’s a lot easier to be noticed on a smaller site versus one with hundreds of millions of users. Check out one of these different options and see how you like it.