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13 Ways to Network Beyond Facebook and LinkedIn

John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing)

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Building branded profiles, engaging prospects and connecting with potential employees and strategic partners are all powerful ways to tap into Facebook and  LinkedIn.

But, for the typical small business, there may actually be some equally important social networks you may not be so familiar with. The big networks get all the press, but small networks, say for instance, like the connectodex found here at OpenForum may prove tremendously valuable for small business folks due to the small size and targeted focus of the membership.

The list below represents some of the more active networks I’ve encountered when it come to small business social networking.

Visit a handful of these sites and choose several that feel right for your business. Once you build a profile, taking full advantage of the opportunity to link to your primary business offer full descriptions of your products and services, spend enough time to go a bit deeper.

Write or republish some articles or blog content, search and identify a dozen or so people to connect with, and give some advice, point to someone’s great content or answer questions from other members.

Don’t try to jump into every new network you can find, but do jump into a few outside of Facebook and LinkedIn and make yourself a bit of a larger fish in these smaller ponds.

In addition to OpenForum check these networks out:

  • Biznik – this network for small business folks is blending online and offline by allowing members to collect by city and host and promote local events
  • StartUpNation – a wealth of information focused on startups and very active community
  • Wall St Journal – community build around subscribers  and geared, as one might suspect to professionals and financial folks
  • Small Business Brief – heavy dose of search engine related content but very active small business focus
  • Inc magazine – another popular business related magazine with community of entrepreneurs
  • StartUp Biz – very fast growing network with lots of tools to promote yourself
  • PartnerUp – small business focus and big on helping people find answers and connections for the things they need
  • BizSugar – allows you to submit, share and vote for the best business information links on the Internet.. Great place to promote and discover your small business content
  • CoFoundr – Programmers and designers use the site to find co-founders, build teams, and get advice.
  • Business Week Exchange – Site from Business Week magazine is a great place to promote and find content on the web, tends to be a bit larger business focused
  • Naymz – one of the better sites for those focused on building personal brands – highly indexed in the search engines

Image credit: andresmh

John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing.