Many of us actively use sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote businesses. And those of us who want to connect with more business-related contacts may turn to sites like LinkedIn to develop relationships with people we have worked with or may want to work with. But not every site is oriented toward the business world and its needs.
There are a growing number of social networking sites specifically focused on business users and meeting their needs. Here is a list of 36 additional leading social networking sites for business professionals and entrepreneurs including startups that are worth a look. This list is current as of October 2011, and will likely remain very fluid in the future.
1) Affluence.org- Affluence.org is a private social network where wealthy individuals connect, share information and engage in meaningful conversations. Affluence.org also provides exclusive, high quality content and advice from experts on subjects such as art, technology and travel. Membership in Affluence.org reportedly requires a net worth of $1 million (US) or annual household income of $200,000.
2) Biznik- A community of entrepreneurs and small businesses dedicated to helping each other succeed. It is the local, independent entrepreneurial community where collaboration beats competition.
3) Black Businesswomen Online- A social network for African American Women in Business, Entrepreneurs and Bloggers.
4) Black Business Space- Black Business Space is a community of business owners and entrepreneurs. It uses the tagline “Where Networking and Money Meet”.
5) Blogher- Blogher calls itself “A Life Well Said”. It is a community of women bloggers in many areas.
6) Blogster- Blogster is a blogging community that features specific-interest blogs. Blogster members can network and collaborate by creating a blog, commenting on articles and interacting in a diverse online community.
7) Cofoundr- Another fast growing online network for entrepreneurs. It is a private
community of startup founders such as developers, investors, CEOs, advisors, and
programmers. They are looking to find co-founders, build teams, and get advice.
8) Data.com- This site was formerly Jigsaw.com and is now owned by Salesforce.com. The individual option offers an online business card networking directory updated by its more than 2 million members who can easily establish contacts with each other.
9) EFactor- An online community and virtual marketplace designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. It is the world’s largest network of entrepreneurs, including over 25,000 vetted investors.
10) Ecademy- A business network for creating contacts and sharing knowledge. It offers online networking for business, offline networking events and global networking groups. It has been around since 1998. Chairman Thomas Power is the ultimate networker, with 23,000+ LinkedIn connections and 741 LinkedIn recommendations.
11) Entrepreneur Connect- This community was created by Entrepreneur.com
as a site where professionals can network, communicate, and collaborate with
others. This site is not intended for mass self-promotion, but is a positive destination where entrepreneurs can exchange real advice and make lasting connections.
12) FledgeWing- FledgeWing is an online community aimed at entrepreneurial university students launched in February 2009. It provides aspiring student entrepreneurs with the social media connections they need to develop build and launch new companies.
13) Focus- A community focused on helping business decision makers and IT professionals make decisions and share expertise in functional areas of business. The community has numerous categories such as small business, HR, Finance, Sales and Marketing.
14) Go Big Network- This site helps connect companies with investors. Over 300,000 startups have used this community to find funding.
15) Google+- Google’s entry into social networking is called real life sharing, rethought for the web. There are many important people in the technology world who have joined in, sharing their expertise and opinions.
16) Gust – Gust is the site for Professional Investor Relations, from Pitch to Exit. Gust provides the infrastructure for identifying opportunities and managing the investment relationship.
17) Home Based Business Network - This site is an online community and resources for starting a home based business, featuring home business profiles, blogs, forums, videos, ideas, and more.
18) JASEZone- A professional community where you can find potential clients and business partners.
19) Meetup- Helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities around the world. It can be used for professional interests, not just personal interests.
20) Networking for Professionals- A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events in US Cities.
21) PartnerUp- This is an online networking community that entrepreneurs and small business owners use to find the expertise and resources they need to start and grow a business. Members can connect with potential partners, advisers, and business resources such as commercial real estate.
22) PerfectBusiness- A network of entrepreneurs, investors and business experts that encourages entrepreneurship and mutual success. It provides everything you need to launch and grow a business, including educational videos, articles, events, business plan
software and direct access to experts and investors.
23) PROSkore- PROskore scores and ranks business professionals based on influence and experience using professional history, popularity in social media and peer validation PROskore then uses these scores to help members discover new business opportunities with other members across their network. PROskore currently has over 100,000 members worldwide.
24) Ryze- A business networking community that allows users to organize themselves by interests, location, and current and past employers. It is particularly oriented to new entrepreneurs.
25) SiliconIndia- SiliconIndia is the largest professional network in India. It has over
2 Million members, and more than 50,000 new members are reportedly added every
26) StartupNation- This site provides real-world business advice to people who want to start a business and who want to grow their small businesses. It is a free service founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.
27) Talkbiznow- Based in the UK, this is a comprehensive interactive business networking site for business professionals.
28) The Funded- Entrepreneurs canresearch, rate, and review venture capital sources worldwide here. It is an online community of over 16,500 CEOs, Founders and entrepreneurs.
29) Upspring- You can connect, share, and learn about the professionals and businesses in your community here.
30) Unstucture.org- This is an open discussion platform for business professionals, bloggers and contemporary thought leaders to discuss and debate action ideas that would aid the evolution of business. It also has an annual physical event and has published a book of insight and action ideas for businesses of the future.
31) Ushi.cn- Ushi is the premier business networking site in China. It includes 50,000 CEO- and CTO-level executives and boasts representatives from more than 85% of China’s venture capital and private equity firms.
32) XING- A European business network with more than 11 million members.
33) Yelp- A local business review and talk networking site, including user reviews and recommendations.
34) Young Entrepreneur- A site for entrepreneurs and small business owners who
are passionate about promoting business for themselves and others to network. It was founded in 1999.
35) YouNoodle- This site is a place to discover and support the hottest early-stage companies and university innovation. The members passionately support the start-up ecosystem.
36) Ziggs- A professional connection portal founded on the principles of professionalism and respect. It claims to be your one-stop source for building your online brand, marketing yourself on the web and simplifying communications with people.
Bear in mind the Leading Social Networking Sites for Business Professionals and
Entrepreneurs You May Not Know may be here today and out of business, acquired,
or working under a new business model tomorrow.
Can you think of any other great social networking sites for business professionals and startups that you use? How have they worked out for you? I’d like to hear about them.