December 2nd, 2009
As an entrepreneur, you’re probably committed to trying to be in multiple places at once, making connections, shaking hands, attending conferences, holding meetings and networking like crazy. But with the help of certain social websites, you can extend your influence and your network with less effort. Here are 100 of the best social sites for learning, recruiting, financing and more.
General Social Networking
This list of social sites includes favorites like LinkedIn and Biznik, great tools for setting up your profile and meeting new people.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one of the most popular networks for those who want to forge professional relationships.
- Xing: Xing is a great way to network while organizing your contacts online, sort of like a virtual Rolodex.
- Plaxo: Use Plaxo to find out what your friends and contacts are talking about across the web.
- Ryze: This business networking site lets you search classifieds, post events and meet friends.
- Naymz: Naymz is all about network building and finding other professionals you can work with in the future.
- Biznik: Business professionals in cities like Vancouver, San Francisco and Austin network on and off this site.
- Fast Pitch: This global network encourages professionals to chat and market their companies.
- Ecademy: Use Ecademy to build up your network and share updates from your business.
- Networking for Professionals: You’ll get online and real-life business networking here.
- Ziggs: You’ll enjoy all-inclusive business networking here, including job search, groups, people search, branding help and more.
- APSense.com: This site will set you up with a blog and actually pay you to promote your business.
- Tribe: Anyone can use Tribe, but as an entrepreneur, it’s a good site to expand your influence and find out what people are saying about your industry.
- loopthing: Meet new professional contacts while promoting your brand through loopthing.
- Weebiz: You can manage contacts and stay up-to-date on industry news and reports with Weebiz.
- LoopDesk: For a very low price each month, you can promote your business, find business contacts around the world, access private messaging, and get help with projects.
- Adviatech: Upload images or a portfolio and get to work building your network on Adviatech.
- Viadeo: Viadeo is a good place to search for contacts you’ve had past relationships with, in school or from past events.
- Wapr: Connect with other entrepreneurs and companies while using business applications and analytics tools, too.
- upspring: Promote your business to customers for free with the help of upspring.
- Blogster: Create a blog with Blogster, which is also a vibrant networking site.
- Nethooks: This beta site allows you to set up multiple profiles and post work samples.
- Bebo: Share videos, invite friends to become fans of your work or business, and search for other members to add to your network.
These social sites will help you make connections in real life, too.
- Meetup: Meetup isn’t strictly for business professionals, but it can help you find other like-minded individuals and groups in your area for real-life meetings.
- Eventbrite: If you have an event you want to promote, you can use this network to get the word out.
- MEETin.org: Find your city — Boise, DC, LA, Houston, St. Louis, and others — to find groups and club meetings.
- Netparty: This is networking for young professionals via real-life happy hours. Attend one to recruit staff or get in the loop.
- MixerMixer: Create mixers and let this site help you promote them.
Entrepreneurship and Startup
Find investors, business opportunities, business tools, and other entrepreneurs by following these sites.
- PartnerUp: You’ll find all sorts of resources for locating property, finding contacts, and getting answers to your business questions.
- Startup Nation: Ask questions, find business guides and discover opportunities to get your business off the ground.
- FranchiseGator: This is an online network designed to direct entrepreneurs and small business owners to franchise opportunities.
- Go Big Network: You can search angel investors through this network.
- CommunityLend: If you need to borrow money to start up your company, try using this site.
- cofoundr: Entrepreneurs in all fields from all over the world get together on this site to share information and find investors.
- Entrepreneur Connect: Entrepreneur.com’s networking site also features tools and resources for small business owners.
- cmypitch: UK entrepreneurs head to this site to find investors.
- The Funded: This social site features advice and articles, investment tips and more.
- Springstage: Use this community if you want to find catalysts in your city for new startups and business promotion opportunities.
- Fund Findr: This "venture dating" site lets you post a profile and upload pitches.
- Perfect Business: Get tools, articles, business plan help, training courses and more from Perfect Business, which also promotes networking among entrepreneurs.
- Focus: Focus promotes networking among entrepreneurs while supplying them with articles and research tools, too.
- Vator.tv: This site hopes to be "the voice of the entrepreneur" and offers them space to market their businesses and keep customers in the loop.
- FledgeWing: College students who want help developing their ideas can find assistance here.
- MeettheBoss: Managers and business owners connect for networking and communication here.
- Young and Successful: Young entrepreneurs will find all kinds of career tips here.
- Covestor: Learn about investing and find people who can help you raise money here.
You’ll find business news, tips for entrepreneurs and plenty of discussion and collaboration from sites like E.Factor, Technorati and others.
- YoungEntrepreneur.com: This is a smaller network with just over 57,000 members, but it’s a good place to find threads about entrepreneurship.
- E.Factor: Here you can chat with other entrepreneurs about building your business as you look for jobs, post jobs, and watch videos about entrepreneurship.
- Technorati: Bloggers connect, share posts, talk about news of the day and share their expertise here.
- Monster Communities: On the popular job site Monster, you can comment on threads relating to business, the economy, the job search and more.
- Hiztoria: Review and recommend websites to build up your reputation and point members to your sites too.
- Digg: On Digg, you can read and rate stories while networking with others with similar interests and goals.
- Tip’d: Finance professionals share and discuss news stories on this site.
- StumbleUpon: Rate and submit web pages to get more hits.
- Killer Startups: This is a social bookmarking site for business and entrepreneurial news stories.
- Small Business Brief: Get small business news from this social bookmarking site.
- InboundMarketing: Get internet marketing tips and business networking here.
- Sphinn: Sphinn is another internet marketing site with forums, social bookmarking and more.
- Hookk: Hook is a great business and market research tool that lets you tune into real-time reactions to the news.
- Small Business Forum: Reply to threads to share your expertise and learn entrepreneurial skills.
Branding and Customer Relationships
On these social sites, you can monitor your brand, reach out to customers, tune into the needs of your customer base, and more.
- Twitter: Set up a Twitter feed to join your customers’ conversation and relate on a more direct level.
- Facebook: You can also set up a Facebook page to recruit "fans" and loyal customers who follow your brand online.
- Flickr: Manage photos of your team, your events, your products and your office to let customers get an inside peek into your business.
- Mouthshut: Mouthshut is a product reviewing site that can clue you into what people are loving or hating right now.
- Monitter: Use this tool to monitor keywords about your business and industry.
- Slide: Create slideshows of your work and upload them here to create a following.
- MySpace: Like Facebook, MySpace allows you to set up a page to attract and inform customers about your company.
- quarterlife: Artistic-minded entrepreneurs can post their work, promote events and network with others on this site.
- YouTube: Create viral videos to drive traffic to your website and create buzz about your company.
- Etsy: Entrepreneurs who make their own goods can promote their work and reach customers through Etsy.
- Wize: Check Wize to find product reviews and keep up with what people are saying about you and your competitors.
- iliketotallyloveit.com: If you have a product that’s a little out there, you might want to promote it on this site.
- WikiHow: Create a wiki as a service to others and promote your brand.
Jobs and Classifieds
Look for opportunities for yourself and your business or search for recruits and new hires to build your company.
- Jigsaw: Jigsaw is part business organizer and part business classifieds, to help you find and recruit salespeople and team members.
- Zumeo: College students and young people wanting job experience, business networking and access to self-promotion tools will like this site.
- Simply Hired: You can look for jobs or employees in all sectors of business here.
- Beyond.com: Find niche careers in business here.
- ZoomInfo: ZoomInfo is a search engine for people and companies, great for business research.
- RealContacts: Tap your contacts for jobs or new hires using RealContacts.
- Manta: Look up small and big business’ company profiles and information through Manta.
- InCompany: List yourself in this business directory, then use it to forge connections, join groups, buy and sell products, and more.
- Shwbiz.com: If you’re in the entertainment industry, head to this network for major contacts building.
- Sologig: Recruit contractors and freelancers from this site.
- Small Business Classifieds: Categories here include franchises, work-at-home, business financing and business opportunities.
- Craigslist: With Craigslist, you can recruit staff, sell products and more.
Use these sites for real-time collaboration, file sharing and networking across all platforms and borders.
- Google Groups: Set up a Google Group with business planners, investors or other team members for a free spot to collaborate.
- Talkbiznow: This is a simple site that features collaboration, advertising space, and a place to learn bout your industry.
- Sprouter: Entrepreneurs from around the world connect and network on Sprouter.
- Ning: Ning provides customizable space for anyone who wants to collaborate online.
- FriendFeed: With FriendFeed, you can share websites and discussion with friends and associates in real-time.
- DreamStake: Creative entrepreneurs get together via this website to find team members, inspiration, tips and more.
- Mediabistro: Mediabistro is a network for those in the media industry. Becoming a member can get you lots of great connections to PR and journalism contacts.
- 43 Things: Share your goals on this popular site and find others who can hold you accountable.
- Box.net: This is an excellent social site for when you need to quickly send files and information to remote workers and in-house colleagues.
- SocialGO: Like Ning, SocialGO lets you create your own social networking community.
- Stickam: Use this site when you want group chat support.
- Yelp: Find businesses and professionals for cross-promotional projects here.
These social skills will introduce you to partners all over the world and help you learn new skills.
- italki: This social network can help you learn a foreign language, especially useful if you want to take your business global.
- Care2: Care2 is a good resource for those who want to keep up with the latest products and trends in green living.
- Internations: If you live and work abroad, you can find other ex-pats with your vision and experience here.
- Qapacity: Let Qapacity work with your social networking presence when creating your website.