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Best Professional Social Networking Sites for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Updated on October 30, 2012

Best Online Social Networking Sites for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur (whether online or offline), it is absolutely crucial for you to have an online presence. It is through this presence that you make business contacts, promote your work and spread the reach of what you're doing beyond the confines of your own hometown. There are many methods of developing this online presence including using blog promotion, social media press releases and general marketing strategies. However, the most important method is to develop a strong network of connections through online social networking sites.

Because there are now so many different online networking sites out there, it can be hard to figure out which are the best ones specifically for promoting your entrepreneurial work. Here are some of the sites that you absolutely need to be active on - as well as a few that may or may not work for you depending on your business niche:

1. LinkedIn. This is a general professional social networking site which is important to be active on because of its sheer popularity. The diversity of the types of people on this site is its biggest benefit as well as its biggest drawback. Luckily, there are a lot of features to make up for the problems of having such a broad network including a job search feature, an easy-to-use interface and a professional working atmosphere.

2. Facebook. This one doesn't require a whole lot of explanation since everyone you know is probably already on it (including yourself) but it bears mentioning because you really do need to be on this site to be established in the online world.

3. Gather. Gather is an online social networking site similar to Facebook in that there may be tons of different people on it. The difference here is that Gather is better at allowing you to easily find contacts and information about the topics that interest you most. This can be great for people who want to network within specific interest areas.

4. Ryze Networking. This social networking site is specifically designed as a network intended to assist you in expanding your circle of business contacts. The motto on this site is that it can be used to "build your network before you need it" which pretty much sums up the mentality of the majority of people working here.

5. Direct Matches. This is a social networking site that goes one step further and combines features of a matchmaking site to bring together business professionals with similar interests and goals. It is a site which is favored by the entrepreneurial professional who specifically works in the Web 2.0 world.

6. Xing. This is another great social networking site although it tends to be more popular overseas than in the United States. It's great for entrepreneurs who want to network at an international level with a relatively intimate group of online people.

7. Ecademy. This is a great professional social networking site. Its interface looks a little bit like the dashboard of remote collaboration software programs so it's a bit more geared towards the professional who works frequently online. The site also offers special deals to business people such as discounts on business cards.

8. YorZ. This is an interesting site because it's primarily a job search site where people can typically find professional job opportunities that aren't being advertised on major classifieds sites. However, it's also a professional social networking site for those employees and employers who are using the site for job searches.

9. Ziggs. This site takes an interesting approach which is to encourage its users to consider the Ziggs page to be a one-stop marketing tool for their image. This is exactly what your online networking profiles ought to be so it's great that there's a site out there designed specifically with this intention in mind. The downside is that not a lot of people are using this site in comparison with some of the others so you may find that your networking abilities on the site are rather limited.

10. Networking for Professionals. This site merges both online and offline social networking to create a business atmosphere that makes sense in the modern world. It's good for meeting new professionals as well as maintaining contact with people you already know. Unlike the other sites on this list, you have to pay a membership fee to join this one. That's a drawback if you're just a minimal user but it's a good thing if you're serious about networking because you'll be meeting others who are also serious about it.

11. Care2. This is a green social networking site so it's not one that's specifically geared towards business. However, it's increasingly important for all entrepreneurs to be able to show some commitment to being green. Doing so while also building up a social network isn't a bad idea.

12. Cake Financial. This is a niche social networking site specifically for people who are involved in investing in the stock market. It's a great place to meet others if you're involved in the finance industry as well as if you're an entrepreneur who wants some great insider tips on investing your money.

13. Plaxo. One thing that you'll discover after doing a lot of social networking is that there are levels to the people in your network. For those people that you want to maintain the closest, most private contact with, this social networking site is the best bet. It makes use of multi-media tools to keep you updated on what's going on with your network. It's ideal for entrepreneurs who want to share information about their work in small doses, starting with the people that their closest to in the business world.

14. NetParty. Some people are interested in social networking that will actually allow them to meet people in person. This is an online site that takes social networking and turns it up a notch by organizing events and parties for the people in the network. It's best for people who live in or work in the major cities of the United States since that's where events are concentrated. It's specifically designed for young professionals so if you're seeking to meet young folks with a passion for professional pursuits as well as for partying, it's a good place.

Comments

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  • Careermommy profile image

    Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Wow, I didn't realize there were so many social networking sites to choose from. Thanks for an interesting and informative read, Kathryn.

  • sarahshuihan profile image

    Sarah 4 years ago from USA

    Great list! I have to vote this up and share it! I'll have to look into all of these and see which ones will help me the most :)

  • phildazz profile image

    Allan Philip 4 years ago from Toronto

    What a great hub, a wealth of information that makes me feel like I was asleep for a few years. Thanks!

  • profile image

    Shara Perkins 4 years ago

    Hi, You should also check www.youbusiness.us . It is a new business social network in which you are able to add companies, post jobs and business announcements.

  • Ruby H Rose profile image

    Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

    Wow, this is exciting, more places for me to research and learn about. Thank you so much for a wonderful hub!

  • profile image

    mayuri 4 years ago

    Hi2friends.com is a social friendly Insta Doc website for sharing Documents and presentation with friends everywhere. You have been on slideshare, seen youtube and had a feel of Facebook. Now have a look so as to create your own documents, graph stats and presentations go live worldwide on hi2friends. Imagine sharing your clips in the form of Document and presentation throughout the world to your friends and business associates instantly.

    Insta Doc is for sharing Documents and presentation in a unique approach on hi2friends. Well that’s Insta Doc for quick share.

    What’s more, you can create your own page, events and your own apps.

  • profile image

    mayuri888 4 years ago

    Hi2friends.com is my favorite social netowrking site like facebook and myspace.

  • profile image

    excels1us 4 years ago

    A good place to market your business is Facebook because they have a lot of users.

    business intelligence companies(http://www.instantaccessbi.com/)

  • profile image

    larrybeckham 4 years ago

    LinkedIn is a very good social media site for business owners.

    Organizational Consulting(http://greateryield.com/)

  • profile image

    anjal verma 4 years ago

    this is a very use full

  • profile image

    Jambo 4 years ago

    Facebook and twitter are useless

  • Shihab Mahmud profile image

    Shihab Mahmud 4 years ago from Dhaka

    Great hub.......!! Dis is Very good information

  • profile image

    PennySeeds 5 years ago

    I honestly don't care for Twitter, but it's been pretty good for business. Many people use it for that. I don't have a personal account, but it's great for networking.

  • Crizzy Becham profile image

    Crizzy Becham 5 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for posting this information it helps a lot and such an interesting hub.

  • dagny roth profile image

    dagny roth 5 years ago from Neverland

    Terrific Information! Thanks for this hub.

  • selfdefenselesson profile image

    selfdefenselesson 5 years ago

    Been using linked in to create a social network of like-minded people. I use facebook for personal friends etc.

  • Betty Reid profile image

    Betty Reid 5 years ago from Texas

    I have been using Facebook, and that seems to be helping. I had not idea there were so many other choices!

  • profile image

    mathew 5 years ago

    that's quality, should be on every tree!

  • askjanbrass profile image

    askjanbrass 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Great Hub, I will definitely look into a bunch of these sites

  • jagerfoods profile image

    jagerfoods 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

    With 4,503 followers (the last one being myself) I would say you've mastered social networking. Great blog.

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 5 years ago from United States

    Thanks for the great information,Interesting hub

  • codeiris profile image

    codeiris 5 years ago from Milky Way

    That is fantastic list. Surely check out the ones I didn't know. Thanks.

  • profile image

    funstars 5 years ago from India

    Great Info and I'm not aware of most of the sites you shared here thanks for it

  • greencap profile image

    greencap 5 years ago from Pakistan

    Great list. But only registering at a social networking site and then never getting back to it doesn't do any good.

    You have to work harder to grow your network.

  • leeroper profile image

    leeroper 5 years ago from UK

    Ecademy, I never enjoyed that site and it has been around for ages. Thanks for some more ideas and options in the world of online social networking.

  • The Jet profile image

    The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay

    Thank you for this resource.

  • ValveWrenches profile image

    ValveWrenches 6 years ago from Georgetown

    There is a lot of good information here. Thanks for the info.

  • Bilalnr profile image

    Bilalnr 6 years ago from Islamabad, Pakistan

    Excellent information Kathryn Vercillo!!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Trsmd profile image

    Trsmd 6 years ago from India

    I wonder how this page scored 100? because of the page created by the hubber with 100 as hubscore ?

  • profile image

    Moni 6 years ago

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Ill definitely be back.

    Business Cash Advance

  • AnkushKohli profile image

    AnkushKohli 6 years ago from India

    Nice hub but need to make corrections as some of the websites are closed like: yorz. Also few websites has changed their business model.

    Anyhow Linkedin, Facebook, Ryze, Xing are some of the still popular networks.

  • mecheshier profile image

    mecheshier 6 years ago

    A great hub. Thank you

  • osceolaflyer profile image

    osceolaflyer 6 years ago from Kissimmee, Fl

    One of the best things I have found for business networking is The MingleStick. You have to Check This out.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mingle-Stick-Electronic-Busine...

  • sunnymarie profile image

    sunnymarie 6 years ago

    Great hub! Thanks for sharing

  • profile image

    ayman irshaid 6 years ago

    in 2011, I beleive that AreebaAreeba would be the revolution in the business and professional social networking. It helps businesses and business professionals create groups, sales channels, uploading multimedia content and discuss a topic of interest to memebers. the site can be found at www.areebaareeba.com

  • profile image

    customreceiptbooks 6 years ago

    Great article, it's interesting to read past articles on social networking and see how things have changed in the months that have passed. Facebook seems unbeatable right now, but for how long?

  • profile image

    Petrus Hansen 6 years ago

    In October 2010, Australian entrepreneur Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin embarked on a bold business challenge: become the Smallest Multinational in the World. Follow Sebastien's whirlwind journey around the world as he attempts to prove that with the right entrepreneurial spirit, you don't need to be big to be big. Sebastien International tells the inspiring story of a unique business adventure.

    Watch his video and be inspired @ http://bit.ly/hWQbtu

  • suejanet profile image

    suejanet 6 years ago

    Thanks for this information. I personally, like facebook.

  • profile image

    HoldingComp 6 years ago

    HoldingComp.com

    Social Network for Entrepreneurs and Professionals for Middle East and North Africa,to link entrepreneurs and professionals in one location and to exchange news and economic knowledge , exchange ideas, learn, make deals, find opportunities or employees, work and make decisions in a network of trusted relationships and groups and develop research and turn it into commercial ventures.

  • lovetherain profile image

    lovetherain 6 years ago from Untited States

    I agree. social networking is crucial for business

  • profile image

    adair_francesca 6 years ago

    Great hub and great list. I might as well use this and try if it will work out. Thanks for sharing this.

  • video-marketing profile image

    video-marketing 6 years ago from Australia

    This is a good collection.

    Thanks

    Gideon Shalwick

  • profile image

    Davie 6 years ago

    I use http://twitter.com and http://voonee.com to advertise my sites

  • profile image

    KLeichester 6 years ago

    An interesting hub. Thanks for posting.

  • profile image

    smakram 6 years ago

    great list, very useful as it can be difficult to gather all this info on your own without guidance

  • chinemeremz profile image

    chinemeremz 6 years ago

    Thanks kat, your list is wonderful and tight. But I wonder why ning a platform where ordinary users can used advanced tools and today's technology to create their own personalised and customised social network for free or pay a little more for upgrade. Thanks for your info, got it bookmarked, and 'll stumble it as well

  • jesus72knight profile image

    jesus72knight 6 years ago from Albany, New York

    For good income opportunities that really really work. Visit us here at: http://platinumresellrights.com/

  • jesus72knight profile image

    jesus72knight 6 years ago from Albany, New York

    Very comprehensive hub. Keep it up.

  • profile image

    viv 6 years ago

    This is great info thanks

  • profile image

    Fanticore 6 years ago

    I guess MySpace is losing its popularity worldwide. They should make an awe interactive feauture to get up.

  • blackhatworld profile image

    blackhatworld 6 years ago from Belize

    I never knew! Thanks for sharing all your Web 2.0 social networking properties. I voted you up and I think your AWESOME...thanks for the info. I am already following you.

    Frank

  • profile image

    Good Business Ideas 6 years ago

    For me it has to be twitter, I have tried to get into facebook and I know I should byut twitter is the only thing that does not feel like work and that has to be a good thing.

    Rob

    http://www.egoodbusinessideas.org/business-ideas-f...

    http://www.egoodbusinessideas.org/business-ideas-f...

  • MakeMoneyGoal profile image

    James Flynn 6 years ago from Edinburgh

    Hi Kathryn, as ever a very good hub that we can all learn from. The issue of what sites to get involved in takes a bit if trial and error as what works for you on one might not work in another.

    You also have to factor in the levels of spam and rubbish there as your message is easily lost in the garbage.

    Great hub, keep it up. James

  • profile image

    Cindy Bertossa-Weger 6 years ago

    Great list - thanks!

    Have you checked out Aaachoo! yet? It's brand new. I'd be interested to hear your (or anyone's) take on it.

    http://tinyurl.com/3xxvzqs

  • FindYourSearch profile image

    FindYourSearch 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Very nice list, thank you! I have a few new places to check out, now. :)

  • kandrawe profile image

    kandrawe 6 years ago from Tropical Country

    awesome hub, dude.. thankya!

  • profile image

    iluvceleb 6 years ago

    This is a great lists. I have to agree that facebook is a good place to interact with friends and people. Care2 is also great because of ec-friendly tips and features. Thanks for sharing

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

    This is good advise, you've mentioned a few inmportant points, again using all of these will give your work online presense, but as some have pointed out adding value and being active is also teh key to getting bang for bucks on this one.

  • rizwan_isria profile image

    rizwan_isria 6 years ago from India

    useful hub i had joined in many site.

  • C.Mann profile image

    C.Mann 6 years ago from Kansas/Michigan

    Awesome. You confirmed a couple hot spots for me. BUT, more importantly, you exposed my ignorance!(glad you wrote this 2 years ago seeing as that it took me that long to get to it)

    Much appreciated.

  • viking305 profile image

    L M Reid 6 years ago from Ireland

    Very informative hub on the social networking aspect of this writing business. I am delighted with the list of sites and the explanation of each. You have saved me a lot of time in research. I need more traffic to my hubs and this is the next step. So thanks for making it easier for me.

  • Lamme profile image

    Lamme 6 years ago

    Thanks for the information. Very good hub.

  • Neil Ashworth profile image

    George Poe 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Great hub!!! Love it..

  • Neil Ashworth profile image

    George Poe 7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Great hub!!! Love it..

  • profile image

    Sathesh 7 years ago

    Very useful information. Thanks Hub!

  • starts business profile image

    starts business 7 years ago from makati city

    Thank you for sharing those social networking site. This is helpful for the people who has a business most specially for those who are engage on online business.With this site we can make connection and publish our websites and products.

  • PWismon profile image

    PWismon 7 years ago from New Jersey

    Very useful list I didn't know yet. Thanks for sharing

  • Alycia Franklin profile image

    Alycia Franklin 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing great resources. Will you please provide us links of these sites? Thanks.

  • profile image

    Frank Crandell 7 years ago

    Nice list of must-do sites to create a profile on. I would also include YouTube in that list. It is the second largest search engine in the US. We've had clients use their channels for screencasts or even quick how to videos. It can be a very effective marketing tool.

  • profile image

    Social Networking Software 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this list of social networking sites with us. I think you have provided us with great advice, but if I may, I suggest starting off with only one or two social networks, become comfortable with them, and then continue joining more networks. It is also important to target your specific client base. Don't go so broad that your not really making an impact, but reach people who matter. Thats my two cents at least.

  • Greenheart profile image

    Greenheart 7 years ago from Cambridge

    Thanks for your hub.

    There are so many social networking sites.

    A lot to chew on.

    Kathryn,do you have a favourite?.

    Is it hub pages for you?.

    I use Face-Book a lot but do like what i see in hub pages.

    Happy new year!

    Gavin

  • profile image

    William 7 years ago

    I think a site worth mentioning is Profession Junction (http://www.professionjunction.com). It's a portal for businesses and professionals.

  • jbgnet profile image

    jbgnet 7 years ago

    Excellent information. I use many of these site myself to promote my business. I really like what a social networking site can do not only for your business but for your reputation. Check out: https://hubpages.com/business/Advertising-Your-Bus...

    And:

    https://hubpages.com/business/Using-Myspace-To-Adv...

  • profile image

    hendus74 7 years ago

    Nice hub, I am going to check out Ziggs, and a few others.

    Thanks for the info :)

  • mailxpress profile image

    Michelle Cesare 7 years ago from New York

    Hi,

    You have done your homework. There are many social networks you list here which I have never heard of. I will check out a few of them. Thanks for the list.

    mailxpress

  • binvegas profile image

    binvegas 7 years ago from Las Vegas

    Very nice article bookmarked it. I use facebook and will look into a couple of others you suggested. Peace!!!

  • profile image

    statistics help 7 years ago

    Very very good list of social networking sites. Probably the best so far i have seen on the internet.

    Thank you so much

  • Delaney Boling profile image

    Delaney Boling 7 years ago

    Good hub but you forgot one major social networking site - twine.com

  • IslandVoice profile image

    Sylvia Van Velzer 7 years ago from Hawaii

    Very informative. I'm only familiar with a couple and use them. Thanks!

  • Jeremie Saya profile image

    Jeremie Saya 7 years ago

    Hey Kathyrn, you've actually shown me different aspects of social networking. These social networks are advancing by the minute. And that www.aroundtheway.com website is really cool. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  • CamiloATW profile image

    CamiloATW 7 years ago

    Sounds good...and in regards to RTaveras's blog thank you for the info. www.aroundtheway.com is really cool

  • RTaveras profile image

    RTaveras 7 years ago from New York

    Good List i also found a new social site that you might be able to add to your list check out my blog..I found that you have an option to make and individual and business profiles. http://bit.ly/E5XTT

  • profile image

    tom watkins 7 years ago

    Save 20 to 44% on your home energy bills. Energy Pirates supports a virtual home energy audit. Using our step by step instruction audit and videos you’re able to control your energy efficiency.

  • trouble4u2avoid profile image

    trouble4u2avoid 8 years ago from Orlando

    Nice list of social networking sites. What's your favorite?

  • profile image

    whereeveryonewins 8 years ago from Northern Ireland UK

    Hi,

    Thanks for the tips Kathryn, however i would also add in squidoo lens.

    ty

  • myhappylaptop profile image

    myhappylaptop 8 years ago from Louisville Kentucky

    thanks you just gave me some new places to go check out, and some I probably won't since you were very direct in how they let us socialize. TY bunches, new fan!

  • compu-smart profile image

    compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

    Good tips Kathryn and comments above from yomraholmes;) I wish i had more time to socailise offline and online for social and business reasons but i am making lots of notes for when i do;)

    ty:)

  • yomraholmes profile image

    yomraholmes 8 years ago from San Francisco

    I think its most important to pick out 2-3 social networks that you have identified as the biggest opportunities, and then be the most active on those social networks. In my experience, just JOINING a social network won't bring much value, but being Active, and being a VALUE ADD to that social network can bring your site traffic.

    For example, with my site www.WineToTheFace.com , we have identified Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Yelp, and OpenWineConsortium as the biggest opportunities for new users and repeat traffic, so LinkedIn, MySpace, and the 100,000+ other social networks that one can find on Ning.com are currently an after thought.

  • melody604 profile image

    melody604 8 years ago from Murrells Inlet

    Very informative! A little something for everyone!

  • John Chancellor profile image

    John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee

    You might add twitter.com to the list also. It seems to be on the up swing.

  • Trsmd profile image

    Trsmd 8 years ago from India

    very good effective page...

  • Shaur online profile image

    Shaur online 8 years ago from Kansas City, Ks

    great hub. Thanks for writing it.

  • fishskinfreak2008 profile image

    fishskinfreak2008 8 years ago from Fremont CA

    This information is very useful as I thought that people only used social networks were only used for fun before you posted this hub. Thanks

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