10 Networking Alternatives to LinkedIn for Marketers

social media management staffing networking

Did you know that 60-80% of new jobs are found or facilitated through personal relationships?  That trend exemplifies why it’s important for professionals of all kinds to cast a wide net and network as much as possible. And in a discipline where turnover is naturally high for a variety of reasons and career opportunities can come and go in an instant, it’s particularly important for marketers.

Of course, there are plenty of networking opportunities online through sites like Quora and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But when it comes to networking professionally online, the go-to site in nearly every industry is LinkedIn.

Since its launch in 2002, LinkedIn has become the world’s largest online professional networking site, hosting over 380 million members in over 200 countries and territories. But while LinkedIn has proven to be an incredible asset for anyone in today’s workforce looking to make professional connections or find employment, it’s not perfect and doesn’t offer everything that an enterprising career marketer could want on their own.

What can you do to adapt to LinkedIn’s limitations? By diversifying your online professional networks you can make critical new connections in unique ways and improve your odds of encountering and getting the marketing jobs of your dreams.

You don’t have to be a social media staffing expert to grow your professional network. Try some of these tools and online meeting places for professionals!

1. LunchMeet

Mobile app LunchMeet was influenced by the popular book “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time.” It enables you to easily schedule informal lunch meetings with marketers and other professionals in your area.

LunchMeet connects with your LinkedIn account so that you can easily schedule impromptu lunch meetings with your contacts in order to create meaningful face-to relationships.You can also search for other local professionals you don’t personally know who have available time slots for a lunch meeting. The app then uses your current location to suggest local restaurants on a map where you can meet.

2. Shocase

social media staffing shocase

Billed as “the exclusive gathering place for the brightest minds in marketing,” Shocase is a gathering place for marketers of all fields to share their work, discuss trends, and post job opportunities–from innovative social media staffing positions to high-level CMO executives searches.

Part social network, part job board, and part portfolio, you’ll find all the basics of marketing career building here, all packaged in a colorful and dynamic UI. You can join Shocase at no cost; premium memberships are currently available by invitation.

3. Beyond.com

Since 1998, Beyond.com has connected more than 45 million professionals with a wide range of companies involved in the technology, healthcare, business, and marketing industries. Overall, its expansive network includes over 500 organized talent communities. Job searchers can locate open positions by industry and location to help narrow down the search. The site also provides industry information on salaries, and trends and advice from more than 1,400 sources.

You can also use Beyond.com to build professional connections, showcase your portfolio, and host your resume. Basic membership is free, but a premium membership allows you to access full company profiles, become a featured applicant, and view more than 200,000 job listings on Twitter.

4. Online Portfolio Sites

 social media marketing staffing portfolio

We’ve talked in the past about the best online portfolio sites for marketers. These are particularly valuable to individuals working in creative staffing and similar roles, but nearly any marketer can find a use for them.

In addition to hosting samples of your work, most of these sites also offer easy ways to connect with professionals with similar backgrounds and interests. Additionally, companies often make accounts to browse through individuals with the skillsets they’re looking for. Most digital portfolio sites offer a functional free version and a paid alternative with additional features if you want them.

5. Jobcase

Although Jobcase has been powered by more than 100 job sites since 2009, it didn’t enter the social media networking scene until 2015 as a way to ask questions or join groups relevant to your industry. The site allows you to create a comprehensive profile that describes not only your education and experience, but also your preferred salary, work conditions, personal traits, and whether or not you’d be willing to relocate.

Because Jobcase pulls information from over 100 existing job-listing websites like Indeed and CareerBuilder, you have faster access to a greater number employers and connections then you typically would on LinkedIn.

You can sign up for Jobcase for free or simply login using your Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn account.

6. EFactor

Founded in 2008, EFactor has become the “world’s largest entrepreneurial community” where members have access to both online and offline access to the people, tools, and resources to make meaningful connections. Through social networking and in-person events, members can connect with potential partners and clients. EFactor provides information that can help entrepreneurial marketers reduce business costs, learn how to pitch their ideas, and create business plans. With more than a million members across 240 industries you shouldn’t have any problems meeting the right connection for your big new idea.

EFactor membership is free, and you can sign up with your Facebook or LinkedIn account.

7. BranchOut

If you’re active on Facebook, then you might have encountered BranchOut before.  It’s one of the most popular apps for professional networking on the world’s largest social network. While it resembles LinkedIn in some ways, recruiting and job hunting is achieved through Facebook connections, which often means fewer awkward introductions and the ability to easily tap into almost any company.

An introduction to the power of BranchOut

video from BranchOut

8. LocalsNetworking

LocalsNetworking provides a platform for members to build their own referral network in their home community. As a member, you can select the local businesses or individuals that you want to network with, schedule meetings, or just communicate with other marketers and  business professionals. For example, if you’re a marketing contractor, you could use the site to build relationships with professionals relevant to your field. You can even create or join groups that are either location- or industry-based.

You can sign up for LocalsNetworking for free and there are no membership fees or attendance policies.

9. Data.com Connect

Data.com Connect is run by the cloud computing giant Salesforce. Unlike almost every other networking site, it provides both the phone number and email address of companies listed in its business directory. It even goes a step further and provides up-to-date contact information for individuals in any company and within any department, from entry-level staff to C-suite executives. If your networking strategy involves making direct, personal contact with the movers and shakers at specifically targeted companies, this might be the tool you need.

You can also search the directory by individual, company, or industry so you can start connecting with the professionals in your specific industry or location. It’s possible to join for free, but you’ll be limited to giving one contact in exchange for getting one. For more contacts, pricing begins at $250 per year.

Watch how the crowd contact sharing system works:

video from Salesforce Data.com

10. Xing

Founded in 2003, Xing is a popular European competitor to LinkedIn where you can find jobs, partners, advice, or list an opening in your business. Xing boasts that it’s the largest business network in German-speaking countries and is used by professionals in over 200 countries.

Basic membership is free but some features like searching for people with specific qualifications, business book summaries, and travel discounts can only be accessed by those with a premium membership. Other features included in the platform are a directory of professional profiles, discussion forums, and event coordination. While Xing may not overtake LinkedIn, especially in the US, it’s a great option if you work overseas or would like to move your career internationally.

Article source: Search Engine Journal

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