One thing I've started to notice is that some of these sites are great for business social networking with your current business network by trying to enhance your current relationships, and determine yourbusiness network's sphere of influence. Others are designed more for lead generation through business social networking with unknown contacts. Others try to focus their business social networking site on marketing and advertising through Search Engine Optimized features like blogging and press releases. And still others try to focus on being a business social networking site that is mainly a knowledge resource, and to establish yourself as an expert in your field. All of these goals are great, and I'm don't judge one of them to be more important than the other. I do judge business social networking sites on whether they do it well. I put the Google page rank because presumably you are going to be linking to your site, so the higher the page rank, the better it should be for your site's search engine optimization. However, I'm not a web-professional, I'm an insurance agent, so I don't know if these business social networking sites have a way to prevent page rank link leak. But it's there, I used a chrome extension to determine the Google Rank, so don't blame me if they're wrong, sorry.
These are the sites that everyone knows and many people use and ALC Risk Solutions uses them for personal and business social networking as well:
• Facebook - Google page Rank 9
Facebook is the number social networking site in the world. It's great for lead generation and cultivating and solidifying your current relationships with clients and business network
• Twitter - Google Page Rank 9
Think of Twitter as the greatest market research tool ever invented. There's great tools to help you use Twitter as a business social networking site like TweetDeck
• LinkedIn - Google Page Rank 9
Many people consider LinkedIn to be THE business social networking site. LinkedIn doesn't have the games and childish apps found on MySpace or Facebook, but it also isn't very interesting either. LinkedIn isn't very real. It's basically people posting their resumes and requesting people to say how great they are.
• Plaxo - Google Page Rank 7
Plaxo is trying a bit too hard, but right now I like it because it keeps the contact info of the people I'm connected to up-to-date. I have a feeling that Google or Microsoft will realize they should do this and it'll be relatively useless unless they do something soon.
• MySpace - Google Page Rank 9
Myspace is losing popularity quickly and will probably be another Friendster or AIM pretty soon. However, I put a page up because it still has more users than most other websites and I was able to get.
These are some of the other business social networking sites I've joined recently and my review of them, as well as a link to the ALC Risk Solution profile page on the business social networking site:
• Fast Pitch Networking - Google Page Rank 5
PROs - SEO; Live Chat; Press Release Distribution, Find Current Network. This is a great Business Social Networking Site. It has different membership levels ranging from free up to titanium. The titanium is a little costly, but the level I'm at is perfect costing around $80/year. The usage is simple and easy and looks nice. They also give you the ability to talk to members in an instant message arena. My favorite thing about Fast Pitch Networking is that they offer Press Release distribution to Google News and Yahoo news and news media for only $45. Every press release I distributed was on the first page of Google for the keywords I optimized them for, and was higher than any other place I put it.
CONs - Major disadvantage is that it's still rather low on members, and connecting with members isn't the easiest thing in the world.
• ActiveRain - Google Page Rank 5
PRO's -Great SEO, about 50% of the blogs I've posted have gone to the first page of Google for at least one day. The Site is also very addictive because they have a great point system based on your activity and it makes you want to be active if you are competitive by nature. Lastly, it's a great site for real estate information and to give yourself credibility on the real estate topic that you are an expert in.
CON's - It's not a great business social networking site unless you have real estate related business. Even when I post liability and auto insurance content it rarely gets picked up by Google. Second con is the site doesn't do a great job of connecting members with other members. This is business social networking sitehas both paid and free memberships. But, only the paid memberships will get your posts to the outside world, free members' post can only be read by other members.
• PerfectBusiness - Google Page rank 4
To be honest, I set up the profile and explored it for a couple days and let it sit. This is a free business social networking site, with a paid subscription available. I am just on the free subscription now. From the brief amount of time I spent on it, I found some good articles, but to write an article you have to pay.
• Focus - Google Page Rank 6
Focus has really good content, but they are looking for longer projects as opposed to simple blogs. It doesn't have the greatest SEO benefits.
• Entrepreneur E-Connect - Google Page Rank 6
This is a business social networking site from Entrepreneur Magazine. I like the magazine, and I think this is a great idea. The site looks nice and they brand their logo well, giving the magazine advertising and the networking site credibility. They also give their members good profile URLs, mine ishttp://econnect.entrepreneur.com/MiamiInsurance . A big negative is that I don't think there are many active members yet, myself included. I set up my profile and didn't much more. However, going forward I'm going to use it more. Plus it's FREE!
• Loopthing - Google Page Rank 4
This is a nice looking site, but it's not very user friendly. I cant really do anything useful on it and I haven't connected with anyone. It's a little bit of a waste of time.
• Biznik - Google Page Rank 6
Biznik offers free, pro and VIP memberships. I signed up for 1 month for the VIP Service, and I will be cancelling it. I posted a few items to Biznik including press releases, classifieds and blog posts. I paid for it, so I gave it a good shot to impress me. Despite it's 6 Page rank, in a search on Google for "ALC Risk Solutions", Biznik does not appear until the bottom of the fourth page.
• Ryze - Google Page Rank 7.
Ryze claims to have over 500,000 members, which is pretty good for Business Social Networking Sites. But the site just doesn't look very nice and I never really felt like using it much. It does let you use HTML on your profile which I like. They offer paid and free memberships, but the paid ones don't really offer much that you can't get for free. Overall, I really don't like Ryze, but I'll keep my free profile up and see if I change my mind.
• Incompany - Google Page Rank 1
Despite its low page rank, I really like InCompany. First, it's a very nice looking business social networking site, many sites, including ones I really like, are too cluttered looking and not very esthetically pleasing. The best thing is it's free, and it lets you set up an Online Store on your profile with PayPal. Another great aspect of Incompany is that your profile is located at www.incompany.com/******** so I havewww.incompany.com/insurance . My profile and posts have ranked pretty high on Google.
• Xing - Google Page Rank 8.
This is another free to join/paid upgrade business social networking site. I will probably try the pay for a month when I drop Biznik. Currently I haven't really been using it very much.