31 Ways to Keep On Networking During Covid-19
Networking is essential for like-minded professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses. But with large scale networking events being postponed or cancelled, how can we leverage on social networking sites during Covid-19?
In the midst of Covid-19, online networking is more relevant with very little real-life opportunities for networking. Besides that, there are many benefits to online networking:
- Easier to stay connected and keep in touch
- Saves time if you’re have a busy schedule
- An easier and more efficient way to exchange ideas and information
- More visible opportunities
- If you are looking for a mentor, there is a greater chance of finding one
- Keeping abreast of the current trends and opportunities available
- Boosts your variety of network over different networking platforms
So, you’ve probably already heard of LinkedIn because it’s the biggest professional social networking platform at the moment. It has over 500 million users with 3 million people sharing content on a weekly basis.
However, there are many alternatives to LinkedIn if you want to increase your variety of networks.
Check out these other 31 professional online networking sites!
What makes Lunchclub different from LinkedIn is its algorithm. Lunchclub focuses on connecting you to other professionals based on similar backgrounds and mutual interests. After entering your name, email address, location, and picking your objectives for being on Lunchclub, it matches you to a professional who will be directly relevant to you and your interests. Once connected, Lunchclub schedules a 1:1 video meeting for you over Google Meet.
Meetup is an online networking platform that helps you find events to attend or interest groups to join. Your searches can be refined by setting your location which allows you to view all events happening in Singapore at one glance. Searching for interest groups is also made easier as you can select categories (eg. Career & Business, Tech or Photography) that suit your interests.
Tribemine is a platform that complements the functions of LinkedIn by offering network optimization features missing in LinkedIn. However, Tribemine is still in Beta development and the first 100 accounts registered can use Tribemine for free.
Xing is the German equivalent to LinkedIn. It is a popular online networking platform in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with over 16 million users. Majority of its users are professionals (40%) in the IT, Finance, and Trade Service providers (29%). One unique feature of Xing is that it has an app that uses Near Field Communication which allows users with the app to add a contact by just holding their devices close to each other.
Shapr has a friendly user interface design that uses a swipe-style app (like Tinder) for meeting other professionals and its algorithm will suggest 15 people to match with each day. Shapr allows you to select a goal from these 4 options: Find a new job, Makes friends, Hire talent and Find mentors.
LunchMeet is an app that sets up lunch dates with professionals you’ve connected with over LinkedIn. All you have to do is to let the app know when and where you are available to meet. You can select multiple availability slots and search for other professionals in your areas who are available during the same time. Afterwards, you can send and receive invitations for LunchMeet based on your availability. With its in-app messaging feature, LunchMeet makes it easy for you to discuss and arrange a meeting with another professional.
Gust is an online networking platform that caters to start-ups. It has over 800,000 founders and 85,000 investment professionals to help start-ups grow, find investors or raise capital. Gust is the official platform of the world’s leading angel investor federations and venture accelerators. Gust powers Gust Launch, the first Company as a Service™ (CaaS™) platform for startup founders that facilitates all of the legal, financial, and back-office operations necessary to operate a new, high-growth venture.
Hivebrite is an online community platform that allows organizations to manage members and give them an online space to connect, communicate, and share information. It provides 4 main solutions that align to the industry specializations of Open Social: Corporate Alumni, Education, Professional Network, and NGO.
Slack serves as a communication tool for people in the same industry. There are ‘Channels’ you can join which allows you to work faster with external clients and colleagues. There are over 750,000 companies use Slack!
I’m sure you have a Facebook account. But have you used the Facebook Groups function? There are over 1 billion people in these groups that caters to specific industries. Furthermore, Facebook has a third part application called BranchOut that enable recruiters to search and find job candidates through Facebook. This enables people to search their close personal connections who are more likely on Facebook rather than LinkedIn.
Twitter may be an unconventional pick but tweets can reach a large audience with its use of hashtags. If there’s a specific hashtag for a conference you’re attending, use it in your tweets to see who else is engaging and meet up with them during lunch or breaks. Connect with other professionals around the world on a daily basis by following trending hashtags and topics within your industry. You can also follow industry leaders who likely tweet and retweet noteworthy topics and events.
Bark is a UK-based platform that allows professionals to network with clients. Now it’s easier for clients to find local professionals for their services and easier for professionals to market their services to clients. Bark has also just launched in Singapore in March 2020!
Ryze is a platform with over 1 million users that connects entrepreneurs to professionals. It provides entrepreneurs to get practical advice, tips and resources from professionals within the same industry.
Doostang is for registered members to get access to posted job openings and connect with relevant contacts in their industry. Members can search the site for positions by industry or by location, which are categorized as Premium and non-Premium listings. Doostang members also have access to expert resume review services.
The TGTMC is a fast growing network that connects senior sales professionals with small and medium sized companies and start-ups. This platform relies on the experience of a senior professional with the right contacts and an already existing network. This helps to accelerate market penetration, reduce time to market and increase efficiency.
16. Let’s Lunch
Similar to LunchMeet, Let’s Lunch allows you to network with another professional over a meal. Let’s Lunch gives you the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a sociable and collaborative environment which is different from traditional top-down learning. Almost 100,000 lunches have been scheduled across 6 countries worldwide!
Zerply is an online networking platform that caters to the creative industries. It allows employers to find talents according to location, skill, position, software, experience level and industry. Job seekers can also make an online portfolio and are directed to jobs that match their skills.
18. The Muse
The Muse is another online networking platform for companies to attract job seekers. The Muse is particularly popular among millennials with two-third of its 75 million users under the age of 35.
Hired specializes in matching companies with technology talents (software engineering, engineering management, design, data analytics, information technology, developer operations, quality assurance, project management, product management).
YouJoin sets you apart from other professionals by creating a platform for a multi-media rich online profile for career and work life related experiences rather than a conventional CV. Its unique feature is a semi public profile which can only be accessed through a PIN and only contacts who have the link can see your profile.
Jobcase is a US-based online networking site with over 110 million users that allows you to share and exchange experiences, advice, support or inspiration with other like-minded individuals. Jobcase provides lots of capabilities for job seeking and self-improvement, like – access to jobs, an online profile, a resume builder, and important learning resources.
Sumry is an online networking platform for potential employers and job seekers. It offers a more personalized way for job seekers to showcase their resume and portfolio in a more personalized way that will really set you apart from others in the job market.
Reddit is another unconventional pick but Reddit has many micro-communities that you can join and interact with people with similar interests.
AngelList is specially tailored for the startup community. Candidates who are interested to join a startup can interact with founders and hiring managers directly. AngelList also allows startups to raise funds and for potential investors to invest in a startup.
25. Founders Network
Founders Network is an exclusive online networking site for tech company founders and entrepreneurs. Membership is by invitation only and they have 4 different membership levels that caters accordingly to your experience level. Founders Network offers lifelong peer mentorship to over 600 tech startup founders globally.
StartupNation is tailored to entrepreneurs and startups. It provides access to experts in a variety of industries through its various media channels and fosters peer-to-peer interaction in its vibrant online community forums. The breadth and range of businesses StartupNation serves includes sole proprietorships, home-based businesses and part-time businesses.
Viadeo is a professional networking website headquartered in Paris. If you are looking to expand your network with French speaking professionals, Viadeo is perfect for you because its users are mostly from France.
28. 100AM networking
100AM is an event networking platform that improves user experience by bringing in more valuable contacts and managing these contacts. Instead of passing around your physical namecards, 100AM helps to create Live Business Cards: a mini-presentation with photos, videos and gifs.
The-dots.com is known as the LinkedIn for creative professionals. You can search for job opportunities, upskill at virtual events, get advice and find collaborators. The Dots facilitate networking by collecting data on full teams that create projects, making their network “high-trust”, since members have actually worked with another connected member. Thousands of companies use this platform to hire and discover talent (eg. Google, Spotify, BBC, airbnb).
Care2 is for nonprofits and mission-based brands to grow their communities and connect them to supporters who are passionate about the causes they support. Through the hundreds of thousands of petitions created, Care2 has built an engaged network of socially conscious citizens and cultivated strong nonprofit and brand partners. There are over 57 million members and 2,750 nonprofit organizations on Care2.
31. Open Social
Open Social is another online networking site for nonprofits and innovative companies to connect with their employees, volunteers, stakeholders, customers and members. Unlike Care2, Open Social focuses on real time collaboration, crowd-innovation, and resource libraries. The Crowd Innovation extension allows your community to create and develop new ideas or projects through community collaboration. Open Social also provides a social learning solution, with features such as graded e-learning courses, quizzes and certificates.