Have you heard of Business Exchange? It is an information-centric social networking site that is run by Bloomberg and sits on the same URL together with Business Week magazine. As you can already guess, it is a site that is extremely focused on business and the news. After reading a great blog post on Business Exchange by Larry Brauner, I have been experimenting with the site seeing how it fits into my daily social media routine. I am now at the point where the value of being on the site has become apparent, and now I want to share the 6 reasons why I believe every professional should become a Business Exchange user.
First of all, I know what you’re saying: between LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and reading blogs, I am exhausted! Yes, social media can be overwhelming, and this is why you need to create social media boundaries. But as we become more active users of social media, some new niche social networking sites such as Brazen Careerist, Amplify, and Business Exchange have appeared that have compelling value propositions when compared to more “general” social media sites. What targeted demographic does Business Exchange appeal to? The LinkedIn user.
LinkedIn, as you already know, is the site for every professional to find and be found. I always mention that the trend of social media is about the growing convergence of where we go for communication and information. LinkedIn excels on the communication side, but it may not be the first place to look for the latest information when compared to Twitter (albeit LinkedIn is trying to change this with their recent introduction of new sharing features).
This is where Business Exchange shines: it is THE place to find out the latest news on anything business-related, vetted by its professional users and categorized to make it easy for you, the user, to find relevant information quickly. That’s Business Exchange in a nutshell; here are the 6 compelling reasons to become a Business Exchange user if you are not already sold on the idea:
1.) Easily Import Your LinkedIn Profile
If you are already on LinkedIn, rest assured that you are not reinventing the wheel when you use Business Exchange: you can seamlessly and easily connect with your LinkedIn profile and import all of your profile information into Business Exchange. This makes it very easy for the LinkedIn user to get set up with a rich profile on Business Exchange in a matter of minutes. It also means that your professional branding is 100% portable. Ease of getting started is one reason to at least establish a presence on Business Exchange.
2) Where the Professional Demographic Truly is
Some think that LinkedIn has become flooded with the job seeker and recruiter. A client I was talking to today reminded me that most people see activity on LinkedIn equivalent to searching for a job. While any social media site will have its share of any particular demographic, just by looking at the featured users and popular contributors will make it clear that Business Exchange has a demographic that is executive and professional-centric. For instance, let’s look at the most active users in a topic that I also contribute to: Social Media Marketing. As I write this, the most active contributors are four thought leaders in social media, including John Jantsch of the famous Duct Tape Marketing, as well as a Senior Vice President of Public Relations & Communications. In fact, here are the titles of users I randomly selected who’s names begin with “Neal”: Business VOIP Specialist, Principal, Vice President of Sales & Business Development, Chief Investment Officer, Managing Director, CEO, Owner, Business Systems Analyst, Account Executive, IT Manager, and another Principal. If you are an Executive or would like to be part of a social networking site that has a very professional demographic, this is the social networking site for you.
3) Completely Free of Spam
The potential problem with every social networking site is the potential to be spammed. This is where Business Exchange shines: it concentrates only on information and no communication. You can follow the news updates of anyone you want, and you can “react” to their news posting which may send them a notification in their email box. But you cannot directly access any Business Exchange user. Instead, when you navigate to their profile, you have the option of finding their LinkedIn profile, following them on Twitter, or navigating to one of their customizable links. In other words, you can rest assured that you will not be receiving any spam by being a member of this site! Furthermore, you can rest assured that your news stream will also not be spammed because all postings must have links…and every posting can be easily reported as spam if it indeed is so.
4) Sharing Information on LinkedIn and Twitter is Easy
With the help of first Twitter and now LinkedIn’s new sharing features we are becoming a “sharing society.” There are compelling reasons why we should be sharing, which will be content for future blog posts, but you don’t want to have to find something on Business Exchange and then have to copy and paste and navigate over to multiple sites if you want to share it elsewhere. Business Exchange allows you to easily and seamlessly post your article or reactions and comments straight to LinkedIn and/or Twitter just like you can do with your LinkedIn Status Update.
5) Easily and Quickly Find the Latest News on Professional Subjects
This is the most important value that Business Exchange provides the user. How do you filter through all of the noise that is out there in social media to find information that is relevant to you? Everyone who posts information here must post it to a certain category. For instance, I may want to share an article concerning social media. If I enter “Social Media” into the category list, I get the following options: Social Media Analytics, Social Media Branding, Social Media Business Failures, Social Media Business Success, Social Media Design, Social Media in the Workplace, Social Media Innovation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Operations, Social Media Privacy, Social Media Training, Social Media vs Old Media, Conversational Media, Micro-Blogging, Relationship Economy, Social Networking, and Web 2.0 Marketing. In other words, I can’t just post something to “Social Media” and need to be more specific in the category that I choose. Because of this, I am forced to correctly classify the article that I am sharing. You can now see how Business Exchange can help you easily and quickly find the latest news because the information has been properly classified by its professional user base. In fact, I just counted, and there are 1,699 different categories for which you can share news on Business Exchange! True, some of these categories are actually Company Names, but from the example above you should be able to ascertain that there are probably specific categories that exist that you have a professional interest in.
6) An Excellent Destination to Strengthen Your Personal Branding
So in addition to being able to potentially network with other professionals and find and share news information, why spend the time to be on Business Exchange? Sharing relevant information to a targeted demographic is a great way for you to strengthen your personal brand and potentially win a little more mindshare in the world. Similar to Twitter with its information-centric approach, what articles you point people to will determine how they perceive of you and thus will become part of your personal brand. The beautiful thing about Business Exchange is, because of the choice of Categories, you can in essence compartmentalize the way people view your personal brand by which categories you post to. It really is that simple to strengthen your personal brand in a particular category to a particular demographic should you wish to invest the time to do so.
On a final note, some of you may be worried that you are potentially investing your time in a social networking site that may not be around tomorrow. Business Exchange is run by Business Week which is run by Bloomberg. Furthermore, it is just one tab away from every reader who navigates to Business Week. Business Week gets 5 million visitors a month to its site. Hopefully you can see both why I believe that Business Exchange is here to stay and its potential to become a true source of relevant information for the professional demographic.
Have you ever heard of Business Exchange? Have you started using it? Please do share your experiences and advice below! Thanks! And please feel free to follow me on Business Exchange!