Professional Online Networking Beyond Pop Social Media

Online Networking Beyond Pop Social Media. Are You? by Vikram Rajan

{4:00 minutes to read} What do you think about when you hear the term “social media”? The field of online networking goes beyond what we traditionally think of as social media, which puts the emphasis on the social, on the fun & on the non-professional aspects of our life. But there’s a very healthy & growing world of professional online networking.

Most of these professional networks thrive on quick status updates that resemble tweets, a knowledge base for the public, and peer relations. That’s really where blogging can see its biggest impact. Beyond search engine results, blogging has its greatest impact through word-of-mouth marketing, or what I call word-of-Mouse marketing.

There are the social media platforms that most people have heard of: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and social media platforms that are industry- or review-specific like and

People sometimes forget that the second-largest social media network, owned and promoted by Google, is It features videos but also comments from other users, so it is a social networking platform itself.

More than the social media, our focus tends to be on the professional networks like LinkedIn. But more and more, professional associations are starting their own members-only forums, right on their websites, separate and apart from LinkedIn or other traditional social media. Those give members an opportunity to network with one another, nurture those relationships, and share their content, including blog articles.

These are a few organizations that have their own online communities:

Then there are local networking groups; for example, here in New York City, Gotham Networking is a rather large organization for business professionals to network. Their website features opportunities for members to get to know one another, right on their website, like a social media site.

Other groups and specific professional networks are coming out with member blogs, enabling members to share content and thus expertise with the public and/or among the membership. The NYS Council on Divorce Mediation has a blog featuring its members, and the NYC Bar Association is currently launching their own member social media network: think of it as a LinkedIn for NYC Bar members.

Of course, offline, there are groups that get together. For example there’s 100 Lawyers Strong and Libra Network – both “offline” networks of lawyers that have an online network component (the latter having a formal online network). The offline component has become a powerful force, because it’s what most people are used to. The world of online networking, beyond traditional social media, has not quite taken off in the same way.

But there are other online networks for lawyers. Here in NY, there’s The Michigan State Bar Association launched their online network for members through a company called ZeekBeek. In fact, I was at the launch in September 2014; click here to read about it.

While not a message board or a wall like Facebook, these professional networking platforms are nonetheless mimicking one of the main advantages of a LinkedIn group, which is to share blog content.

Have you started merging your offline & online networking? Do you belong to any associations that have a member blog/newsletter or online discussion forum? We just launched, enabling members to automatically post (via email) & promote their blogs to members and across the web. Do you know of a membership association that would benefit from something like that?

Vikram Rajan, Co-Founder of


Vikram Rajan, Co-Founder
Telephone: (888) 952-4630

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