What Is Biznik? Biznik is an industry-specific social media network for entrepreneurs. Born in 2005, “[It] is the only network created for independent business people by two independent business people who are on a mission to support business networking that doesn’t suck” (Biznik, 2014). Biznik defines itself:
The purpose of this business community is to remind entrepreneurs that they are not alone. According to Biznik, “… business peers — the ones who know the challenge & rewards of running your own show — are the best people to offer support, resources, referrals and advice” (Biznik, 2014). Biznik’s focus is on building a quality network full of those peers and encouraging its members to interact both online and in-person. Members can search for peers by industry category / professional title or by geographic location, or they may choose to join groups like those listed below:
Members can also create, promote, and attend events as well as join discussions in the Biz Talk moderated community forum. They may dive deep into an abundance of business articles on business-related topics or contribute their own.
Overall Thoughts on the Biznik Platform In general, this community has a lot to offer independent business people around the world. Although the total number members on the site is not visible, the platform seems to have a reasonably strong membership. However, even the major U.S. cities vary widely in participation. For example, Nashville has less than 200 members while Seattle boasts over 12,000. Aside from the benefits of having a support network, Biznik offers nearly 9,000 articles (at the time of this post), and so there is also plenty of information for members to access and utilize in their own businesses. Some may wonder how such a site as this one compares to major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. On the Biznik About Page, the team explicitly states that it desires not to be compared with these other social networks and endeavors to set itself apart from them.
Aside from Biznik’s vision for itself, the fact is that due to the niche-specific nature of this sort of platform it will never be in the same ranks when it comes to activity and sheer numbers. However, when considering the quality of relationships built in a focused, filtered, and less-noisy environment, Biznik measures up just fine. The community celebrates its 10 year anniversary in 2015, and that alone indicates that the it is viable and full of potential for continued growth. It also appears to be heavily moderated to keep out unwanted/unrelated visitors and topics, and that probably contributes to the site’s steady success.
Does Proximity Marketing Have a Place In Biznik’s IMC? Although the more conventional uses of location-based marketing are not applicable to this industry as directly related to Biznik’s social media platform, the methods could certainly be implemented via more out-of-the-box measures. Biznik could use the geographic information collected through the website to target its members with relevant information and local events happening in their areas. Additionally, should the platform ever wish to monetize with advertising opportunities, the potential is there. For instance, as mentioned before, members do create and attend in-person events such as business summits all over the world. Biznik could target its members with travel info and special offers related to local restaurants and night life venues, flight and hotel accommodations, and more during their attendance of a specific event.
What Other Channels Could Work Alongside Biznik to Improve IMC Efforts? Biznik may not want to be another Linkedin, but it could collaborate well with this other professional platform for further networking reach of the platform and its members. Of course, other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter could be used as tools to promote Biznik and its niche-specific community. Members could tweet about Biznik events they’ve created or joined. They could also create Facebook events to support the Biznik event efforts. Users may choose to share and tweet their authored Biznik articles as well as submit them to social bookmarketing sites like Reddit, Delicious, and Digg. All of these would create inbound links to the Biznik website, but Biznik could reciprocate by providing quality outbound links as well. Links pointing to other quality pages are a great SEO practice, and a community of like-minded individuals are sure to share valuable information discovered on other sites across the web with others in Biznik groups, articles, and discussion forums as well as on their Biznik profiles. This type of social media integration and sharing should help to continue to grow and empower the Biznik online community.
SOURCES: Why Biznik. (n.d.). Biznik. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://biznik.com/about