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5 Essential Platforms to Expand Your Global Network (And It's Not LinkedIn)

Today’s business world is more interconnected than ever, therefore, most companies have the opportunity to operate on a global scale. However, it is hard to thrive internationally without a solid network in place.

Fortunately, there are various platforms that you can leverage to develop your venture across borders, and to ensure that, once you expand, your operations flow seamlessly. Here, we focus on five resources that are rapidly emerging, and that, as an entrepreneur or business owner, you can take advantage of to bolster your global undertakings.

Before you join

Prior to choosing any of these platforms, you need to consider these three factors:

By clearly answering the questions above, you will be able to choose the service that works best for you.

The five platforms for business network

#1 Slack

Originally from the United States, the platform has gained widespread adoption globally, and it has been praised because of its organized channels, integrations, and efficient communication mechanisms. If you are looking to expand your network, Slack is home to many thriving communities that focus on a specific topic, for example, there are channels for iOS developers, digital nomads, or UX designers. Also, many accelerators have booming Slack channels.

#2 XING

Xing is home to thousands of specialist groups, where users can connect and exchange their points of view about topics like Media, Content Management, AI, and more. Because of its origins, the platform is more popular in German-speaking nations including Austria and Switzerland.

#3 Discord

Discord has become a very popular platform, especially for sectors like gaming and decentralized finance. Besides the US, it has also gained extensive adoption in other countries due to its attractive features like live streaming and channel-wide voice and video calls. You can also host group chats about different topics, and gather an enthusiastic community of people who are interested in your industry for impromptu discussions.

#4 Meetup

A differentiating factor about Meetup compared to the other platforms listed above is that people here mostly promote interest-specific groups that get together in person. However, there are many online events advertised on the platform as well. You can also start your own group, so if you’d like to connect, for example, with AI enthusiasts in London, you can start a Meetup group that targets users in that region, and build your network from there.

#5 Shapr

Based in France, Shapr is a platform that leverages AI-powered algorithms to forge professional connections. It has a mechanic that resembles a dating site. For example, if you have shared interests with someone, their profile appears as a suggestion, and you can either swipe right if you’d like to meet them or swipe left if you are not interested. The company has a user base largely located in France, the UK and the United States.

Three simple tips to initiate successful communication

Now that you’ve learned more about the platforms, you have more information to decide your course of action to boost your network. To make this process easier, here are three tips that can help you break the ice effectively, and increase the odds that your initial communications will flow seamlessly and lead to more opportunities.