What Is Alignable ?
Alignable is a B2B social media platform founded out of Boston, MA back in 2014 and developed specifically as a local business owner networking tool. They currently boast in excess of 1 Million connections in over 8,000 active communities.
Their story …
“Alignable members have the opportunity to meet fellow business owners nearby, network, generate customer referrals, co-promote, ask questions and benefit from word-of-mouth marketing through discussions and knowledge sharing.” – source
Do I need Alignable ?
Well, at first glance the premise looks reasonable. Business owners are busy right? Making time for networking events and shmoozing definitely takes away from productivity to a certain degree. So think about it this way, how much digital networking have you done this week? Where are you finding these kindred spirits to network with. How long is all that taking you?
Facebook seems ever more determined to shut out small business unless they pay for “facebook reach”. Google on the other hand, continues to strongly encourage “local” as the next big thing. So think about it, I can’t just pop over to Boston or New York for a good BS over coffee anytime I like, but I guarantee that there are like minds in these places that we would definitely connect with. And that is where the internet comes in. So ultimately, this kind of digital networking with peers, we believe may prove to be immensely useful.
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Alignable Key Points to Check Out
Main Street Insights – basically an active niche blog for B2B topics
SMB Brand Ratings & Trust Index – ratings & reviews on tools & services from 15K SMB Owners
Ask & Learn forums – share and crowd source your peers
How To Articles – What’s not to like?
Data & Insights – Reports, White papers and more
Local Business Stories Podcast – Get inspired
You can import your Linked In connections – Handy!
Will Alignable still be around in 3 Years?
Well that’s a tough one and as with all things in business, there are no crystal balls. Advertising is expensive and many small business operate on the tightest of micro budgets, we get that. For local businesses research suggests the most loyal customers are likely no more than ten minutes away. We all like to support local, it helps our communities and brings a feel good ring to it. How many times have clients told you that they had no idea you existed? People like local businesses – if they can find what they are looking for.
From a purely nuts & bolts perspective, collaboration among local businesses makes sense. Increasing your local reach simply by word of mouth referrals should be a no brainer. If nothing more, Alignable provides a medium through which small businesses can virtually meet their neighbors. Of course, you can always follow the e-meet up with a coffee! Local customers are still the most loyal of all and Alignable seems certainly geared towards just that goal.
At the time of writing, our local “network” currently lists 42 business, of which Realtors® hold ten spots, some with duplicate listings – well, they are persistent bunch right? -lol :)
So, is it really worth the time & effort of taking on yet another social platform? And yes, at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking it another Linked In wannabe of sorts. Will it ever replace or overtake Linked In? Likely not, especially with LinkedIn’s recent additions of Microsoft and Lynda. For now, the jury is still out on this one and if you read the reviews online you’ll see typical split decision: some love it, some hate it and some sit squarely on the fence.
Do you really need to be present on every single platform that comes along? No, you don’t. Could this one help you locally market your business? Possibly. We feel Alignable does have some merits in terms of community engagement and small business insights, so that end, it’s probably worth a trial run for most. It’s free to join so why not see what all the fuss is about and maybe even find some value for your small business there.
At the very least, it may be prudent to protect your brand by at least registering an account. At the end of the day with any social media platform, you will get out what you’re willing to put into them. So obviously, after registering an account, to maximize your exposure you will need to get active (and hope your “community” follows suit). If you have no real plans to do so, then it’s probably not for you.
Let’s face it you can’t be found if you’re not listed right? Ultimately though, time is going to tell on this one.
Thanks for reading!