Just in time for spring, something new is in the air and it’s time for you and your business to BranchOut!

When my colleague Sal mentioned that he had been invited to join BranchOut, I wasn’t familiar  with what it was. Was it a Facebook app? Was it a new network? No… it’s actually a free application that allows you to create a professional profile on Facebook!  But, that’s not all it is… it offers Facebook users much more than that. Now that I was aware of it, I started seeing it everywhere. The Internet was buzzing with headlines about BranchOut being LinkedIn’s biggest competition. But back to our initial question, what exactly is it? Is is a LinkedIn me too?

With BranchOut, users can use their Facebook friend networks to find jobs, recruit employees, and strengthen relationships with professional contacts. BranchOut is quite simple. Users can find connections through their extended friend network. When users search for a company on BranchOut, they get a list of friends and friends-of-friends who work at that specific company and they can request to connect with them.

It differs from LinkedIn quite a bit, but there are some similarities as well.

The similarity to LinkedIn: Although it offers a networking opportunity, BranchOut seems to push the user’s ability to access jobs and recruit talent more than anything – building on the idea that landing a job depends on who you know.

The difference with LinkedIn: LinkedIn also has the job-recruiting element and also allows users to have and make an online professional network but it differs by encouraging users to participate in online networking through interest groups and company pages. This is also where brands and companies tend to have the most presence and the most success on LinkedIn.

What does BranchOut offer and what doesn’t it offer?

BranchOut, for now, does not seem to offer the ability to create interest groups or company groups. So, aside from recruiting, how can brands and marketers benefit from BranchOut?

For one, it’s worth having a presence on BranchOut. With over 400 million professional profiles, presence marketing on BranchOut is key. If you are an individual and you represent your brand, it’s worth expanding your reach…it’s another place to promote your brand and yourself while connecting with potential new clients or like-minded professionals. 3H is on BranchOut, you can connect with my colleague, and 3H CCO, Miriam Hara here.

Like all social media, I’m sure BranchOut will grow and evolve. The seeds have been planted but we’ll have to stay-turned and see how it evolves to meet our brand and marketing needs. What features do you think BranchOut should add in order for it to grow to benefit brands and marketers alike?

Join the conversation! Leave your comments below and subscribe to 3H hoopla! here!