55: How LinkedIn Challenger BeBee Is Approaching 40 Million Users
Anyone that produces content uses social media or builds an online personal brand will tell you how it’s getting harder and harder to get your voice heard out there. When algorithms at LinkedIn or Facebook decide who will and will not see your content rather than your own network, it can be incredibly frustrating.
The hard work you put into building a network over the years only feels wasted, especially if the network prefers to produce content from traditional outlets such as the New York Times and Mashable rather than user generated content. At the end of the day, advertising revenue runs these sites, so I completely understand that. But this is the digital age of the personalization of everything.
What’s really important now is creating meaningful connections that tear down those geographical barriers. We don’t fill our timelines with things that are of no interest to us. We want things that interest us. It may interest me but wouldn’t interest you. That’s the beauty of delivering that personalized experience. Suddenly many of the big sites, those household names, don’t get there. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Twitter is struggling to increase its user base at the moment.
Anyone that frequents LinkedIn on a regular basis will probably see users promoting their content on a platform called BeBee. You’ve probably seen a few links on your LinkedIn timeline saying read my article at BeBee.
I’m going to invite you all to fly with me to Spain to speak with Javier Camara. He’s the CEO of this incredibly exciting, professional social network that I think is just going to explode over the next few months.
Can you tell my listeners a little more about yourself and your role at BeBee?
I am the CEO of BeBee. My main focus is product, marketing, and communication. I think BeBee is disrupting social media as it is today because there’s a lot of noise and poor elements and not a lot of innovation in my humble opinion. BeBee comes to change a lot of things and to be the next big thing in social media.
For anyone who has not heard of BeBee can you explain what it is and what it offers?
BeBee is about professionally working through personal interest and hobbies. Think about gold for example. It is the same concept applied to our professions and personal interest and hobbies. Why? Because personal interest generates much more professional engagement and better business opportunities. What sets us apart from other social networking sites is it builds relationships rather than just contacts. The platform allows users to display their personal brand in additional to their professional profile.
What I love about the platform is that it seems to have a really friendly feel about it and the engagement between users feels incredibly special. Was that always your plan?
On LinkedIn, many professionals are feeling fooled because after several years of hard work building the network the content has been filtered. That’s amazing; I can’t believe that. BeBee is much more democratic because you will always reach 100 percent of your followers and it is much friendlier. The connections are more natural thanks to the personal side because we have to remember that though we are professionals we also have hobbies.
I read a great stat yesterday that in Madrid BeBee has 4.5 million users or Bees as they call them. In Spain, compared to a 13 year old LinkedIn, they have 8 million users. Do you think LinkedIn is cautiously watching your growth?
I don’t think so. We are small but in a way the BeBee concept is much more powerful. Because again we firmly believe in personal relationships, not just contacts. We are making a lot of noise, and the growth is amazing. If you remember LinkedIn in its first year, they had about 500,000 users, and we have more than ten million in only one year.
I also read recently that you are offering start-up offers equity to U.K Superfans that could be worth 100,000 pounds or more one day. How do you get involved with this and what is expected of you?
The premium to participate is limited. The economic value of the equity, of course, will depend on the value of the company. We really believe BeBee is going to be bigger than LinkedIn or Twitter. If we reach that size they will earn a lot of money. We would be very happy to be the first big social network sharing our success with our user base.
I’m U.K based so if I wanted to get involved how would I sign up?
We have a landing page for the ambassador program at www.bebee.com. You have to be active on the platform, you have to write your stories on BeBee and just recommend BeBee through your contacts.
What’s next for BeBee?
BeBee is now closing an investment round of 10-15 million dollars. Our main goal is to focus on English-speaking markets and reach 14 million users in two years.
What’s the best way to get involved, get more information, or contact someone for help?
Just go to www.bebee.com on your desktop or download the app. It is available on Android or Apple store.
I would love to hear your thoughts on all the platforms and what you prefer using and your predictions for the future of BeBee.
Check Out Neil’s Column at INC. called Tomorrow’s Tech
Please also see check out the related article from my column: How This New Professional Social Network Is Approaching 40 Million Users