Maneuvering social media is much more than fitting a thought into 140 characters. Not only have the more mainstream platforms made a major push toward opening their advertising capabilities, but social networks centered on business are prominent in their own right.

From consumers looking for a direct connection with their industry peers to the startups looking to make a name for themselves, we’ve got you covered. We compiled a list of the top professional networks you might not be aware of. These sites are must join for informative content, and direct networking opportunities.

Angel.Co

Angel-Co

Angel.co is a social discovery platform for start-ups and investors. Forbes describes the site as, “an online matching-making site for startups and angel investors.” Thisoutlet was designed for start-ups looking to communicate with potential investors and other businesses within their industry.  The platform offers a number of benefits for all users regardless of your intent.

Every business completes a company profile with a team roster, company summary, past investors (if any), the level of investment sought, and other relevant information. Not only does this help new companies organize and structure their approach toward that someday glorious IPO, but it helps everyday users gain a great deal of insight.

Look at any Angel.co profile and you’ll find the profiles of their founders so you can take a deeper look into their resumés. You discover which ideas and companies are doing well in the website’s “trending” category.

Above all, you have the ability to connect with these people. Don’t be afraid to ask companies how they’ve reached their past milestones or business-minded questions, e.g., current marketing strategies. Angel.co is a great platform to learn about this growing market, but you also can use it as a tool to network.

CrunchBase

CrunchBase

CrunchBase.com is like Twitter for business investments. Similar to Angel.co, CrunchBase allows companies to create a company profile. The difference lies in CrunchBase’s live investment ticker.

The website’s ticker, or newsfeed, lists the most notable investments of the day. From Series A funding to the fifth round of a startup that has been around for a decade, you’ll find it here. CrunchBase is always rolling out new updates that cater to their audience, and you can learn about their newest features here.

Use this platform to learn about the pioneers in your areas of interest, but don’t forget to connect with others! You may meet your next boss, or the person who introduces you to your next boss.

Quora

Quora

Quora is a prominent question-and-answer community involving many well-respected industry experts. Users create and post questions, often those without definite or quantifiable answers.

Your questions are then associated with any relevant communities you choose. Most communities have thousands of members who all engage with questions posted on their community feed.

Most importantly, Quora gives users a place to learn from the educated answers of other members because the site houses a very intelligent audience. Soon enough you’ll answer enough questions to start building up your own profile.

Publishedhttp://www.skilledup.com/articles/3-professional-networks-know-4