There, we said it. Now, how do we fix it?

It’s stunning to think that with 98% of US-based business considered small (over 60% of them as B2B’s), the majority still have to attend networking events for leads. As a cofounder of B2B networking platform AboutOurWork, our team surveys dozens of small business B2Bs every month on how they network with one another for new business leads. We also ask where they feel technology could help do a better job networking and connecting them with one another.

One of the key takeaways that we hear consistently is that small businesses feel “left out” by the major social networks given their focus on C2C & B2C. However, they see little value in the creation of yet another social network. Another takeaway is that they’re not satisfied with the local networking event, especially the increasing number of SMBs that can transact business globally.

For some B2B-focused small businesses, social networks are a viewed as a necessary evil. For others, it is the bane of their existence. Very few, if any, find real, measurable value in social.

Based on that feedback and more, we’ve spent the past 2 years building our platform around these three key tenets.

1. No more status updates.

Small businesses are experiencing status update fatigue. Just ask any B2B focused small business and they’ll tell you the same.

This notion of creating and managing tactics for maximizing reach on each of the social platforms — leveraging a combination of the creation of engaging content, posts, and advertising in order to do more business — is ineffective for the vast majority of B2B-focused small businesses. These tactics work for consumer-focused brands, but again, not for B2B-focused small businesses.

We believe that the status update fatigue will continue to grow for B2Bs and even individuals. Facebook is already seeing a decline in daily usage from teens for this very reason. And if history is any indicator, grey-hairs and big brands will continue to follow those teens to Snapchat, WhatsApp, Vine, etc.

2. Providing connections beyond local markets.

Business-to-business knowledge workers (folks who think for a living) have the ability to transact business globally. Unfortunately, many of the small business networking activities that exist today focus on local networking.

3. Technology, not content creation, should drive connections.

Small businesses are coached and trained by social media experts that in order to get the exposure they need, they need to create more content. Write more blog posts. Share more articles. Instagram more photos. Create a YouTube video. Or two. Create more articles for Medium.

Simply put, social media experts are trying their best to fit a square peg into a round hole. Admirable for sure, but we think it’s time for a proper solution.

Changing B2B networking.

At the micro level, people love change, especially when it is change that improves lives. At the macro level, we hate it. Especially big changes that challenge incumbents.

B2B networking should and will eventually be automated. Technology will predict and identify potential B2B opportunities for businesses around the world based on key characteristics and then automate introductions between businesses.

Changing B2B networking is an enormous task but it’s a change that’s time has come.