Is networking easier because of Social Media?

So here’s a question for you, do you think networking is easier now we have social media?

The definition of networking describes it as ‘a business activity in which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognise, create, or act upon business opportunities,’ originally this was something you did when you were in a job, but over the last couple of years it has become a necessary activity for people on the job hunt and even more so for us students.

The idea is that networking allows you to meet people face to face who could help you with future career opportunities; they don’t have to be new people, in fact networking with old school or university classmates is something people often overlook.

But now we have the option to network via the internet, from the comfort of your own home and my question is does this make networking easier?

I agree that being able to talk to people in different parts of the world is brilliant, and networking online allows you to save time and money as you don’t need to travel or take time out of your working day. Online networking can happen via sites such as Linkedin, twitter, Facebook and even YouTube, it allows you to reach far more people than you would in face to face networking events & can help increase your presence on social media.

But does it make the whole process less personal? Can you successfully build a relationship up with someone even if you have never met?
Since i’ve taken a more active role on social media I have noticed a massive difference in how networking happens. Personally I feel social media has made people more available and easier to contact which does make networking easier; but at the same time I find that the relationships forged are less stable, they lack the dimension that comes from meeting face to face. 
Maybe it’s because regardless on how fantastic social media is, nothing can compare to speaking to someone in person & really how much can you get to know someone with only 140 characters? 
  • I think you need to do both for networking to truly work. As much as I feel like I ‘know’ people online, I’d only ever get that full connection from meeting them I think. There’s really nothing like seeing somebody’s facial expressions or body language. I consider myself to be quite intuitive and I trust my gut feelings about people but I can’t practice that with people online because you don’t get a chance to feel them properly.

  • Hi!

    I just nominated you for the liebster award! Check it out on my blog

    http://katies-antics.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/liebster-award.html

    Katie x

  • I think that is a very very true point Suzy. Meeting someone in real life allows you the opportunity to really get to know another person & I fully understand not being able to trust your gut feeling when talking to people online!

    Thanks for sharing your opinion 🙂

  • Katie that is so kind of you, thanks 🙂

  • I think social media makes networking easier the same way microphones make public speaking easier. Certainly its a useful medium to have, but if the source isnt producing anything useful in the first place (trust,entertainment,knowledge,skill) it will quickly be ignored.

    Regarding your question about trust, I think even though we see a lot of artificial approval (paid likes,followers etc) they are easy to spot out with lack of real engagement with others. 30k twitter followers but no favorites on any of your tweets? Nice try.(Brings back my microphone analogy,quickly ignored) However I think social media is a brilliant way to see how trust worthy a person is.

    Have humans as a species evolved to the point of not needing body language comunications from time to time? I dont think so. But I do think physical distance between people is becoming less of a concern with our new levels of inter-connectedness

    -2

    Heres my question to you,

  • It’s definitely a great way to start a connection with someone. Finding people on social media and sending a few e-mails to and from could lead to something really life changing. You can’t beat a face to face meeting though!!
    Thanks for posting this on the Student Link-Up 🙂 I always find your posts really interesting and thought-provoking!
    Oh Hey Kayspray! x

  • Very interesting points. Thank you for joining in the discussion! I agree about your point on being able to see when people have for paid likes or just done follow for follow – it is very different to being able to see real engagement & I think it takes away from the joys of networking!

  • I really enjoy the Student Link-Up, I have to admit it helps keep me motivated with blogging & I love reading other people’s posts!

    I really agree that social media interactions can lead to some big moments & they can also lead to close relationships but i’m still all about face to face networking as an important factor!