If you were to time travel back twenty, thirty, forty years ago, you’d see a very different form of networking in operation back then. They were decades of actual socialising in person as the internet, smartphones and social media didn’t exist in the way they do now.
That milkman you may remember from childhood chatting to parents on doorsteps, the local shop owners and customers all mingling.
The business world of networking was largely formal too or carried out over the telephone.
Things have changed.
Nowadays, any business that is aiming to be successful has to network digitally and in person. Think of the digital world. We may have websites that render well on desktops, tablets and the ubiquitous smartphone carried by virtually everyone. Those websites may have links to your brand’s Twitter channel, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile. These links, as well as others (contact forms, email addresses) mean that we are contactable any time and anywhere that there is a decent mobile signal.
Businesses, big businesses, invest heavily in social media – not just to sell – but to show a very public commitment to communication and customer service.
Look at the hype over Greggs’ vegan sausage roll and the reaction from Piers Morgan, who is managed by the same PR company, it transpired. Talking about a vegan sausage roll is brand marketing and a form of networking. Stores are selling out, because of this clever campaign.
How does this apply to you?
The idea of any networking is to make professional and personal connections on a human level. This brings me neatly, towards the end of this post, to the online leader of business networking – LinkedIn.
You may be on this, actively or passively, you may have forgotten your password, or rejected this channel as full of leadership quotes and memes.Our advice is to revisit, to reset your password and become active on there with networking. LinkedIn is not a room of 100 people on a Thursday evening – it has half a billion members, with these statistics that may surprise and persuade you to return or become more active. 260 million Linkedin users log in per month; 40% of these use it daily.
That’s an audience of over 100 million people on the platform daily.
You need to be on there too – and do connect with me!