Social Media: Help or Hindrance to Business Networking?

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After a positive job interview, the professional woman went home eagerly awaiting a call with news about a job offer. Later that night, it appeared as if the interviewer had sent her a friend request on Facebook. What should she do? Should she accept the request?

An employee stopped by a business partner’s shop and dropped off a delivery. This company was a top client of the business. However, the company’s building looked dilapidated from the outside. The employee found its appearance amusing and posted a picture and funny comment about the place on his personal social media page. Unfortunately, the company’s owner saw the comment and was NOT happy. What should the employer do? What guidelines should have been in place to prevent this situation?

Networking: a changing definition

Networking used to have a simple definition of opportunities and events where businesses can meet together to form partnerships, share information, or create business opportunities together. This used to always be done in person or on the phone. But now we not only have the Internet, but we have social media bringing new opportunities and challenges. Social media platforms are even called social networking.

But how helpful are these platforms in successful business networking? Are there special guidelines to follow to be sure social media is used well by your business and by your employees?

Social Media Network Can be a Help

There are instances where social media, if used properly, can help a business develop successful networking relationships. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have a business page separate from your personal page. Not all your business networking contacts want to see pictures of your cat or hear about how tired you are after a long day.
  • Be sure to give out helpful information from your business page and not just send out sales pitches.
  • Remember, social networking is a two-way street. Responding quickly to comments and questions is key to keeping your networking connections engaged.

Social Media Can Be a Hindrance

Like the woman and the employee example above there are times where social media can be a hindrance or can at least raise questions about what is the proper thing to do. What should employers already be talking about so that their employees use social media well? What guidelines should be in place?

Social media is constantly changing and it is hard for employers to keep up.


Lisa RicheyLisa Richey from The American Academy of Etiquette has prepared a corporate training workshop which addresses these very questions. Give her a call and invite her to present How to Network and Get Results. Issues of social media and networking are included in this workshop along with in depth practical guidelines for success in traditional networking events.