What is 'Networking'

Networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It may be for social or business purposes. Professionals connect their business network through a series of symbolic ties and contacts. Business connections may form due to an individual's education, employer, industry or colleagues. For instance, a business network of Harvard Business School alumni may develop. Networking may also refer to the setting up and operation of a physical computer network. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Networking'

Networking helps to develop professional relationships that may boost an individual’s future business and employment prospects. Networking events, such as industry conferences and seminars, are common practice within professional organizations, which may also link up with other groups to stage a joint event or conference.

Business Networking

Strategies for expanding a business network include developing relationships with people and companies as well as exchanging contact information. Connections within a network usually maintain regular contact with each other to build rapport and gain trust. Instead of having many contacts, a small selective network may provide more benefit, even though it often takes longer to establish. Successful networking involves regularly engaging and following up with contacts in the network to provide and receive valuable information that is not readily available outside the network. For example, a business network consisting of accounting professionals may provide information to their connections about an upcoming employment opportunity.

Online Networking

Business networking has increased in popularity due to social networking websites. Networking platforms, such as LinkedIn provides an online meeting place for business professionals to engage with other professionals, join groups, post blogs, share content and create online profiles with the objective of connecting with other people that have similar interests. LinkedIn allows users to search for companies, people and jobs. LinkedIn members can reach out to potential employees and connect them with human resources managers or recruiters. Likewise, a business-to-business customer pipeline could develop through using a social networking site. Online networking through forums allows professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and connect with like-minded people.

Computer Networking

Computer networking involves connecting computers in the same building or office so users can readily communicate with other computers or devices. Switches connect multiple devices in one building on the same network. Computers, for instance, can connect to printers, fax machines, scanners and servers through a switch. Routers tie multiple networks together, such as when a computer connects to an internet router to access the web. Routers control the information going to and from computer networks through security software and programs.

 

RELATED TERMS
  1. Value Network Analysis

    Value network analysis is the assessment of the members and resources ...
  2. Value Network

    The connections among individuals or organizations that benefit ...
  3. Network Marketing

    Network marketing is a business model that depends upon a network ...
  4. Social Capital

    Social capital is the economic resources obtained from interactions ...
  5. Social Networking Service (SNS)

    A social networking service (SNS) is an online vehicle for creating ...
  6. Business Relations

    Business relations are the connections that exist between all ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    Small Business Owners: Take Advantage of Networking

    What do we really get out of going to networking events? A lot, actually—if you follow up.
  2. Financial Advisor

    4 Ways to Connect with Clients on LinkedIn

    Here are four simple ways to connect with clients and prospects on LinkedIn.
  3. Personal Finance

    How To Ruin Your Career Using Twitter And Facebook

    Many people use social media in their professions. However, sometimes things can go wrong. Here are some things you should be aware of when using social media at work.
  4. Insights

    Intel and AT&T Launch Platform for IoT (T, INTC)

    Intel and AT&T will both benefit from a more sophisticated digital network, which will realize significant cost savings.
  5. Personal Finance

    Who You Know Might Matter More

    "It's not what you know, but who you know," might just be true. Here's a look at why connections are so important in business and job searches.
  6. Personal Finance

    4 Career Networking Tips That Work

    Find out the who, the how and the why of using networking to move up in your career.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Advisors: Here Is the Social Media You Should Use

    Being on social media is a valuable part of an advisor's digital marketing strategy. Here's where advisors find are finding the most success.
  8. Personal Finance

    Networking To Land A Job

    Networking should be a career-long endeavor that is just as important as performing your job in an excellent manner.
  9. Financial Advisor

    5 Marketing Strategies for Financial Advisors

    Here are five different strategies advisors can implement to market themselves and their practice.
  10. Managing Wealth

    Social Networking Your Way To More Money

    You might see social network sites as nothing more than a way to catch up with friends, but some people have found ways to profit from social networking.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does LinkedIn (LNKD) make money?

    Selling advertising, premium subscriptions and recruiting tools boosts revenue for the publicly owned job listing and professional ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are some good resources to help entrepreneurs develop a business model?

    Find out what resources are available for developing a small business model; learn what websites contain useful information ... Read Answer >>
  3. What exactly is being done when shares are bought and sold?

    Most stocks are traded on physical or virtual exchanges. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), for example, is a physical exchange ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do Internet companies profit if they give away their services for free?

    Learn how companies in the Internet sector make a profit when service, content and user applications are offered at no cost ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center