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The Psychology of Networking through Social Media

Dalianny Corporan

Instagram is the new way of networking nowadays. It is easy to follow people online and to keep in touch with them through social media. Even though the app can be distracting at times, it is a great way to find clients and employees. There are also many other great social medias like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. There are also many great networking sites like LinkedIn.

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There are many people that have built their platforms solely using Instagram. Many people have built their platforms off popularity and posting as influencers. They make sure to post frequently, so their followers can remain interested. There are different kinds of influencers. There are influencers for beauty, fitness, art, and many more. They also make sure to diversify their contents by including other influencers to build and create more followers.

Many people don’t understand what “influencer” really means. An “influencer” is a person who influences people through their product. Their product could be a literal product, if they represent a company, or if they promote a certain lifestyle. For instance, a fitness influencer would inspire their followers to exercise more and diet and this is a certain lifestyle.

The same goes for TikTok. Many users go viral from posting videos that are less than or equal to one minute long. They then take advantage of that momentary viral fame to create and post more content and maintain their popularity. Many people think making videos is super easy, but it is not, depending on what kind of content a person wants to create. There are many dancing videos, so it is heard to stand out if one does not look like the majority in America. Many creators of color have struggled because of this. Many creators of colors have even gone as far as to boycott because many of the white creators were using their dance moves and not giving them any credit. Luckily, the boycott did help spread awareness. Even controversy helps build popularity. Olivia Jade reached over a million followers on Instagram after the college admissions scandal.

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There is also networking without the internet. There was a time when the internet did not exist, and people had network face-to-face. People went to public events and put themselves out there. This is still being done today because face-to-face networking is still very much necessary. According to Charlie Houpert in his YouTube video, “How to Network If You’re an Introvert,” anyone can attend conferences, leadership programs, trade shows, recreational basketball leagues, and the gym to network, and many times this is better than just going to a network fair.

There are also many ways to network even if the person is shy. According to Houpert, make sure to be confident in yourself and be approachable. Wear the part, but not just a suit and tie. If it is not a formal event, you can wear a shirt related to your product or organization to promote yourself. Introduce yourself and ask, “What brings you here?” “What do you hope to get out of this?” “What cool stuff are you working on right now?” So you can learn what networkers want.

Many people don’t know that connecting people to others is helpful as well. According to Houpert, one should connect people to others even if it doesn’t benefit you immediately. It benefits others and connecting other puzzle pieces will make an enormous network for yourself later. Make a list of people in your life: friends, family, partners, clients. Then make a second column of what those people want.

There are also many other important tips to networking as well. In order to find confidence in oneself, one should know oneself very well. Rosan Auyeung-Chen in her TEDx “Building Connections: How to Be a Relationship Ninja,” it is important to know what you like or what you don’t like and know your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to accept your weaknesses to become stronger. Accept the way you look, and your strengths will enhance. She embraced her sense of humor. Don’t just try to show your good side. People close to you have seen your good and bad side. Let people see you fully for a better connection.

It is also important to be aware of the company and your goals. According to Isaac Serwanga’s TED Talk “The 3 Bones of Networking for Student Success,” competency is vital; ask yourself, “Do you know what you’re talking about?” Research about the company, program, organization, and the individual. Then there is humility; people are not going to want to be in a relationship if they don’t like you. Offer to help and this would put you in a position to succeed.

It is also crucial to getting used to be being told “no.” According to Serwanga, one should reach out to many people as he or she can. A person should persist no matter how many rejections. Networking is like currency where one can progress and go forward.

From social media to face-to-face connections, networking is vital to a successful company and career. A way a person gets better at networking is through practice and advise. It is a trial-and-error process. It is not easy at first, but it will get easier over time.

Many people criticize social media for how it has taken so much time from the youth, but it has helped young people so much in just the past couple years. The world will forever be changed because of social media when it comes to networking. A person can find his or her next potential job, employer, client, business partner, workshop, or conference because of the internet. The internet can grab people’s attention in beneficial ways that most critics choose to ignore.

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