Do’s & Don’ts to Network Online: The Ultimate Guide to Online Networking Etiquette


Last Updated: April 12, 2023
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Welcome to the digital age, where swiping right on a career opportunity can lead to a match made in heaven. Online networking has become an essential part of building a successful career, and with the rise of social media, it has never been easier to connect with like-minded professionals.

So, what exactly is online networking? It’s the art of building relationships and making connections through digital platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, online networking can help you expand your reach and tap into new opportunities.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of online networking in today’s job market, and provide you with some tips on how to do it right. From crafting the perfect profile to engaging with your online community, we’ll cover all the bases so you can make the most of this powerful tool. So, grab your smartphone and let’s get swiping!

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Networking: Not Just for Your Grandma’s Rotary Club Anymore

Are you tired of hearing about the importance of networking from your parents, teachers, or other “old” people in your life? Well, let me tell you, networking has come a long way since your grandma’s Rotary club days. In fact, online networking is one of the most powerful tools you have to build your career, and it can be a whole lot of fun too! So, let’s dive into the do’s of online networking and see how you can use them to make some great connections.

  1. Develop a strong online presence

First things first, if you want to make an impact online, you need to develop a strong online presence. That means making sure your social media profiles are on point. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality and personal brand. Use some eye-catching visuals, make your profiles consistent across platforms, and let people know what you’re all about. Trust us, it’ll make a world of difference.

  1. Engage with your online community

Once you’ve got your online presence sorted, it’s time to start engaging with your online community. No, we don’t mean randomly liking people’s posts and hoping they notice you. Comment on other people’s posts, share and repost content that aligns with your interests, and respond to messages and inquiries promptly. By doing this, you’ll show that you’re interested in what others have to say, and you’ll start building some great connections.

  1. Be authentic and professional

When it comes to online networking, it’s important to strike the right balance between being authentic and professional. While you want to show your true self, you also need to keep it classy and professional. Humor and creativity are great, but use them in moderation. And for the love of all that is good, please proofread your messages and comments.

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  1. Show your expertise

Online networking is a great way to showcase your skills and knowledge. Share your expertise with others, whether it’s by writing articles or blog posts, participating in discussions, or simply sharing your thoughts on industry news. By doing this, you’ll position yourself as a thought leader in your field, and you’ll attract some great connections.

  1. Follow up with your connections

Finally, it’s important to follow up with your connections. Don’t be that person who connects with someone and then disappears. Send personalised messages to new connections, schedule coffee or virtual meetings to get to know your connections better, and stay in touch by periodically checking in with your connections. By doing this, you’ll build stronger relationships, and you’ll be top of mind when opportunities arise.

There you have it, the do’s of online networking. Remember, networking doesn’t have to be boring or stuffy.

Online Networking Fails: How to Avoid the Cringe

Online networking can be a powerful tool to build your career, but there are some major don’ts you should avoid if you don’t want to end up on the internet’s hall of shame.

  1. Don’t be too self-promotional

Listen, we get it. You’re trying to make connections and get your name out there. But nobody likes a self-promoter. Don’t constantly post about your accomplishments, don’t slide into someone’s DMs just to talk about yourself, and don’t make everything about you. Instead, focus on building relationships and adding value to others.

  1. Don’t overshare personal information

Sure, you want people to get to know the real you, but there’s a fine line between sharing and oversharing. Don’t post about your drama-filled personal life, don’t rant about politics or religion, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your future boss to see. Keep it classy and professional, folks.

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  1. Don’t use inappropriate language or behaviour

This should go without saying, but apparently, it needs to be said. Don’t use inappropriate language or behaviour when networking online. Don’t be a troll, don’t make sexist or racist comments, and don’t harass people. Just… don’t.

  1. Don’t ignore messages or requests

When someone sends you a message or connection request, it’s just plain rude to ignore it. Even if you’re not interested in connecting with them, you can at least send a polite message saying so. Ignoring people will just make you look bad, and it’s not a good look.

  1. Don’t forget to proofread

Finally, we can’t stress this enough: proofread your messages and comments before sending them. Nobody wants to read a message full of typos or grammatical errors. It makes you look lazy and unprofessional. So take a minute to proofread, and avoid the embarrassment.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll avoid the cringe and make some great connections along the way. Happy networking!

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Networking like a Boss: Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid

Different platforms have different strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to choose the one that aligns with your networking goals. Are you looking for a job? Consider LinkedIn. Are you trying to reach a specific audience? Maybe Instagram or Twitter is the way to go. Your online profile is your first impression, so make it count. Use a professional photo, clearly state your skills and experience, and highlight what makes you stand out. But remember, keep it concise and to the point. Be strategic in your platform selection. Networking isn’t a one-way street. Provide value to your connections by sharing your expertise, offering advice, or making introductions. 

Don’t be that person who sends a generic message to everyone on their contact list. It’s annoying, and it won’t get you anywhere. Take the time to personalise your messages. It shows that you value the other person’s time and are genuinely interested in building a relationship. Networking is a long game. Don’t expect to land your dream job or score a big client after one conversation. It takes time and effort.

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Network Your Way to Success

Networking doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these do’s and don’ts in mind, you can confidently navigate the world of online networking and make genuine connections that will propel your career forward. The potential benefits of online networking are limitless, from landing your dream job to collaborating on exciting projects. And if you need extra guidance on your career path, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mentoria, a career counselling firm dedicated to helping professionals achieve their goals. Happy networking!

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