How To Promote Networking In Your Business

By Francine Fluetsch on July 19, 2016

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Ah, networking, something a lot of us tend to despise, though we all know that it is a vital aspect for making connections that could really save us in the long run. Most people only think of networking when they are actively looking for a job, but are your employees also networking your business once they are hired?

Having all levels of employees network your company will help you expand clientele, gain opportunities to hire great assets to your team, and possibly even get business partners that are willing to partake in some aspect of your business. So how exactly can you help promote networking in your company? Here are some ideas that might help.

Give them rewards.

So basically, employees are willing to put in more effort when there are challenges consisting of friendly competition, that are completed with a reward. Let’s say you want them to network your business to an audience of potential applicants. Maybe hold a contest as to who can come up with the most creative way to network to young grads, and award that person (or team) with some sort of prize.

This isn’t to say that you have to offer a reward every time you want them to network, but this might be a great way to get them interested and involved in promoting the company and expanding the reach of knowledge and word of mouth.

Show how it will benefit them.

Networking is so incredibly important in the world we live in today, so make sure that your employees know how good networking of the company can really help them out too. If they help you network to clients and customers who will stay loyal, it means more money and investment for the company, which also means more raises and bonuses for the staff, right?

When presenting the idea that more employees should be networking the company, both face-to-face and on social media platforms, it is important to sell it as an idea that they, and you, and the company, are all one united force. When you succeed, you succeed together, so it is in their best interest to network to the appropriate audiences to keep the business thriving.

Networking gets easier with experience.

Networking is a skill, and like with any skill, the more you practice, the better you get. Really tell your employees that the more they network the company, the better their ability to do it gets, which they can use when getting a different job down the road if they so choose, getting into a college or grad school, or even in their own personal lives. Skills like this really need to be polished so that they are ready to go whenever they would be needed.

Networking keeps employees current.

Networking is a great way for everyone to see what their competition is, what their target demographic consists of, and who/what the new grads that are coming out of college are doing currently in your business field. Showing your employees how networking can also keep them current in the field is very important, and will give them more of an incentive to seek out networking opportunities on their own accord.

Customers are able to Google anything at will, so companies have a lot to compete with when it comes to reviews, performance, and social media exposure. The better your company is at keeping social media up to date, at making connections with customers that result in good reviews, and the ability to hold true to what the website says, will all work in the favor of the business and everyone that is associated with it.

Make it less daunting.

The word “networking” can really make some people anxious, because it is a lot of face time with random people who you have to impress, as well as really selling yourself/the business without sounding desperate, so maybe try to show your employees that it doesn’t always have to be as daunting as it seems. Maybe hold some networking workshops where everyone can try out different networking techniques and role-play them out to get feedback. It will be a fun team building activity, and will get everyone on board with the idea that everyone gets a bit nervous when it comes to networking, and that’s normal.

You can also mention how some of these networking conventions for businesses will allow for great exposure to some higher-ups, free food, and the opportunity to delve more into the field, surrounded by people who are just as passionate about it.

Try a couple of these out and see which one sticks. Your company deserves to be promoted, and the more employees that you have helping you, the more attention that it will get. Recent grads are great at social media, so let them work their magic on there, and if you also have people who are good at the face-to-face interactions, you’ll be solid.

By Francine Fluetsch

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
Hi! I'm Francine and I'm a fourth year Creative Writing major at UC Santa Cruz. I am one of the Campus life columnists on Uloop's National Team and also the campus editor for UCSC. I enjoy reading, writing, and taking selfies with my cat.

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