Networking: The Tangled Webs We Weave!

We see them everywhere. They span the corners of our houses, connect the branches of the trees in our yards, and sometimes we are even lucky enough to break one with our face as we walk through our front door. We’re talking about spider webs! These pesky little guys seem to pop up everywhere, although their arrival never seems to be a welcomed occurrence. However, Halloween offers cobwebs an opportunity to shine. Bushes in the lawns of suburbia dawn imitation versions as a means of decorative tribute to these creepy creations. We know that right about now you might be thinking, “So what does any of this have to do with me?” Well, allow us to explain. You see, Halloween is on the only time that spider webs can, and should be glorified. Actually, in the corporate world of networking, spider webs are much more prevalent than one might initially think.

This is meant in a figurative manner of course. Nevertheless, the comparison between networking and web weaving is uncanny. To break it down, consider your organization in the following ways:

  • Your organization is like a colony of spiders
  • Each member “spider” weaves their own web that is independent of others in the colony
  • In each spider’s web, are other spiders, who belong to colonies independent of your own
  • All of the spiders in your colony attach to each other via the colony’s common web
  • The individual webs (networks) are now attached to the colony’s (organization’s) web

This concept of connecting networks is seen with different types of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Facebook users can see when they have friends in common with non-friends of their accounts. Similarly, Facebook has a feature that suggests “people you may know” to users based on mutual friends and groups. You can see how creating a Facebook account for your organization is therefore a useful networking strategy. The more networks and groups you join on Facebook means the more “spiders” that will be added to the company’s “web.” Keep in mind that each of these spiders brings their own web into the equation, which will further aid in raising awareness and growing your brand.

While Twitter is less network-oriented, it too can be used as an important web-weaving tool. For example, if you someone follows your company’s Twitter account, that person is then added to your network. The other accounts that they follow, as well as everyone that follows them are then attached in a way to your spider web. This idea is represented also on Linkedin, with its use of first, second, and third connections. What’s more, is that each of these accounts can link to each other, which brings the connection theory full circle!

It IS a small world after all, especially when it comes to the world of corporate networking. It seems paradoxical, really. Now more than ever, we are constantly reminded of the overwhelming numbers of people whom are accessible at a mere click of the mouse via social networks. However, even with the vastly increasing numbers of social media consumers, the numbers of connections are also increasing, making the world of tangled webs seem smaller and smaller as ties are formed.  You might even say it’s getting a little spooky! Happy Halloween!

 

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