The expression 'networker' is used colloquially at work to describe people who actively build, maintain and expand a network of contacts, with the aim of using these relationships for the benefit of their own career. Networking enables people to share information and support each other, independently of their own particular jobs and responsibilities.
It may involve a personal network of friends, colleagues, business partners or customers that is maintained through regular (telephone) contact, meeting for lunch and periodic informal meetings etc.. Alternatively, networking may take place in a virtual network in the internet, allowing managers, in particular, to network internationally.
These virtual communities that have developed in the course of Web 2.0 are known as social networks. The most well-known examples are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social networks may be issue-focussed, such as so-called business networks, or purely for social communication, e.g. pupil and student networks.
Companies may also be users of social networks. In this case, they market themselves by means of a company profile. Using the wide coverage offered by social networks allows them to position themselves as a brand to employees (employer branding) and to proactively communicate directly with customers.
Image: © Rawpixel, Ptich-ya, Margarita Tkachenko - shutterstock.com