Virtual Networking: Instagram

Published on
January 20, 2022
Time to read: 
A light blue box with the words Virtual Networking: Instagram and blue icons for LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. In small text at the bottom of the image
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Networking is all about identifying Friendly Forces (allies and colleagues), creating trusting relationships and helping each other achieve your goals. You can do that on Instagram!

I resisted joining Instagram (IG) for a long time. Mostly because I think in words and not in pictures.  I assumed that I’d have to be an accomplished photographer before posting on IG.

Late in 2020, I joined Instagram with the goal of following a bunch of phenomenal Indigenous women entrepreneurs I’d met through the NWAC #BeTheDrum Entrepreneur Navigation Program. I happily started following people and liking posts, adding an occasional comment or emoji.

Disclaimer: I’m a Gen X person, also known as a Digital Immigrant. Communicating with emoji’s doesn’t come naturally to me. I generally stick to a thumbs up, smiley face, or heart.

I’ve been actively networking for almost 4 decades. I knew a lot of people used Instagram, but I had a hard time imagining how I’d use this social media platform to network.

When I began writing a phrase or a few sentences as a comment on people’s posts, it started to feel like networking.

Then I discovered the joys of direct messaging (DM) people I’d come to know online, for real time text chats. I’m not talking about dating DMs! Any DMs that even hint at being someone or some bot looking for romance is blocked. No explanations, no apologies, just a simple block.

You’d be surprised at how many predators there are out there looking to misuse social media. To learn more about how to stay safe online follow Matt Richardson, Director: Intelligence and Investigations. 

Some examples of networking I’ve participated in using the Instagram DM function are chat’s about growing your business, accessibility, and books. I now feel like I know some of the people I DM with, they’re a part of my network.

In February 2021, I created my first IG post, a picture of what my office looked like at that time. As of the writing of this blog, I’ve posted 110 times on IG, and even managed to share some stories to my timeline! 

So far my IG network is the smallest of my social media networks, with over 500 followers – some of which I’m confident are bots. Even taking that into consideration, I’ve met and learned from some really intriguing people, with fantastic stories to share, and I’ve grown my overall network.

As I write this piece it occurred to me that I should post a new picture of my office, and up my game when it comes to networking with others on IG. Tasks to add to my “to do” list.

I encourage you to explore networking opportunities on your preferred social media platforms!

What's your favourite way to network?