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Nothing Beats a Handshake Networking is a must for business owners. But even with social media, the human touch is still important.

Networking is no longer just a matter of attending a monthly meet-and-greet and making a couple of new contacts. It's now a continual effort that can include coffees in the morning, get-acquainted lunches, drinks after work and dozens of tweets, Facebook posts, blog entries, online chats and LinkedIn communications in between. But even with the expanding importance of social networking, human contact is still critical.

"Just because you're networking online doesn't mean you shouldn't be networking in person," says Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out, an online resource connecting reporters with stories and sources. "Everything you do should be networking. The person sitting next to you on the plane may have your next job."

Here are some strategies for making sure you plug into every potential opportunity.

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