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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.

This story appears in the October 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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, posts, entries, online chats and 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."

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