Social vs Professional Networking: Difference and Comparison

Networking has always been a core practice that enriches relationships and opportunities for everyone. Networking to know new people, understanding their thoughts, and sharing ideas is called social networking.

And when we use networking and communication for our professional requirements and connections, it is called professional networking.

Key Takeaways

  1. Social networking focuses on building personal connections and friendships, while professional networking aims to create career-related connections and opportunities.
  2. Social networking platforms like Facebook prioritize casual interactions, while professional networking sites like LinkedIn cater to career development and job-seeking.
  3. Professional networking emphasizes sharing industry news, career advice, and job openings, while social networking involves sharing personal updates, interests, and recreational content.

Social Networking vs Professional Networking

The difference between social and professional networking is that we use social networking for socializing for friendship, communication, sharing interests, and exploring people from various places, whereas professional networking is entirely based on professional relationships and business interactions.

Social Networking vs Professional Networking 1

In the cyber age, many of us are exposed to the internet more than the sunlight! And the introduction of social networking applications and websites made life much easier and more convenient.

Today we can communicate virtually with anyone from across the world just by keeping ourselves connected to the internet. Social networking has helped us communicate more and conveniently.

Social networking is a core platform for finding new friends, sharing ideas and hobbies as well as discussing a research paper whatsoever.

Just like social networking, professional networking’s major purpose includes socializing BUT for the professional and business-related aspects only.

Professional networking has been a helpful tool in the 21st century for submitting job requests, monitoring job profiles, searching for business partners, advertising products

or simply building formal and strong professional bonds for mutual help and growth. 

It has also been used as a method for people to make money, particularly if a professional networking site is used.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonSocial NetworkingProfessional Networking
DefinitionNetworking and connecting to various people with the help of the internet for personal purposes like friendship, discussion, etc is social networking.Networking and creating connections with professionals and business-related personalities for mutual growth and professional requirements using the internet is professional networking.
Used byIt is used by anyone who wants to socialize and gain new friends and connections.Mostly used by businessmen, freshers, professionals and workers, financial agents.
Communication typeMostly informal communication is used.Formal conversations with absolute productivity and resource sharing.
ApplicationsSocializingFriendshipChatting and discussionsExploring and understanding.Social and professional connectionsLearning and exhibiting USPs and skillsSearching and applying for jobs.
ExamplesFacebook, Instagram, Telegram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Wechat, Twitter, etc.Linkedin, Google mail (Hybrid),, Monsterjobs,, etc.

What is Social Networking?

The process of connecting with family and friends through websites and computer networks, sharing ideas and information with others, meeting new friends and interacting with each other, and occasionally even finding a partner.

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Social networking has been a pillar of our social life for a long time now since using a social networking site, or application is really simple and enjoyable.

It has become a vital tool for families that live far apart to communicate and stay in touch with one another.

Others can use social networking to reconnect with long-lost friends and relatives, as well as make new acquaintances and meet people with similar interests.

Virtual meets and the different methods of communication provided by the latest social networking applications and sites made it quite easy and fun to talk to people.

With consecutive updates and patches, social networking sites and applications have now become near-perfect and easy to use.

Examples include Facebook by Mark Zuckerburg, Hangouts by Google, Telegram by Pavel Durov, Twitter launched by Odeo, and many more.

The social network has also overlapped with many multimedia applications so that the users can enjoy the multimedia with their known ones or friends virtually themselves!  Some more features of social networking media include;

  1. Free and individual Web-Space
  2. Create a free virtual profile and identity which is customizable
  3. Emailing and free messaging services
  4. Video calling and voice calling features
  5. Uploading content and sharing content is one of the most unique and useful features.
social networking

What is Professional Networking?

Professional networking sites enable users to search for employment based on their connections to locate one that matches their credentials.

Different users and potential employers can look at a user’s profile and provide recommendations.

Just like social networking is used for friendships, chatting, and casual talks, professional business networking is built for working people and freshers to connect to the world of industries from the internet itself.

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One must abide by the strictly formal and productive method of conversation to get the most out of professional networking.

It also is recommended to set up a very formal and subtle virtual identity when making a profile on a professional networking site or application.

It also allows experts from many sectors of interest to share their thoughts and expertise, as well as enabling users to ask questions that can be answered by their connections and provide answers to topics about which one is informed.

One can apply for jobs by simply uploading their resume to the site’s database, and the recruiters can look into the profiles with ease.

The latest features and USPs of professional networking sites include virtual interviews as well as group discussions for efficient recruitment and appointments.

professional networking

Main Differences Between Social Networking and Professional Networking

  1. Social networking is used for friendly chats and making new friends, whereas professional networking allows users to connect to the professional world of industries and businesses.
  2. Social networking aims for a convenient and informal way of conversation, but professional networking must be practised with etiquette and formal tones.
  3. Social networking sites and apps are aimed at everyone, but professional networking sites are made for job seekers, job recruiters, or businessmen.
  4. Social networking can be used for entertainment, but professional networking isn’t for entertainment or fun-seeking purposes.
  5. Examples of social networking media include Facebook, Hangouts, Instagram, Twitter, etc. In contrast, professional networking includes Linkedin,, Monsterjobs, etc.
Difference Between Social Networking and Professional Networking

Last Updated : 04 August, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Social vs Professional Networking: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The distinctions made in this article highlight the significance of understanding the different communication types and applications associated with social and professional networking.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The insights shared here present a valuable guide for individuals looking to navigate the networking landscape effectively.

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  3. The article effectively distinguishes between social and professional networking, highlighting their specific purposes and the nature of interactions involved.

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    • Absolutely, the examples provided serve as valuable illustrations of how each type of networking is tailored to distinct user needs.

  4. The detailed explanations of social and professional networking provide a comprehensive understanding of their unique characteristics and applications.

    • Agreed, the emphasis on how social networking platforms prioritize casual interactions, while professional networking sites focus on career development, is particularly insightful.

  5. Understanding the difference between social and professional networking is crucial for networking effectively in our digital era. These distinctions are well articulated in this article.

  6. The comparison table effectively summarizes the key differences between social and professional networking, making it easier to grasp the nuances of each type.

    • Absolutely, the side-by-side comparison offers a clear understanding of the distinct features and users of each networking type, which is essential for users in leveraging them effectively.

  7. This article provides a comprehensive comparison between social and professional networking, shedding light on their respective purposes and applications.

    • I found it enlightening to learn the specific use cases for social and professional networking. It’s fascinating how they cater to different needs.

    • Indeed, the examples provided offer clarity on the platforms associated with each type of networking, emphasizing their unique features.

  8. The comparison between social and professional networking is elucidated clearly, allowing readers to grasp their unique qualities and applications.

    • I concur, the detailed comparison offers a comprehensive guide for individuals seeking to maximize the potential of social and professional networking.

  9. The breakdown of parameters in the comparison table provides a systematic way to discern the differences between social and professional networking, offering a comprehensive overview.

    • I agree, the structured comparison table effectively showcases the distinctions between social and professional networking, making it easier to understand their varied applications.

  10. The article succinctly outlines the core features and distinctions between social and professional networking, offering valuable insights on their respective uses.

    • Absolutely, the emphasis on informal communication in social networking and formal conversations in professional networking offers a clear understanding of their dynamics.

    • Indeed, the comparisons presented in the article help readers understand the unique functionalities of social and professional networking.


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