In offline networking, world of mouth is great. On social media, word of mouth is enormous, which is “Word of many mouths almost all at the same time”
This is the what is commonly called the social media effect
Your prospects; some of them you do not even know, are telling others about you even if they are not prepared to buy from you yet. (sharing)
The general public who are social media savvy are telling you when and how many times they have visited your business venues through location based platform like foursquare. If you are a venue owner, get on such platform and claim your venue to unlock the magic of location based marketing.
Your sales staffs are having inquiries daily because they are making new contacts without much offline networking on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
B2B or B2C partners may be coming to you with proposal to create new channels and markets on platform such as Linkedin and Plaxo
Finally, you get to test out a foreign market and gauge its potential without physically going there. Due diligence can be achieved without physically being present at different countries.
In conclusion, networking is the primary objective of going social on different media platforms, and you will develop precious social capital eventually.