In my last post I gave an example of how a discussion in Facebook group created a number of ripples. Thomas & Jason underlined how social media has that power. But I noticed Jason P made a comment today:
How many of you feel that way? Did you read my last post saying to yourselves, why doesn’t that happen to me? Do you wonder how the social people attract friends like magnets? After observing & evaluating this phenomena for a few months, here are what I see as basic premises if you want to improve your ‘Befriendability’:
- Get involved. Lurking is fine, but trust me you’ll find more reasons to befriend people if you interact in conversations in groups & you’ll have a higher chance of being befriended if you’re contributing
- participate in groups & when you see someone that resonates with your philosophies, add them & put a note why you’re adding them
- provide relevant content – people will befriend you
- if a blog is of particular interest add that person at Facebook or follow them on Twitter – put your profile links prominently on your blog.
- Be yourself. This is so important! Yes, you have an online persona & hopefully you’ve branded it consistently across your social media sites, but please be yourself. That’s who people want to meet.
- Don’t have a personal agenda. I like Chris Brogan’s style of asking ‘What can I do for you’ rather than pondering, ‘What can they do for me’. I think that it’s extremely important to not expect anything. Remember, it’s a social space.
One thing to note is that I meet people & continue to interact with them for their content rather than ‘who’ they are. Sean made that point in his comment. Granted the wow! factor in that Shel Israel answered my question & posted on my wall is pretty high because his book, Naked Conversations, was invaluable to me (& as a librarian, authors fairly walk on water!).
About me: I started on this path as a public librarian from rural Minnesota & am still continually amazed at the potential of social media on the web for networking & marketing. I am leaving my position of 7 years to join a company that has embraced the value of social media & it’s tools. I fully admit that networking with people has helped bring me to this point & my network is invaluable!
Facebook: When befriending someone include a brief reason why. Use one of the following along with a quick hello on their wall.
- Answer their question This is a great way to express yourself.
- Note mutual interests. When I accept someone that has taken the time to give me a reason why, after approving them, I pop over to their profile & browse then leave a comment on their wall. Obviously they made the effort to engage, so I return the favor. This is a great way to start a conversation
- Note mutual friends. Wow, have I noticed a trend in Facebook & Twitter! I keep seeing the same 5 or 6 people as mutual friends. So much so that I’ve started commenting on the friends that we have in common.
- Take note if someone seems to be having an interesting conversation with someone on a regular basis. Click on the @username to see their previous tweets. Follow them if it’s of interest
- Watch the public stream for interesting tweeters
- Follow the tweets of your favorite bloggers
- Tip: For people who add me, I send a welcome @them tweet because they’ve added me for a reason. AND I follow them immediately. For me Twitter is interactive.
- Do you see people making comments that are of particular interest to you? Click on their username & see if they have their Twitter & Facebook profiles on their blog. Connect.
Intrigued & ready to get started on the adventure of meeting new people? It’s quite easy really. Here are some quick start ideas, pleae let me know if you have others!
- Add profile links to your blog – make it easy for people
- There are a number of interesting groups to join on Facebook like:
- Web Strategy Group
- Web Community Forum
- Fans of Marketing Profs
- Community Manager, Advocate & Evangelist
- Social Networking in the Enterprise
Have fun with it all! Once you get over the initial fear, gaining random friends is quite rewarding! There are amazing people out there!
- Update: I forgot to add an obvious way to find new friends that I’ve shared with our readers at our blog – go thru the lists of Friends of your Friends & add people that you know, or want to know.