Social media platforms are meant to be a place where people can interact with each other to establish new friendships. However, just as some people are better in social settings in “real” life, there are those that need additional practice when it comes to making friends while behind a keypad.
Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have taken measures to ensure that users can’t randomly add people that they do not know. Blind online networking was once practiced by many but is now shunned because of users taking advantage of few spam filters that are available across these platforms. Now those who are caught trying to connect with people that they don’t really know are blocked, reported as spam or never given the opportunity to reach out.
So how should one work their way around such blockades? It’s a quite simple but often overlooked solution. Instead of just blindly sending messages or friend requests start the process with a simple introduction post or email. Find a way to connect with them in a respectful manner, rather than blasting them with tweets or Facebook posts. Many times, the individual that you are looking to connect with will be turned off by those actions and you’ve already burned a bridge that wasn’t even fully built. You may think that blasts across Twitter or Facebook to “listen to this song,” or “check out this link” will build your following but instead you will get ignored more often than not.
Another practice that one should use is to have a mutual connection introduce you to the person of interest. This way, that person can speak highly enough of you to get you into the door of establishing the needed relationship. That mutual friend can also help you learn some of the idiosyncrasies in talking to that person down the line. Many times these professional introductions can lead to opportunities that weren’t even anticipated.
The way you present yourself on social media is just as vital to the way you present yourself in face to face interactions. Messing up online can cost you a new relationship the same way it could when you attempt to talk to a new person up close. Be smart and use your resources without being overbearing. You’ll network will grow and the benefits will come your way.