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A few days ago I had a new contact on Twitter send me an @ message asking how he could increase his number of friends. I found it interesting that his message was sent to me in all capital letters like he was shouting at me. It read, ” I NEED HELP HOW CAN I GET MORE FOLLOWERS”.

I took the time and politely wrote several 140 character private messages back to him and recommended that he follow the folks listed as Twitterati on, that he comment on the blogs of the biggies listed in the Technorati top 100, and most importantly, that he find a way to share useful information with others. “Find a way to be of service to your Twitter friends, the same way you are in life to your regular friends. Interact with others, be friendly, be kind and be helpful.”

I also recommended that he use lower case letters rather than all capitals when writing to a connection, as it’s just friendlier. Interestingly enough, I never heard from him again. Not a thank you or a comment back.

In thinking about this experience, I believe Twitter and most of social media are just like life. We want to hang out with people that we like. Can you imagine walking into a cocktail party and shouting “I WANT MORE FRIENDS!!!” ?

Holding HandsYou may get a lot of stares from the crowd but I doubt it will assist you in developing and cultivating real friendships. Social media is no different. The same manners and methods for building friendship in person apply to social media as well.

Twitter, Face Book and LinkedIn allow us to play in a bigger way, but they don’t change the rules on how to play. They only put our current behavior in front of a larger audience.

So if you want more friends in social media, it’s just like what we learned in third grade…. If you want a friend, first BE a friend.

Reach out to one another. Make someone’s day better. Ask yourself what you need today and then give that to someone else.

Online and off-line, acknowledgement, recognition and gratitude will go a long way.

Right now, while you’re thinking about it, reach out to one person online and do something nice. Brighten someone’s day. Send a supportive email or tweet. Be the unexpected ray of sunshine in the world today. The greatest thing about it is you can’t brighten someone else’s day without brightening your own at the same time.

Suddenly, without effort or trying, you’ll be surrounded by friends and your world will be richer for it. And all it took was first being a friend to others. Yeah, it’s pretty cool how that works, no? Enjoy your day!



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Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter.

Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006.

Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love.

Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Gail,
    I want to relay my gratitude by acknowledging that your advice is helpful.
    Since I have taken the step to send a supportive Tweet, I suppose that constitutes my recognition of your exceptional ability.

    “Be the unexpected ray of sunshine in the world today.” – Gail.G.

  2. Thank-you for putting words to my thoughts (exactly) on this subject. I follow people on Twitter who see things differently. I look forward to reading more on your blog. I will send you a link to mine once I publish it.

  3. Great tips Gail. And several of them I had not heard before.

    I always suggest to people new on Twitter to answer the question:

    What Are You Doing (For Me)? Meaning what are you doing for your community. What do you have to offer your community? Share those things that it is sometimes difficult for others to get because they are so busy with other things. Send reminders and announcements of things happening in your community for organizations who may not have a social media presence, send announcements. If you didn’t know about it when you saw it, chances are neither did anybody else. Also sharing tweets are good because it helps other people in your network find each other. By the way I found the link to this article in your husbands tweet stream. Good on him 🙂


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