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 AllTop.com, 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!!!” ?
You 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!