How to Make Friends in Social Media

Kevin Dean – Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When it comes to building your social media tribe, you can’t just put yourself and your product out there and expect people to come running. For those of us who don’t have celebrity status, creating a large, thriving community on social networks takes a lot of time and quite a bit of work. 

You may have a brilliant profile with a stunning image and customized homepage, but if no one’s dropping by to see it, what’s the point? To paraphrase the old saying: if you write the perfect status update and nobody reads it, does it exist? In this case, we’d have to say no. Because the unseen status update is just as inconsequential as if you had never written one at all. And because you’re not as well known as Oprah Winfrey or Justin Bieber (not yet), you aren’t going to get any friend requests pouring in just because you’ve shown up on the scene. 

So, until your big break hits, here are a few tips for increasing your friends, followers and connections: 

  1. You’ve got to give to get. When Tweeting or updating your Facebook status, remember to provide good content for your friends and followers. Rather than using every Tweet to plug a product or a service you provide, try offering handy tips that are relevant to your market. People love a freebie and sharing bits of your knowledge shows that you care.
  2. Do some back scratching. If you want tons of people to follow you, you need to start following tons of people. If you want other experts in your area to make comments on your blogs, you need to make comments on their blogs. See where we’re going with this?
  3. Reach out and touch someone. Look around online and find places where you can insert yourself into the conversations going on in your market. Join forums, LinkedIn groups, and the like and be an active participant. Make yourself known in the webosphere amongst your peers and your potential customers.
  4. Get out once in a while. Stop spending the majority of your work time sitting behind a desk, glued to a computer; find out what the real people are doing these days. Attend live events and networking functions to talk with other people in your niche face-to-face. Make real live connections and get to know a different aspect of your market. Invite your new friends to follow you or visit your Facebook page.
  5. Scratch your own back. If your Facebook page is busier than your Twitter, make a few status updates promoting your Twitter page. If you’ve got 500 followers on Twitter and only 16 connections on LinkedIn, update your LinkedIn profile then Tweet about it. Don’t be afraid of cross-promotion. 

The most important tip we can give you for growing your social media network is to stay active. You have valuable products to offer and services to promote and things you want to say about your industry, and there are people out there who want to hear about all of it. But they can’t listen if you’re not talking. It’s just a matter of getting out there and doing it.

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