All over Twitter/Facebook you’ll see tons of hashtag posts: #FF #FollowFriday asking followers to “follow” other members. Not only can this practice increase your follower-ship it can also help you make “real world” friendships.
Can you really make friends via Social Media?
My answer is…it can help.
Case in point, I can point to no less then a dozen friendships I have made from a connection on Social Media.
Social Media interactive groups like #runchat have been a great place to connect with people of similar interests. On occasion I’ve been able to run some races with people I follow and who follow me in return. During the course of those races we hit it off, ran together, hung out, kept in contact and continue to keep in touch to this day. In fact we have planned some future runs together. I’ve also been introduced to a few of their family/friends whom I now keep in touch with by Social Media.
Social Media has allowed me to develop relationships with local runners. It’s hard to make a connection on race day, everyone is in their zone. Posting about a common race we ran I’ve made some good connections with folks I may have had limited interaction with before.
What do I see are the keys to making good friends on Social Media.
#1 Be real, Be yourself, don’t hide behind a fake profile or unreal accomplishments. Just like on the dating sites you’ll be found out.
#2 Take a genuine interest in your followers. Now you can’t be deeply involved with everyone on your Time Line. Invest in those who you have a real connection with.
#3 Share in their success. Celebrate and be as happy for their PR, new long distance mileage or wedding/anniversary as you would be for your family.
#4 Be honest with your posts. Now I’m not saying post intimate details, but if your having a bad day, be honest. If you disagree with an opinion, or a post, be respectful but honest.
#5 Don’t be needy. Social Media should not suck the life out of the reader of your post. If you need help ask for it, but don’t be a constant drain on your followers.
#5a (Maybe the most important) Don’t compare yourself to your followers or your friends. Some of the friends I’ve met via SM are way faster then me, way better looking, have much nicer hair and may make more money. AND I’m glad for them…but I’m the best @cledawgs I can be. Sure these guys/gals push me but I’m not racing them…I’m racing me.
And if you have an opportunity to meet in person, be safe about it and be yourself.
Thank you to all my SM friends whom I’ve met in person. You have added great value to my life and I hope to see you again real soon.