Friending On Facebook
As part of my Social Media Self series I’m sharing my rendition of more Facebook etiquette. Social media does equal social skills in my humble opinion.
I get a few friend requests from time and I’ve been burned by spammers and people who want to friend me so I can make them some money.
Call me anal, but now I’m a stickler for knowing what someone is about before I add them to my network. I’ve found many people who I really don’t want to associate with after reading their profiles. Ok, so call me snob 😉
I’m looking for genuine friend relationships with common interests, aren’t you?
Note these points tie into the Human SEO aspect of the blog. I’m not getting into technical aspects like peoples lame pictures, positioning of widgets etc. This is about human communication.
Here’s an example of someone who did everything wrong recently based on my standards.
Facebook Mistake #1 No Introduction
He doesn’t introduce himself, just friend requests me.
So since he didn’t introduce himself and why he was friending me I had to take the time to see what his profile says about him. (Yes, I could have chosen not to)
Make it easy on the person if you’re friend requesting them. You’re implying right off the bat, “This friendship is going to be a lot of work. You’ll have to jump through some hoops in order to get to really know me.”
Am I going a little over board? I don’t believe so. I think it’s just courteous.
When I friend request someone out of the blue, here are my steps to do so:
- Common Friends-I always look to see if we have common friends. Sometimes this is how I arrived to their FB page to begin with.
- Common Interests-Let’s face it, if we have no common interests I’m not going to friend request them to begin with. I’m not looking to amass 1000’s of Facebook friends who don’t give a hoot about the same stuff I do. It’s not quantity that matters in the beginning but the quality of the common interests.
- Common Networks-There are times when I find someones Blog, Twitter or Linkedin account and it leads me back to their FB page. I make note of that and mention it in my introduction to them when I friend request them. Lots of times I’ve found someone on FB because I found their blog first.
- Introduction-I will always mention both of the above in a friend request or if I’m just friending them out of common interests and not a common friend I only mention the interest. The only exception to this rule is if I’m on my iPhone and happen to add someone. The FB app doesn’t give me the option to write an introduction. However when I can, an intro may go something like this:
“Hi Trevor! I noticed we had quite a few common friends like ______ as well as it looks as if we have ______ interests in common. I wanted to reach out, introduce myself and connect to learn more about you.”
Facebook Mistake #2 Lame Profile Description
When I did click through to his profile here is what it says:
“Always difficult but perhaps i see myself as a highly motivated, ambitious, charismatic type of individual. An entrepreneurial background, i am always keen to establish new relationships and expand existing networks so do drop a line and say hello.“
Notice anything about his profile description besides bad punctuation & grammar?
Shallow comes to mind. It tells me nothing about what on earth we may have in common. He’s keen on establishing relationships and charismatic. Ok, my question is so what? Does it make you want to be friends with him? Not me.
If someone was to want to know a little about me prior to friend requesting me here’s what they see on my Facebook profile:
“Personal Development Junkie, Human SEO & spiritual blogger, Philosopher, social media enthusiast, and Internet marketer of good will. Oh yeah and I totally dig Disney World :-)”
There’s a few things going on within my description and I may even tweak it a tad more since tearing it apart in front of you.
- Specific– I’m not trying to be everything to everybody. Right off the bat you’d probably figure out if you’d want to be friends with me or have any common interests.
- Curiosity– There are a few things from a curiosity stand point that may jump out. Human SEO? WTF is that?! Or Spiritual Blogger? I get lots of inquiry’s about that one.
- Fun-As well as I have a little fun with Disney World. Well, because I really do love Disney World. (Ok really I’m an uber Epcot Nerd and love it)
Facebook Mistake #3 No Follow up
After his initial request I let him sit there for a few days. I didn’t accept it or deny it. I got zero follow up via email from him.
Myself personally, if it was a genuine request and the person didn’t reply after a few days or a week, I may send a friendly email acknowledging my presence as well as consciously respecting their time. It may go something like this:
Hi Trevor! I just wanted to reach out by email to you. I sent a friend request about a week ago but like you I know we’re all busy so you may not have seen it yet. I hope all is well on your end and look forward to connecting & learning a bit more about you and your mission!-Tony
P.S. I’ve read (name of post or posts here) on your blog. The theme of your message really resonated with me and is what had me reach out to you and see how I could support your message further.
Notice a few things:
- Don’t Be Pushy-Something like “Hey, didn’t you see I requested you? or “Don’t you know who I am?” kinds of attitudes are not a good idea. Don’t laugh, I have gotten these kinds of emails. I acknowledged his time and was respectful. It’s hard for someone to get upset with you in an above email. Always remember you never know what’s going on in someone elses world so be respectful and courteous.
- Tell Them Why-Notice I mentioned how I had read a specific blog post and that the theme of it resonated with me. Now don’t tell them that if it didn’t. Being real here is utmost important. Don’t say it because you’re trying to get them interested in what you’re about. Although that will be something that naturally happens. Don’t force it though.
- W.I.I.F.M.-That’s the acronym for What’s In It For Me. I mentioned that I wanted to see how I could help support his message further and I’m serious about that. I wouldn’t have a problem letting him/her know I’ll be supporting his content via comments to his/her blog, Tweeting out their messages or syndicating his stuff on my FB page or profile.
So all in all don’t forget there are real human beings on the other side of these profiles. Real people, with real emotions and real lives.
Anything you’d add to this that would really help people better connect?