4 Easy Steps To Making Friends Online
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Let me start with an assumption:
You're on social media to make friends.
Because that’s what social media platforms were created for and because what would life and business be like without friends?
Social media is for being social.
It's not a velvet-curtained stage for talking endlessly about yourself or your services and products. People doing that are saying...
"I'm not interested in getting to know you better."
"I'm here for me."
And, you're not one of those people.
Those people are going to find it very hard to market anything via social media.
But let's get back to you...
You like meeting people and learning more about your target audience but you're having a hard time connecting and building relationships online. Here are 4 super easy steps to follow if you're ready to make friends:
Send the right signals
Let’s pretend you're at a dinner party. On entering the house, you walk right past the guy in the plaid shirt gazing up at the ceiling with his arms folded and the two women whispering in the corner.
Because you're human and you pick up on body language...and, because what you’re looking for is:
A friendly face.
Someone who makes eye contact with you and smiles because that person is showing signs of openness.
So in the online space, when you’re sharing selfies or making videos, ask yourself:
Do I look approachable?
Am I coming across as someone who is willing to engage in dialogue with my followers?
A dialogue is a conversation between two people. To engage in dialogue you have to - wait for it - ....engage.
You can't expect people to find you unless you are also online actively following and engaging with other people.
It's a two-way street. If you consistently leave thoughtful comments that show you actually read what was posted and let people know you like their work or appreciate their posts, they're going to check you out. Maybe not immediately but if you keep showing up their curiosity will be piqued.
So when you write captions for your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, make sure your captions clearly show the following:
You know who you are writing for. (Your target audience)
You don't bite. (Check your tone and voice)
You're curious and open and want to know more about your followers. (End your captions/posts with a question or Call To Action)
Keep the conversation flowing
Now let’s go back to that dinner party.
You’re talking to a woman - Jenny - who is standing next to a beautiful potted yucca. You connected by starting a conversation about your love of plants but specifically hard-to-kill indoor plants because the less resilient variety of indoor plants tend to keel over and die in your presence.
Jenny - a fellow plant murderer - commiserates with you and the conversation moves easily from talking about plants to Jenny’s recent trip to Bali, coincidentally one of your favourite holiday destinations, where you learn she completed a yoga teaching course.
As the evening progresses you cover a lot of ground. You discover you have many things in common like a passion for travel and reading... but you also learn that Jenny is opening a yoga studio in your part of town in the new year.
On social media, it’s harder to keep the conversation flowing in the comment section. Thanks in part to the lack of privacy.
So after a few online interactions, it's a good idea to continue the conversation offline.
Here's what you can do:
Send the person a DM (Direct Message) requesting their email address or invite them to get to know you better via a Zoom or Skype meeting.
Make sure you know WHY you want to be friends with this person. Ask yourself questions like: ✔️How can we help each other? ✔️What value do I bring to this connection? Make notes on things like similar interests or experiences. This will make it easier for you to start a conversation and keep it going. DO NOT SELL. Remember, you want to grow your network. You want more friends. If you're going to pitch your latest product or service, you are going to come across as mercenary and self-involved. There is a lot of advice out there telling you to connect only with people who will work with you or buy your products. Because "if they're not going to buy from you they're just wasting your time". I strongly disagree with this. Many of your followers and friends will never buy from you but they will recommend you to their friends because they like, know and trust you.
End the conversation properly
Lastly, just like you wouldn’t walk away from Jenny without asking for her business card or exchanging numbers, you shouldn’t end your call with your new friend without arranging a time and date for a follow-up meeting or call.
Never walk away from a face-to-face meeting that went well without scheduling a follow-up.
Now over to you,
What are your top tips for connecting with people online and making new friends?