Have you ever wondered how “quality” your online friends are? Have you thought about how cool it is to have a lot of, say Twitter friends? Do you think about and screen who “friends” you on Facebook or Twitter or do you accept invitations just as is?
Contrary to popular demand (and when I say “popular,” I say this to those that do what I’m going to speak of NOT doing, and you know who you are), quantity of social relationships should never be confused with quality of those social relationships. Conversely, quality relationships should never be measured by the quantity of those relationships. Let me explain more fully.
In your online social relationships, your modus operandi shouldn’t be about “whoever gets the most friends wins,” as that type of mentality won’t get you far in the social realm. That’s really saying that thousands of acquaintances and so-called friends are going to matter most, which is totally false. Generating tons of friends for the numbers and the things you can do with those numbers aren’t exactly the most ingenious nor integrity-based way of becoming friends online. Taken from my own personal and professional accounts, I delete those who just add me to their list as if they’re Ashton Kutcher or Charlie Sheen. WINNING takes more than just numbers of followers (or a handful of goddesses). WINNING is actually a two-way conversational street.
What should be your modus operandi, or at least part of it, is the idea that quality and relevant friends will go further in long-term relationships than acquaintances that are only short-term based or only those that “farm” friends. I’m not saying to stick with your “best buds” and not branch out, because sometimes you will never know who a good friend will turn out to be until you actually converse with them. What I am saying though is to keep your knits tight with whoever you’re friends with now, and then build up organically on that foundation. “But David,” so you say, “What does that mean to be ‘tight-knit’ with my online friends?” Think about what defines quality to you and start from there. For example, here’s something that I would do:
Do My Research
Personally, I check out my pending Twitter followers’ overall profiles and tweets to make sure they’re legit. Sometimes checking out their tweets alone won’t be good enough to analyze whether or not they’re worth following you, as that can be misleading. Forget about what their bios say either, as most of the time that can be nothing but self-serving. What I am most interested in is if their tweets and bio is aligned with what they present themselves on their website or any research that I do (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, etc). If what they say on Twitter isn’t holistically in line with their overall persona, then they’re surely going to be denied, ESPECIALLY if they’re MLM.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if they’re in a different industry or business than what I do, although I prefer to establish relationships that are in the realm of my passions and business. But that doesn’t mean I turn others away. Far from it! Again, it’s about the whole as a sum of its parts and vice versa.
Follow the 3 Principles of Social Conversation
In my previous post, I stated 3 principles on conversing socially. These principles aren’t just something I made up; these are exactly the methodology that I follow on a regular basis. Once I have done my research and have welcomed my friends aboard, then I start talking, engaging, entertaining, and edifying. That’s where I can start seeing the value of my tweets and their conversations/tweets with me. Sometimes it’s the least of people that I would expect to respond that would respond heavily with interesting and heartfelt opinions and conversations. Other times, my tweets will cause responses from those that I knew would be the ones that will retweet or make comments. Those are the types of people that I know will or have become my influencers, and those are the ones that are on my list as QUALITY.
‘Tis Better to Give than Receive
In order to get influencers in your spheres, sometimes you have to be THAT influencer to start off. Don’t be afraid to give your followers the retweets, comments, suggestions, etc. Sparking that type of conversation ensures to them that you know or at least have an interest in their subjects, have the desire to interact with them, and makes them aware that, if anyone, you are listening to what they are saying. Once that is established, then you start building an organic foundation that blossoms into both of you being influencers to each other. When that blooms, you’ll see seeds being planted elsewhere while you repeat the process with other followers.
Quality is NEVER Instant
I’m sure my other social media counterparts will have a say in this, but I will make my point. Quality is and should never be instant. BFFs come and go (hello LiLo and her many entourages), but true social friends stay. Building relationships online is just as hard to work on as befriending people in real life. Don’t rush into things too fast, too often, and too soon. Let it build and let it grow; you’ll see the differences in the type of quality relationship over time and you will fell good about it. Trying to be like Ashton Kutcher and generating as many followers JUST to beat another dude isn’t going to get your name out there. As a matter of fact, it’s only going to be a 1-way street, and that is to get the other guy at the top.
Don’t just be a “good” friend. Be an AWESOME friend. Be THAT friend that someone wants to be by your side 24/7 with. And that type of quality takes work and time.
Best of luck!