When I joined Facebook in October 2008, the idea was to connect with old friends and get to know what was happening in their lives and also, share what was happening in mine with them.
That was 2008. Today if you ask me why I’m on Facebook, the reasons I’ll give has nothing to do with meeting old friends. There are more reasons. The reason is different from what it used to be because Facebook has grown into something bigger and useful than just meeting old friends. Today, you can meet just anybody at all on Facebook and depending on how you relate to them, they become very useful in your life. Your friends on Facebook are not really your friends.
Sometimes, you even forget how you became friends on Facebook with some people. The fact that someone sent you a request of friendship doesn’t mean they really want to be your friends. Somebody accepting your friend’s request is not a sure way of becoming friends with them.
This is how you turn Facebook friends to real friends. It worked for me. It might not work for you. It might work for you because there are many people these reasons have worked for.
#1a. Choose your friends
On Facebook, we tend to send a lot of friend’s request to people. Sometimes, for a reason. Sometimes, for no reason at all. I see it this way; this place is like a neighborhood. The only difference is, you get to choose the kind of people you’ll like to live with. That’s the beauty of it. Every friend’s request you’ve sent or accepted is a way of welcoming new people into your neighborhood. To ensure you have the right people in your neighborhood, be the one to send the friend’s request. Send friend’s request to people who can buy what you are selling or, people who can appreciate the kind of stuff you’ll talk about on your timeline.
When I started my blog, I knew most of my readers were going to come from Facebook. So I went to the Facebook Pages of popular bloggers. Went through the comments of the blogs they’ve posted and started sending request to people who have commented on the blog posts. I knew these are people who loved to read blog posts and even have the time to send comment on them. I sent requests to many of these readers so I can be assured I have people who like to read on my wall.
#1b. Request for the friendship of people who share your interest
I always want to learn. I want to learn from anybody at all. People that I talk to or people that I have engagement with. Everyone is my teacher. I love what they teach me every day. I sent a lot of friend’s request to people whom I can learn from—Writers. I have a lot of friends on my timeline who are writers.
Those ones are very special to me because I specifically handpicked them so I can read what they write and learn their way of writing. I send a lot of messages to these people and asked them questions on their writing skills and how they became this good. Most times they don’t write back but the little times they have, I’ve learnt very much from their response.
#2a. Be Social
You can’t be on social media without social skills. It’s called social media for a reason. If you therefore can’t relate to other people on your friend’s list, you have no business doing on social media. There is this one lady on my list of friends who has gained some sort of fame through acting. She has a sizeable following on Facebook too.
But anytime she posts something on her wall, few people, like two or three people will comment, like or give it a heart. She believes she’s a star and has no reason to engage with her followers. Her followers have also left her alone. If you can’t engage with others on social media, others will not also engage with you.
#2b. Be funny
People relate more to funny posts for a reason. Life is hard. Days are tedious and stressful. People will do anything to shake off the stress of the day. People like others who make them laugh. Who help them get through the day with some smiles on their faces. If you can, be that guy. Be that guy who makes others laugh. Be that guy who posts funny stuff and many will appreciate you. Don’t force it.
Don’t force to be funny. Find the funny side of everyday life and post about them. If it’s about yourself, the better. Funny things are mostly funnier if it’s about you yourself. It’s funniest if it’s about yourself and you are the one putting it out there for people to read. Don’t take yourself seriously. Let yourself go sometimes.
#3. Introduce yourself to the friends you’ve chosen.
Now, you have the kind of friends that you need. You’ve chosen your friends. You’ve sent requests to people who share your interest and they’ve accepted. What next? Remember, especially on social media, people don’t become your friends just because they accepted your friend’s request. You are still a stranger. As strange as the person they found walking beside them on the street. Until you introduce yourself to your new friends on Facebook, you are still not a friend.
You introduce yourself not by hitting their inbox and telling them about yourself and asking them to be friends. A lot People find this annoying. You introduce yourself by choosing to comment on the things they post that interest you. Share your ideas on their thread. Slowly, build your way into their mind by commenting, liking and replying when they comment on your comment. Always bring your best argument to the table, you’ll catch their interest.
#4. Share their posts
Especially their work. Everybody wants their work to get to as many people as possible. If you become one of the channels through which a friend’s work get to as many people as possible, you’ll definitely catch their eyes. Writers write and want as many readers. They want their writings to get to people. They want to be appreciated for their quota. Be the one to share. Try it.
On social media, people will easily share the things they don’t like and rant about it. They hardly share the things they like. That’s how come bad things easily go viral than good stuff. If you don’t like something, talk less of it. Share what would be beneficial to the world at large. Everyone improves that way.
#5. Use tags the right way.
Tag is one of the beautiful features ever created by Facebook. A lot of people use it wrongly. They give tag a bad name because they use it wrongly. You tag me in photos I have nothing to do with. You tag me in a post I have no knowledge of. Then people who know something about the photo start commenting and I get the notifications. Notifying me of things I have zero interest in. If you will want to win a friend on Facebook, make your tags about them. It feels good knowing someone is selling you to their friends. Once, I saw a post looking for something one guy on my friends list does very well.
So I wrote, “Contact …(tagged her name), she’s very good with such services.” Some minutes later, the lady I tagged sent me a message. She was thankful. I don’t know if she was actually contacted but she appreciated the fact that I mentioned her. Many times I’ve done that. Many times, they call to say thank you. This is one of the beautiful ways you can use tags without being annoying.
#6. Offer to do something for free.
What you give out always finds a way to get back to you. Once you get to know friends, once in a while, your help would be sought. Once in a while, offer help without seeking favor in return. This has worked for me immensely. Most people I find in my network today are people I once did something for. I’ve had a friend taught me a skill for free. A skill he charges a lot of money for. He taught me for free because I once wrote a blog post for his website. He’s a Facebook friend. We’ve only met once. That was when he taught me.
It’s always not about you making money. Money is good. Making it is a business. Don’t be a business person all the time. Good business usually comes from recommendations. People you offer free services are most likely to recommend you to friends and others who require your services.
You are on social media, especially Facebook and you are not taking advantage of it? It’s your loss. Make it work for you. It’s a level playground for all of us, whether big or small to have a piece of the spoil. Get your piece.