Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 24, 2008 8:52 PM

Best Tip For Growing Your Online Social Network

If you could only choose one great tip that has helped you grow your online social network what would it be?

There has been lots of talk, Blogging and Tweeting lately around what, exactly, constitutes a strong and vibrant online social network. Some still adhere to the quantity over quality debate, some think it's about how many big named Bloggers you can get to add you as a friend, while others look directly to the ROI and how much business your online activities actually convert into bottom-line sales and business growth.

Once you have determined why it's important to take part in the online social channels, then you can best figure out what you have to do to accomplish your pre-set goals.

If I had to choose one top tip for building my online social network it would be this:

Send a personal message as to why we should connect.

Everyday, all of us get multiple invites through one of the many channels like Facebook and Twitter, and while most do look at every invitation, it astounds me why people don't take that one extra second to either shoot off a quick email, message or direct message to let me know who they are and why they want to connect. Even if it's a simple, "I read your Blog," or "Chris Brogan seems to like you" - that one simple act goes a long way and creates a very human and real connection.

It also makes up for stuff like using a random/weird username (this includes using a company name as your profile name), not having any links to a Blog or something relevant, or simply not taken the time to really personalize your profile so new connections can get a flair for who you are and what you're all about (filling out your profile as completely as possible and customizing your profile page would be a close second for my own, personal, best tip for growing your online social network). 

If someone is trying to add you, but they themselves have not provided any personal reason to connect, or have not even personalized their own page, don't you just feel like you're being asked to connect as one of many (maybe even hundreds) in an online social media cattle call?

What would be your one best tip to grow that you have used to grow your online social networks?

By Mitch Joel