If you have ever felt like your social group is rather small and claustrophobic, you are not alone. Having a small circle of close and trusted confidants is essential, but if you have not met your significant other or want more friends, then it might seem somewhat restricted. The secret here is learning to network online like a pro, which might sound slightly like a minefield. Fear not we have some great tips.
Spring Clean Your Contacts: First of all, it is worth subscribing to more than one social network. So if you only have Facebook, get looking at some of the others. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most social rather than business platforms after giants Facebook. Next you want to shake up your contacts. Most people start with the friends they actually know, maybe old school chums and often colleagues at work – but where do you go from there? Adding random friends on Facebook can be slightly stalker-like. However, the app does offer a helpful connections section where informs you of mutual connections. If you have over 50 people in common with another friend it might be worth a punt to add the person. Twitter and Instagram are brilliant for following randoms. It is entirely acceptable to find and follow anyone you like without looking like a cyber stalker – so make sure you add new people every week. On both platforms, you can use hashtags to find like-minded souls.
Get Active: The best way to network on Facebook and meet new likeminded folk is to join interests groups. There are groups for just about everything, from dog lovers to those suffering from a specific illness, those who love reading to people looking for the best locations for music festivals. Whatever your interest you can bet your life there is a group on Facebook. So get joining. However, you cannot be a wallflower! Once you are in, start interacting. People will often be seeking advice or having discussions so dive on in. Yes, there are keyboard warriors a plenty so having strong opinions can leave you open to rebuttals but you can also find yourself chatting with like-minded individuals and often a friend request will find its way to you. If you have been talking with the group to one person in particular then why not ask if you can add them.
Start Your Own Community: If you have an interest why not start your own group on Facebook. They are free to start, and the process is simple. Then just get sharing among your existing social groups with a friendly ‘please share me’ request attached. Post your group into other groups (you may need to check with admin that this is acceptable), and before long you have created a whole new social set. Above all try and stay polite and respectful of other people opinions, and think about whether you want friends you may later meet in person or that remain virtual (people in other countries, for example, can become great friends but you probably won’t ever meet them).
Let us know your experiences of networking online!