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Who And How Do You Check Who To Connect With On Social Media?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013
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Every day, those of us who are on social media get contacted by someone who wants to connect with us. Occasionally it’s us reaching out to someone else because we want to connect with them; kind of makes sense, right?

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Most of the time I think the majority of people on some social media platforms add everyone who they know adds them. I think that because I see some of the numbers and every once in awhile look at some of the people that people I’m following are following; I hope you kept up with that. lol And often I see them connected to some folks who I’d consider either kind of shady or someone who’s never going to talk to them.

Yet, I know that there are some folks who I’ll check out “just because”, even if I don’t end up adding them to any of my lists. Why? Well, let’s look at this topic in general; we’ll get to it.

I’m going to start with LinkedIn because it’s the easiest one to talk about. I can’t remember the last time I reached out to someone I didn’t already know on LinkedIn; actually that’s not quite true because I do remember. It was back in January when I was trolling for potential business contacts. I looked for people in my industry, looked at what they did, and if they were someone I figured could use my services in some fashion or might know who could I reached out to them.

What about people who reach out to me? I have some criteria, though I’ll admit it’s not as strict as in other places. If there’s no picture and I don’t know them, it’s an immediate rejection. If I do know them then it depends on how well; obviously those are local people and I can often gauge who wants to connect because of sales or because of networking; most of those people I reject.

Everyone else I have to check out because I need to see what people do and try to figure out why they want to connect with me. If there’s nothing written on their profile except positions, I turn them down; I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t fill any of their information in. If there’s some kind of business connection and they wrote something in their profile, I’m probably going to go ahead and connect with them. After all, you never know who they know until you do, and you never know where opportunities lie right?

Next, there’s Twitter. I’ve written about this one often but not in a long while. I look at every profile where someone has connected with me and I look for a few things to make my decision. If there’s no picture, nope. If you haven’t talked to anyone in at least 2 weeks, nope; and thanking people for connecting with you doesn’t count as conversation. If you found it important enough to put your political or religious feelings in your profile, nope. If most of what you write is in another language, nope.

This probably explains why I not only have fewer followers but my ratio of who follows me to who I follow is almost 4:1. When I had a “Twitter friend” that, unfortunately, was discontinued, that allowed me to check those who were following me here and there to see how they were acting online I could eliminate some folks every once in awhile, but now that it’s totally manual it doesn’t look like I’ll have as much backend control; thus, I’m choosier than before in who I connect with.

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On Facebook it’s rare that people want to connect with me; well, it’s the most rare out of the main social media platforms. In that case the criteria begins with who we’re both connected with; I like to try to have some idea of how people might have found me. I also check profiles, and lately I’ve noticed that more of the profiles reaching out are just sales sites; ugh! My ratio for accepting people there is 50-50, but since Facebook set it up where people can follow you even if you’re not connected to them it’s harder to keep people away from your stream unless you’re really paying attention.

On Google Plus… well, here’s where the rules differ a lot, and where I’ll own up to something that I’m betting everyone does in some fashion. G+ tells you if someone had added you to their circle. This happens often, and the first thing I look for is how many people we’re connected to and who they are.

If it’s people who I feel I’m more communicative with I’ll check out their profiles to see what they share and how current they are. If the last submission was more than 3 months ago, no connection; why are they even bothering me now? If all they post are their blog posts or on topics I don’t care that much about, nope, not connecting. If they’re connected to only a couple of people and those folks aren’t people I connect with often, yet put into a circle anyway, I’m probably not bothering unless… Okay, here it comes.

I’ll admit this; if it’s a good looking lady I’ll always take a look; go ahead, call me a pig! lol It’s the only platform I’ll do it on, and I’m not sure why. Thing is, I believe most of them are fake because I almost never add any of them. Why? Often they’re like Facebook folks who are only posting sales stuff. Often they only have the one profile picture and, well, I just don’t always believe it’s them; sometimes I know it’s not them because just how many women look like Gwyneth Paltrow anyway?

Overall I look at social media like this. Sure I want to be recognized, and I may want to be more influential, noticed, seen as an expert, etc. But the act of just connecting with people who connect with you for no other reason except to raise your numbers makes little sense to me. I can’t possibly even keep up with all the people I’m connected with already and those folks have intrigued me. If I connect with everyone, those folks totally get lost, even if I create specific lists to track some of them. I’d rather not go through that process; how do you feel about that?

Anyway, that’s how I do things on social media; what about you? And do you think my criteria are too high or too low at times, and what do or would you do different?
 

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17 Comments »

Social media has already become a fashion among the youth generation along with corporate world. In my view, listed interest may not be reflect the reality of any person on social media. So you have to check deeply on his /her recent activities on the social media website along with Google search on the name.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good point Purbita, and that’s why I look at everyone who connects with me in some fashion.

July 17th, 2013 | 7:36 AM

On facebook, when I get a request for friendship I send a message back thanking and asking how s/he knows me. If I get a reply I accept, or I just ignore. I have removed myself from linkedin because I cannot contribute anything to anybody in my retirement. I am seriously considering unfriending a lot of my facebook contacts because either their posts are not of interest to me or that they are inactive and pop in once in a way to just nudge and disappear.

Frankly, I would rather not be recognized except by a few with who my association goes back to some years.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s using good judgment Rummuser. For me, since I’m still hoping to have somewhat of a visible career, I need to work on being recognized more, but not at the expense of being true to my own convictions.

July 17th, 2013 | 9:09 PM
Jithin Samuel:

Really interstice post.. in these time social media one of the best way to reach out business. i think 50% of traditional marketing is dead.. now all are moving to social media for their business improvement

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Well, I wouldn’t say all. The guy who cuts my grass hasn’t moved to social media or even the internet. lol

July 19th, 2013 | 7:43 AM
Sarah Echelle:

I act differently and use different medias for different purposes. Facebook is more for my friends in real life, people I know personnally and share more personal stuff with. Twitter is more to discuss with my followers, exchange on random subjects with people I don’t necessarly know and linkedin is only for business (which could be more or less everybody)
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

That’s probably the way to go. Trying to be everything everywhere to everybody can be tiring.

July 19th, 2013 | 2:28 PM
Bexy Lund:

In these time social networks among the very best method to connect company. more than half conventional advertising and marketing is lifeless. now all are relocating to social networks for their company renovation ,Thanks for sharing Mitch :)
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I’ll admit I’m not totally sure what your point is but if it’s what I think it is then I’d say that many are looking into social media as a viable business tool for promotion.

July 19th, 2013 | 6:03 PM

Hi Mitch, I use it similar to you. I have gotten more selective over the past several months – especially on Twitter as to who I follow back. Some I do not follow back but add them to a list instead. I love using lists there to have easy access to topics.
I’ve gotten a little more lenient on LinkedIn but they must have a photo and I must know some sort of connection. Facebook similar, I started accepting blogger friends there, but it took me a while. I like to know them on Twitter first before Facebook.
I don’t believe in connecting just for numbers anymore. Numbers are just numbers right Mitch?
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Lisa, that’s how I feel as well, but there are some who’d say we were being naive and that it’s not a great business move. Heck, I don’t care; although I’d love to have tons more people following me and hanging on my every word, if I notice they never talk or interact with anyone why would I assume they were reading anything I was putting out?

July 20th, 2013 | 5:56 AM

I’m a pig too Mitch, I always check out the good looking birds. Man, I just can’t help myself.

As far as following, I usually only follow someone if I know them, either personally or through the blogging medium.
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I don’t think that makes one a pig Sire. I think a pig would be saying all sorts of things about women based on how they look. That’s certainly not me.

Sire Reply:

OK, I’m not a pig, just a sexist bloke ;)
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July 21st, 2013 | 6:20 AM

Hi Mitch,

I never connect on Twitter, unless I read their profile and like what they stand for. I also, go to their website and read at least one post. That way, I have some idea of who I am connecting with. I know that some people connect just for the numbers and I think that can be dangerous.

Have a blessed day!
Geri Richmond
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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Gerti. Truthfully, I’ve only checked their profiles on Twitter itself lately, but before I had so many connections I always did check out blogs. I was just disappointed so many times to see a blog that had pretty much died.

July 21st, 2013 | 3:26 PM