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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