Want to make blogging friends on Twitter and Facebook? These tips should help. Just remember that social media is a tool, not a one-stop destination, for blog growth.
“I can’t stand it when someone gives me a friend request on Facebook and ten minutes after I accept, they invite me to like their page!” my friend ranted.
“Yeah. I get it. That’s happened to me, too.”
“A lot of times I accept friend requests from strangers because we have friends in common—but people I’ve never even met in real life,” she said with a shrug.
“But you’ve gotten to know them over the years as writers and bloggers.”
“I think someone must sell a course on how to grow your blog that gives people bad friending advice,” she said. “It seems like I get those smarmy requests in regular waves.”
We both laughed and went on to other, less annoying topics. But our conversation lingered in my mind.
Why Make Friends on Social Media
I have heard platform experts suggest that I start a Facebook author page and invite all of my friends to like and follow it. I’ve even followed their advice but felt a little smarmy while doing so. Especially when I asked high-school classmates or former students.
Facebook and Twitter can help you make friends in the writing community. But they can’t help you grow your blog if you use them in the wrong way. Beware the snake-oil salesmen who promise differently.
Writerly friends from the internet can provide community and support for isolated writers and bloggers. Don’t try to make those friendships into something that will grow your blog.
No one likes to feel used, and friending someone just so you can ask them to like your page feels disingenuous. And smarmy.
Tips for Authentic Engagement on Social Media
1. Have a Servant’s Heart
When you join a writing or blogging group on Facebook or hang out at a Twitter party, think of it as a new group of people you can serve.
Serve them with encouraging words, friendliness, and curiosity. Come alongside them. If they ask a question you can answer, go ahead and answer. Listen more than you post.If you want to make blogging friends on social media, remember to have a servant's heart. #blogger #write28days #friends Click To Tweet
2. Play by the Rules
Facebook groups and Twitter parties often have rules of engagement. Pay attention to those rules. To make authentic friends on social media, you can’t just link and run. If you join a group full of linkers and runners, you probably won’t make any real friends or experience any blog growth by hanging out there.
Find better groups—ones where people spend time reading, responding to, and sharing each other’s posts.
One of the first groups I joined on Facebook started from a random Twitter chat. We called ourselves ‘The Writer’s Bra’ (you know, behind-the-scenes support). I’ve met two of the group members in real life, and we still support each other in our blogging and writing endeavors.
3. The Courtesy Call
When someone shares a post link of yours on Facebook or Twitter, take the time to thank them. Make sure you have things set up on your blog so that you’ll know when people tweet your content.
If you get a notice that someone shared something from your Facebook page, click through to their page or profile and thank them.
Courtesy and appreciation help make friends no matter what the medium.
4. The Ask
If, after you’ve had multiple interactions with someone, and it feels authentic and natural, go ahead and invite that person to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter.
Even better, if you belong to a Facebook writing group, ask the moderators if they ever have a social media share thread. The share threads usually invite people to share their Twitter or Instagram handle or profile link or their Facebook page. Group members follow and like fellow group member’s profiles and pages.
It feels less smarmy when everyone asks at the same time.
5. Remember Your Why
People say that social media can ignite blog growth. I say social media can augment blog growth if used responsibly. If you depend on social media for blog growth, you’ve missed the point.
Blogging and writing groups on social media hold a treasure trove of friendly people ready to help you with tech problems, prayer requests, and blogging dilemmas.
Make Good Friends, Be a Good Friend
Don’t let social media scare you. You can make friends through Facebook and Twitter (as an introvert, I love making friends on social media). I found some of my first readers through social media.
Another important way to be a good friend? Make sure you write quality posts. Come back tomorrow for tips on using numbers to grow your blog.