Naturally, people are going to have their own system for doing things. These are just some of the ways I do it across differing networks. Some of you might agree. Some of you might disagree. Let’s just agree to disagree (if it’s working for you, then great).
Facebook isn’t exactly my homebase. I use it because a lot of my network spends time there and I use it to share photos. I recently started a little experiment called 30 Days of Facebook to get myself used to the network and how I’d like to spend my time there more efficiently. In any case, here’s how I deal with friend requests:
- We met at an event or conference.
- We’ve interacted on Twitter or engaged via the comments on my (or your) blog.
- If I get a “friend request” from someone I don’t typically know with no additional message attached, I hit ignore.
- If I get a “friend request” from someone with a message that reads “Let’s network!” I often hit ignore and send the person a message that says something to the effect of, “Great to meet you, if you want to network, we can connect on my Facebook Page [insert url].”
- If I get a “friend request” from someone using a logo as their profile picture, I hit ignore.
I think people fall into two categories. Those who give good Tweet and those who don’t. Who you choose to follow is entirely up to you. There’s no contract that says: “This is what you have to do!” Here’s how I typically do it:
- If I get an @ reply from you and we engage in some form of dialogue (however brief), I follow you.
- If somebody in my network RT’s something really interesting useful from someone I’m not connected to, I follow that new user.
- If I get a spammy auto-follow DM (Direct Message) from someone I’ve just followed, I quickly un-follow them.
- I don’t always follow everyone back because sometimes, I think they Tweet too much (that’s not to say that it’s not useful). Instead, I add them to one of my Public or Private Twitter Lists and filter my stream that way.
- Every now and again, I’ll use services like ReFollow and FriendorFollow to clean up my network.
For more on this, you can read: A Quick and Informal Twitter Networking Guide
This is where my efforts are more proactive than reactive. Here’s what I mean… I have well over 500 connections and I’m happy to say that I’ve connected with ~80% of those connections in person. We’ve either met at a conference or some other function. Here’s how I do it:
- I collect business cards from folks every time we connect at an event/meetup/etc.
- I typically take lots of photos at said event and late upload them to Flickr and Facebook and/or create an Animoto video and blog post.
- I email everyone who’s business cards I received and invite them to connect on LinkedIn but also share a link to the photos and blog post I’ve put together with the video. This gives us something to talk about and engage over.
- I accept invitations only from people I’ve met and or connected with or have been directly introduced to.
- I ignore invitations from people I typically don’t know, don’t have a profile photo and who have a limited profile established.
How About You
As I said in the beginning, I suspect that everyone is going to have their own way of doing things. There’s not one right way to do it. That being said, what’s your policy? How do you manage friend requests on different networks?