Last week I drew up a Social Media Bell Curve, to illustrate the fact that in a given product development and release process, a majority of your social media time should be spent in establishing relationships with the target market you are trying to reach.
As good as the graph looked, however, it did not represent making friends and keeping them over time. That can be represented by the Friendship Power Curve
If your idea of a good time in the world of social media is to actually meet new people that you have things in common with, who are doing things that either you are doing or you would rather be doing, then I approve of you. The tools around social media enable engagement with randoms, which could then lead to a rapport being developed, followed by actual friendship. Let’s look at the steps:
attention In order for someone to become friends with you, they need to know who you are… That’s where getting somebody’s attention comes into play. You know that you have received your target individual’s attention when they respond to your advances. The idea is to rapidly, but not overbearingly, become familiar to your target individual.
rapport One response doesn’t make a relationship. You will need to continue commenting and tweeting in a completely non-threatening way with an eye out for an opportunity to meet in person at a conference or to talk over the phone. It’s important to remember that you’re not selling anything, except the fact that you’re genuinely interested in the other person. So don’t SPAM people as you build rapport, but do make Twitter lists of them and put their blogs in your favorite reader for easy access.
maintenance Once you’re following an individual’s social updates and they frequently respond to you, it requires less effort to maintain a friendship using today’s tools. You’re always just a status update away from being able to relate and respond as if you were tracking them like it was your job.