How to make friends online

How to make friends online
I recently created a Meetup.com group and we had our first meet and greet on Friday. I had a lot of fun on Friday night with the ladies from Nappy Roots Beauty Edmonton—my natural hair group, people I never would’ve met otherwise. The night was filled with good laughs and great conversations as we dashed from one topic to another. I had fun on Saturday night also with another Meetup.com group I joined. When I created Nappy Roots Beauty Edmonton, I decided to peek through the Meetup groups that are in Edmonton. I ended up joining about five groups, and Saturday was my first time hanging out with one of them.

The weekend shenanigans reminded me of a blog post I wrote back in October 2012 about how to make friends if you’re new to a city. That post focused more on how to meet people in person. Consider this post is the follow up, how to meet people online—without coming across as being creepy. There are countless social networks out there so I used just a few to highlight how easy it can be to get the conversation going online, and then bring that friendship to life through a face-to-face meeting. So let’s get started!

Meetup

Meetup is a great place to meet people who already like the same things as you, so you don’t have to convince your friend Martha to go camping with you or sell it to your buddy Joe that salsa is fun and he should go with you. On Meetup.com, you can join different groups that do the things you’re interested in, whether that’s hiking, photography, web design, dogs…the list goes on. Heck, you could even start your own Meetup group (mind you it costs money). All of these Meetup groups hold events regularly and some of the activities can be really fun. All you have to do is:

  • sign up (free),
  • join groups you’re interested in,
  • attend one of their events,
  • mix and mingle with people and by the time you know it you’ve got yourself a bestie.

Another good thing about a Meetup group is that if there’s someone in your group that you get along with well and you seem to have similar interests, you can ask them to hang out outside of your group’s meetup events and activities.

 Facebook    

STEP 1: Find a group that does what you’re interested in.

STEP 2: Decide. You might get a few options, so decide which one(s) you’d like to join.

STEP 3: Participate. Here are some ways you can join in on the fun:

  • Comment of people’s comments, photos and things like that;
  • Add comments and photos of your own or even YouTube videos and links to articles and websites your group would find helpful;
  • Focus your energy on a few people. If there’s someone you think stands out that you’d like to meet in person, start building a relationship with that person: comment on their stuff, and see what you have in common.
  • Initiate a face-to-face meetup. If your group has members from all over the world, arrange a face-to-face meetup with people who live in the same city as you. Go for coffee, toss a ball around at a park or grab a beer at your local pub.

 Twitter    

STEP 1: “Follow” people you’re interested in. It’d help to follow people who live in your city so you can hangout together once a friendship blossoms.

STEP 2: Participate.

  • Tweet them about things you have in common, YouTube videos and links to articles and websites they’d find useful. Retweet, like and favourite their tweets.
  • Initiate a face-to-face meetup. Ask to buy them coffee or lunch to pick their brain about something you’re very interested in and they’re really good at. It could be a course you’ve been thinking about taking and you know they’ve already done the course. Or maybe you’re interested in working or volunteering with the company/organization they work(ed)/volunteer(ed) with. Though I wasn’t looking for friendship per se, I’ve done some of these things and no one’s ever said no when I asked.

 LinkdedIn    

STEP 1: Find people you’re interested in and send them a friend request. LinkedIn is a bit more forgiving than Facebook when you request total strangers to add you to their network…because it’s less personal.

STEP 2: Find and join a group that interests you. There are tons of professional groups on LinkedIn, send a request to join one.

STEP 3: Participate. Follow some of the tips above to join in on the fun.

STEP 4: Initiate a face-to-face meeting. Also see tips above.

The web is packed with social networks. Find one(s) you like and apply the steps and tips above to turn your online buddy into a real life friend!

 

Happy friending!

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~ by omonaij on May 4, 2014.

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