A few weeks ago, a guy asked me for personal insights about connecting with people.
“From a human point of view, how do you start making friends online? Do you focus on digital or real-life connections?”
To me, they are no different.
Imagine social media like a city. Imagine meeting new peers and friends when you don’t know anyone.
What do you do to make friends?
Usually, you don’t start hanging out with people out of nowhere.
Let’s say you’re at a bar. Someone is drinking coffee and small talking about the last football match with the bartender.
Suddenly, they remember the good old times when a world-class player used to bend the opposite teams with his skills—the same player you had a poster of in your room, your teen idol.
You could slowly step into their conversation. You could share the time you saw him play or the incredible goal he scored ten years back and have a good chat.
Then you return to that bar the next day and the next one again. And you repeatedly talk about football, meeting each other every day at the same hour.
See how simply two unknown guys eventually bonded?
On Twitter is the same.
Usually, I start by “listening” to people’s conversations (reading their tweets) and interacting a bit publicly.
You’ll see from there.
Sometimes you want to support, provide value, or bring in your experience.
Later, you might want to step on DMs or jump on a call to get to know you better.
Either way, it takes time.
Eventually, you can move offline. For example, I met outside with a few Twitter friends last year, but you need to bond online first.
My rule of thumb is: if you care about them, show up.