Using universal values to develop social media approaches

There  is a formula in Facebook to make friends that simply works:

Hello + [name of the person] + I´ve find you on + [group in common]+ I think you are special because of + [compliments] + I´ve really felt to introduce my self to know you + My name is + [your name].

About 90% of approaches are successful and they accept you as a friend.
Why this formula works?

Hello + [name of the person]
You call the person by her/his name. This is the most beutiful song any human being can listen to .

I´ve find you on + [group in common]
Suddenly you’re familiar!. Since you show you have an interest in common, or better a group in common, magically you are passing from being a potential thread, an stranger (means dangerours), to someone to whom you already have something to talk about, a common subject, that as well, it is something that i enjoy, so double trust-effect.

I think you are special because of + [compliments]
The old trick: giving ‘strokes’ to the other person. Not only it is personalized but also this approach highlight whichever characteristics  of the person. this makes someone feel loved, accepted, recognized and within a group. Also, if you say to someone that he/she is nice, beautiful, creative, or any other compliment, rejecting you would show that they are not so nice, nor beatiful, creative and simply that you were wrong.

I´ve really felt to introduce my self to know you + My name is + [your name].
Politeness it is always welcome, the more the better. I’d say that this works exactly in the same way that in the off-line world.

What this show to us, is whatever the technology, we still behave as social primates, and the very old formulas work exactly the same in the digital world. This formula came from an experiment I carried out some time ago, and basically my conclusion was, well, yes maybe people is more aware about privacy issues, but under the surface of technological details is human nature what is working. So when thinking about how to approach your audience, sometimes it is not a question to think about the platform/campaign/message in particular, but the universal nature of the people you’re talking to.

How would you like to be approached in a social network

We don´t admit everybody to join our social network in Facebook. Thinking about what someone should do to make you add her to your social network, what do find is the most important rule to take into account in on-line social protocols

Adding strangers to your social network

Thinking about how willing we are to meet strangers in the web. Here there is a very short survey.

Why FaceBook is so Sticky

There is a real social life associated to FB. This is what EVERY human been needs. From the moment that we naturally look for recognition and acceptance (what is called love ;-), FaceBook (FB) became the perfect way to obtain it, because it easier to make friends because everybody wants to make friends, because everybody wants to look that has friends, because otherwise… you look like a looser!.

Likely you join FB through a friend. Someone that you already know and you trust. Joining a social network is like joining any other off-line group. We feel good about to be accepted in a group or a community. This community has an advantage that others don´t…you´re already accepted in it before even enter!!

FB make us feel emotionally satisfy. Its interface is plenty of pictures. Pictures of people that you know and also they are mainly smiling, with a open actitude, sexy, artistic, nice backgrounds….

Every time we see a picture of someone we know, or someone smiling the centres of pleasure activates in our brain. In other words, neurotransmitters. Dopamine, adrenaline…. a delicious cocktail is produced, and it gives us a very nice sensantion…. It is pure survival. We are social animals, so Nature make us sensitive to other people signals, and by nature we feel pleasure when others smile to us, and pain when they reject us or worse…ignore us.
Unfortunately you can feel ignored even in FB

For those who are not very social, is an easier and nice way to became more social. Also make them feel “social” and inside the community, in contrast, with the traditional way of feeling like a freak.
For those who are social is a way to socialize even more: on & off-line. Because the truth is that social networks make people meet off-line. Also, allows abroad contacts, which otherwise would be more difficult and less day to day.

Take less time and effort than off-line socialization. Make “social cares” as ask someone what are they doing, or just being concerned about them is faster and easier. Off-line socialization requires time, a good very appreciated nowadays. These cares are more superficial but they work, they make feel good to whoever receives them, because she feels recognized.
But lets be realistic: physical presence is much more efficient.

FB is free!!!!. Yes!!!, you dont need to spend your money in coffes, restaurants, clubs, drinks, flowers, presents, you can be with your friends, or at least feel in touch with them without doing these expenses. For Crisis fans, I think this really can be a good point.

For those who like to being watched, FB is just perfect. Public statments and notes let one express in public, without the pressure of the physical pressence, what makes most of the introverts avoid this kind of situations. You feel watched, observed, recognized!…and forget those annoying faces of rejection, boreness or whatever unexpecting reaction that just can ruin your act of communication!

At the other side, everybody sometime, somehow wants to know about someone. FB allows one to know more about that person that is important for whatever reason. You can know what is her in, with who, and also, people upload pictures, so actually you have a complete repport…even of those in who you are not so interested….

And here is an important note to talk about: actually we fantasize with this, because we dont know accurately who really are listening our messeges, but for sure, we have someone in mind whe we make them.

Another thing about the “picture market” in FB. We not also almost obbligate other people to see our pictures, but also, they upload ours!!!, isn´t it just great!!!. One can be watched/recognized both ways, and this last one also brings an extra feature: another person thought about us and tag us, recongnize us, and collaborate in our proccess of socialization. Fantastic…well, there is gonna be always “that” picture of which apperently you´re the only person in the world that thinks you just look owful.

FB works like a drug for us. We receive pleasure from it. This is emotions, all kind, from excitement, jealousy, saddness, content, they activate our brain emotional machine, and this is very adictive. One can have her little shot of emotion ready 365/24.
Yes… FB is the perfect dealer.

Since an act of communication is sending a message and have a response from the other person. And we really want to communicate succefully, in other words, have feed back, FB allows this operation as easy as we really believe we are communicating with others. First we know they are reading us, second, FB makes other people to answer our threads easier, because these other people want to be listened too, so they response more likely than in other kind of communication act.
Lets face it, FB is the temple of the ego. And what is more sticky for us than our own image?…
…absolutely nothing.

Here is some research, if you´d like to participate ;-)


My name is Rebeca Miranda, this blog begins with the purpose of having a hand on what´s going on the web, related with our behaviour in the web, but also how cultural changes are reflected on internet at the same time, that our essense is drawing our ways to use the web.