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.