I admit that I'm not one of the big social network gurus with a ton of "friends" on places like Facebook. But I'm savvy enough (I think) to understand the difference between a real connection and a fake one. If you and I are complete strangers, and you are going to waste your time and mine in attempt to befriend me via some social network, at least have the brain cells to fake some sort of connection between us.
I am constantly being bombarded with "friend requests" from social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. Most of them are from people that I don't know and they don't know me in any way, shape, or form. In other words, they are spammers of some sort. But they are very unimaginative spammers. They don't have anything on their profile page. They don't have a picture or avatar. They are just a name…with no reference to who is behind that name. When I see that kind of profile, I assume I'm looking at the profile of a social spammer, and I click the Reject button.
Living in this online world as we do, we are often very close to people whose names we may not actually know. I'm sure there are people out there who would recognize the name DazzlinDonna, but would not know that my real name is Donna Fontenot. If I were to send a friend request to someone in the SEO world, I would be a fool to not include my online handle, or a familiar pic or avatar that others would recognize. At the very least, I would have some kind of information on my profile page that would give others a clue as to my identity, so that they would then say, "Oh yes, HER! Ok, I'll accept that friend request".
If you have ever requested that I befriend you on a social network, and I've rejected you, it is because I believed you to be a social spammer. If you are legit, and not a social spammer, then you've failed to relay that information to me. And you've likely made the same mistake with others. If you ARE a social spammer, then at least try to be imaginative. Give your spammer persona some kind of identity. At least ATTEMPT to be someone I might know from my travels online. You'll have a much better chance of fooling me that way.
It actually pains me to reject a friend request. I feel as though I am hurting someone's feelings. And if you aren't a social spammer, then perhaps I am, but I don't mean to. Next time, pump up your profile, give me a clue that you are at least someone who knows me, even if I don't know you, and that I'm not wasting my time looking at your request or your profile. We don't have to be best buds to be social friends, but we should at least be connected by some thin thread. If you're a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, or we at least travel in similar circles, with common interests, then I definitely want to connect with you. However, if you're just a spammer who is trying to increase that large list of names on your friends page, then I'm not interested.
Making connections via social networks is a good thing. Don't miss out on making a connection by looking like a social spammer. Give clues via your profile that you are a real person that should be accepted rather than rejected.