Friend or Faux: How Do You Pick Your Friends on Social Networks?

Do you want to be my friend? Or my follower? Or whatever it is we call each other on this social network? I know we don’t know each other…but that shouldn’t stop you from making me one of your 1,742 friends.

To be honest, I’m kind of shy when I get friends requests. I generally don’t connect when I don’t know someone. Here are some rules of engagement on my social networks:

  • Foursquare: Absolutely no way if I don’t know you. Because I let people know where I’m hanging out, it seems a little to personal to notify complete strangers.
  • Facebook: Again, I want to know my friends. There are some casual acquaintances in the list. But they are people who I want to know better.
  • LinkedIn: If we haven’t met, then I want to get to know you better. This is purely professional.
  • Twitter: Anyone can follow me. And I follow people who interest me. I share a lot of information via Twitter because I see it as a publishing platform rather than a social network. Feel free to follow me.

This is what works for me, my comfort level and promotional needs. You may need to be friendlier or more restrictive. The important thing is that you have a strategy.

How do you choose your friends on social networks?

Carl Natale is a freelance blogger who writes about tips and advice for small businesses. He runs the site - a site about how top brands set their prices.


  1. Anelly on the 3rd August

    I choose friends on a specific basis: owners of blogs that I read, people who have same interests I have, people with same jobs as mine, friends of friends etc. There must be a connection somwhere. I never add a person without knowing something about him/her. Also, I know how important is to know how to streamline social networking

  2. P.S. Jones on the 3rd August

    Facebook and Foursquare are for straight up friends, even casual associates. I’ve met you in person at least once for you get on these networks (i.e. I am reasonably sure that you will not stalk me to the grocery store and murder me.)

    Facebook Like Page is for fans of the my work or blog but not personal friends. That’s where I talk shop, not on the personal page.

    LinkedIN is for anyone I ever did business with, even casually.

    And Twitter is for everyone who tweets. I try to follow back but there’s no guarantee. And I follow who I like to hear from, regardless of if they follow me. It’s quite possible that I won’t know you in person on Twitter, but that’s ok.

  3. Melanie Brooks on the 3rd August

    I choose friends that I know, either personally or professionally. I don’t allow complete strangers to be my friend on Facebook.

  4. Ashley Hill on the 3rd August

    I have two Twitter accounts, one for my personal stuff/friends, the other to promote my business and connect with colleagues.

    I have a Facebook account that’s only for friends, and a business page for Redd-Design that’s obviously open to anyone.

    Linkedin is mostly open (only personal stuff/address, etc is private) and I’ve gotten several good connections on there.

    Foursquare is ONLY for people I know.

  5. Bret Juliano on the 3rd August

    On Facebook we have to actually know each other and have met in person before I’ll add. I’m the most strict here.

    LinkedIn I will accept anyone because its all about networking. I’m not on Foursquare and with Twitter I’ll let anyone follow me and I will also follow anyone relevant to my profession or my friends.

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