Just 10 years ago, strangers were plain strangers. We would see someone cross our ways and say good day and that’s about it. We would move on to our daily business, work our ass off and come back home later in the evening and the same routine repeated trapping us in the vicious circle of life.
In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook that gained popularity around 2008. It was a tool to connect with our old school friends, stay in touch with the family to know how are they keeping up. Somehow, the availability of public settings for Facebook posts changed the way people would interact with each other in the years to come.
Smart people began to take this as an opportunity, seeing public posts of the people, engaging by throwing in a comment or two and all of a sudden, strangers became acquaintances. People began to make connections on Facebook, regardless of the fact they did not know each other. With time passing by, accepting friend requests from strangers became okay and there is a psychological reason for it too.
Walking randomly on a street today trying to ring the bells when you see someone and say — ‘man, I know this lady’ and then instantly recalling, gosh, we are a Facebook friend, I once commented on her post when she was at Niagra falls singing LIVE on Facebook. You make an effort and say ‘hi’, introduce yourself and she too instantly recalls, you are the one who loves posting pictures of his dog on your Facebook right?.
The world has just got closer, courtesy, Facebook. People like to make connections. They like to learn from the ways of other influential people who have been successful in personal and professional life. The preliminary step is to build and maintain a rapport before you move forward and ask for any favour.
Facebook isn’t that bad, I mean its bad but it’s not bad. Umm, nevermind, let me try elaborating my point a bit further.
Excess of everything is bad, ya, we’ve been told this since we stood tall on our feet but a moderate approach doesn’t hurt. If we can use social media, Facebook, in particular, to connect with like-minded people, could be strangers through — learn from them and apply their success recipe in our life, that’s not bad, it’s actually good.
I began to follow some great industry leaders, life coach, motivation speakers and added some of these pure strangers on my personal account a few years back. I would like to give credit to Tony Robbins for influencing me to take up a weekly long run. I saw his video saying he runs 10 miles a week to bring physiological change in his body. I was fat, 100+ KG, chubby and lazy but decided to take this challenge too. I began jogging, doing pushups and also started posting my workout activities on Facebook. I am 78 KG now.
Guess what?. People who were following me, my friends also picked this healthy activity and the chain reaction continued. An exercise that started with following a stranger, applied it to my life and inspired others to follow it turned out to be a great initiative. That is how strangers can change your life on social media.
The list does not stop here. Beyond personal life and goals, connecting people on Facebook helps in your professional life too.
Facebook page is a great way of promoting your product or service. If you have a good number of Facebook friends —by the way, Facebook allows 5000 friends and that is huge, you can use the connections to help in your mission.
Facebook encourages videos. Create videos about your business. Put them on your Facebook page, share it on your profile, TAG your friends. You can also inbox them requesting the content to be shared on their timeline. This way, by using your strange connections after building rapport, you can be helped in a long way without even paying a single penny for marketing and advertisement.
We are lucky. We are living in an era where doing business is easy. Bill Gates predicted in his book “Business @ the Speed of Thought” in 1999 that those who don’t have an online presence in decades to come, their business will gradually feather away. It is turning out to be true. Facebook is free, making friends is free, media posting is free and by leveraging connections, you can promote your business free too.
Gates also said in his book.
“Online communities will not be influenced by your location, but rather, your interest.”
Today, we see people using Facebook to add like-minded people with a common interest