How to Cultivate Online Relationships
March 2018 // By Natalie Jean
I was thinking the other day about how grateful I am for social media and the friendships and partnerships that I've created online through them. Seriously, my business and my art and my passions are all fueled, shared, and grown through social media.
While there are times I want to throw my phone across the room (ahem, the new IG algorithm) there are other times where I am so inspired and excited about the projects I'm working on with people around the world that I otherwise would have no way of meeting if it wasn't for online communities and apps that connect people.
Today I wanted to share a few ideas on how you can not only create online friendships but also cultivate them!
Comment - When you're on social media (twitter, facebook, instagram, etc.) interaction is huge! Simply liking a photo is fine but it doesn't really mean anything. Its like the equivalent of smiling kindly or holding the door open for someone. You need to put yourself out there if you want a relationship to form!
I noticed such a growth in interaction when I genuinely commented and replied to comments/tweets from people. In fact, that's how a lot of my online interactions became friendships! For example, I started to answer questions that a girl on instagram would ask in her captions. Then I would comment on photos that I loved. Things like "cool" and "love it" aren't going to cut it! Comment on things your truly like, wonder, or think about and that starts to open the door for more interaction. Eventually we started working together on collaborations and now I consider her to be one of my good online friends. We haven't met in person yet, but one day hopefully!
Instagram Pods - I've met some really great people and found some really cool accounts to follow on Instagram through pods. What started out as a few people with similar photography or blogging styles in a pod is now a collection of women who know more about each other and can encourage one another and cheer each other on... you know, community! What social media should be used for.
Comment your IG handle below if you're interested in joining an IG pod and I'll do my best to set one up :)
Facebook groups are also really awesome ways to create community. A few that I am a part of that I love (not only because they help your reach and boost engagement, but because you can actually meet people and learn from them/grow relationships) are Blog Passion Project, #yearofme, and Unraveled Academy Student Group. Those are my most visited FB groups at the moment, but I occasionally participate in several photography groups as well as The Rising Tide Society group.
By joining groups, you expose yourself to so many new people and who knows? Maybe you'll find one or two, or six or ten people with similar interests and personalities that just click with yours!
So now that you've made some new friends and created an online friendship, you'll want to cultivate those relationships and keep them growing! One idea would be to create a mastermind group. A friend of mine, Rosalynne, shared a little bit about a mastermind group that she is in over on her blog. I love this idea!
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow creative ladies at an airbnb where we took styled photos and had a great day just chatting and being creative. We all followed one another on Instagram for a little but this was a perfect day to finally meet and connect and it just felt great to be among like-minded women who love to be creative and celebrate community too. Scheduling a meet-up might sound difficult, but you never know what could happen! You'll get a chance to connect further than social media allows and have tons of fun memories afterwards.
If you're feeling lonely or getting caught up in the comparison game or FOMO that social media can so often cause, don't stay there. Take a deep breath and start reaching out. Create a mastermind group where you encourage and challenge one another, join a comment pod on IG, share blog posts and photography/artwork from content creators you admire, let COMMUNITY be your focus and don't be afraid to meet new people. You'll be glad you did!
Also, if it doesn't work out the first time or you don't connect right off the bat don't worry! Keep trying and keep putting yourself out there. Although it may be frustrating at times, social media can be used for connection and community growth. Just keep at it.
I loved reading this post! I have made some great friends blogging, and in the dog community online as well. I liked reading about Instagram pods. I am new (!!) to Instagram and need to look into those.ReplyDelete
You should! The pods can definitely help with IG growth and beat the sneaky algorithm ;) Its so wonderful to hear you've made connections + friendship through social media and blogging.Delete
Facebook groups has been great but I just find if I look for accounts that have similar values/goals as mine and interact with them, it becomes inevitable that a genuine connection grows with time!ReplyDelete
Seppy | www.elleisforlove.com
I totally agree Seppy! Love that we can find people with similar interests and connect online.Delete
I have felt much stronger as a writer since I joined blogging Facebook groups. I am just in a few groups but it helps push me to work harder and create more content.ReplyDelete
That is so fantastic! I'm so glad that you have found an online community to strengthen and encourage your passions.Delete
Thanks for sharing this! FB groups have always been an ideal place to make online friendships.ReplyDelete
They are very helpful, definitely!Delete
My best friends in the world are ones I met on the internet. I have now gone on vacations, work trips and more with more with my online besties!ReplyDelete
Yes its so wonderful to be able to use social media as not only a way to be creative and do business but to make these meaningful connections!Delete
I love that you're talking about this. My husband is anti social media and it's so hard for him to comprehend the relationships I've built online. It's so possible. I've met so many lovely people who will pray for me, genuinely ask how my day is, and support me. It's amazing how big this world is but how we can stay so connected via the internet.ReplyDelete
Yes! Social media can be used as a great tool and way to connect with other people around the world. So glad you found a community of people who support you and lift you up through social media!Delete