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How To: Facebook Friendship Requests- Accept or Not?

August 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments

It’s time for another post on selecting friends/followers, this one is on Facebook.  The last one I wrote was “Who to Follow Back on Twitter”.

I’ve been receiving a lot of friendship requests from lots of people on Facebook, especially people outside of the US.  It’s good to remember that only 125 million of the 500 million people on Facebook are from the US.  The fastest growing nation is the US, followed by Indonesia (25MM), Mexico (12MM) and the Philippines (14MM). All of these numbers are as of Aug 19,2010 by Facebakers.

Here’s how I determine if someone is worth the risk of following back:

First I see how many friends we have in common.  You can find that right on your “Friends Request drop down on your home page:

I’ve got over 2300 friends on Facebook covering the social media industry.  If you and I don’t have more than 10 friends in common then I’m wondering about you right off the bat.

Above Lynne and I have 22 mutual friends, and Julia and I have 96.  Your mileage may vary.  I used to look at the friends list to see if I trusted those people.  But spammers are getting better and better every day so I don’t trust that much anymore.  Also I’m in social media so many of my friends are, like me, social sluts and don’t pay much attention to who they friend.  So their judgment has become a little suspect(nothing personal my friends).  Again your mileage may vary.

Next I visit each and every profile of a person asking to be my friend.  The first thing I read is their Information Page, and I look at their profile picture.  I immediately discount provocative and sexy pictures.  I’m finding now that spammers are using less provocative pictures than before.

I’m assuming that if you’re not from my immediate geographic neighborhood, that you are reaching out to me for professional purposes.  Therefore I expect to see some professional information on your profile.  Many women provide less info on their profiles than men, but there’s a minimum I expect to see if you’re real. 

This isn’t what I would call a real person:

Note the lack of a city or country.  And looking for: Friendship and dating.

This one looks real:

Note looking for Networking, and city and state, with a brief bio.

Next I look at the Wall if it’s available and see what their recent activity has been.  If it’s nothing but a bunch of friend requests then I’m going to be very skeptical.  The example below shows 40 new friends recently, this doesn’t look good to me.

This is a red flag to me.  I wouldn’t friend this person.

Lynn, doesn’t display her wall to non-friends.  A little bit of a concern, but with the other info I’ve gathered I think she’s a good risk.


Julia’s mildly provocative picture, heavy recent friending activity and lack of serious business information on her profile leads me to think she may be a spammer.  If Julia really wants to get in touch with me she can try again and send me a note along with the friendship request.  Requests I receive with a note of explanation are almost always accepted.

Lynn seems to be a real person in California with a real interest in business networking.  Therefore I’m interested in networking with her.  I’ve accepted her friendship request. 

Chris Kieff

CEO, 1 Good Reason Social Marketing Consulting



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Tags: Reasons For Net Marketing

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael Cohn // Aug 12, 2010 at 10:34 am


    The approach we take is slightly different. Each person that asks to be our firend on Facebook is sent back an email with the subject: Re: Facebook Friend Request. The email message 1st thanks them for wanting to be our friend, than it explains our policy for separating between friends and family and business connection, we guide them to our Facebook business page, and last we asks the person for the real reaosn of their wanting to be our friend and how we can help each other.

    We found that this way about 50% of the people that request to be friends convert to fans and the rest had no business being our freinds or fans in the first place.

    Here is the email script that we use:


    Thank you for asking me to become your friend on Facebook. I generally use my regular Facebook account for connecting with family and colleagues. If you would like to connect with me, please join my fan page at (http://www.facebook.com/compukol.communications), where you will get plenty of info on social media and what we do.

    I like to get to know the people I connect with better so we both can understand how we can help each other. Please tell me a little about yourself and why you would like to connect with me?

    Again, I appreciate your reaching out to me and look forward to future communication.

    Best Regards,

    Michael Cohn
    http://www.compukol.com .

    I hope this is helpfull.


  • 2 Alycia Melton // Aug 16, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I recognize Twitter is the best social network singers can get promotion. Many well-known celebrities/musicians these days started from Twitter. Exactly like Marie Digby and Arnel Pineda, the fresh new vocalist of the band Journey. Several of them are using a power tool like xxxxx to find the real followers in a “dirty way”.

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