Be it online or offline, making new connections can be quite daunting for some people. But if you’re running a resort, making new friends is a must to getting new clients. And there’s no better place to begin than through the Internet.
Luckily, there are hundreds of online services and apps popping up, trying to solve our social awkwardness and help us discover new connections in new ways. These tools allow even the introverts among us to communicate, find friends or new clients and even business partners.
So how do people connect with each other in this modern day and age? Below are some of the most popular ways how we can build meaningful relationships through the use of social media.
Tag and Unite
Twitter tags can now organise and build communities. For example, people who like surfing can add a hashtag on their Twitter post (i.e. Going to Gold Coast to #surf) to see if there are others who are also going surfing. From there, they can begin conversing and may eventually find themselves surfing the same waves.
Share Niche Content, Win a Friend
Being generous with interesting content attracts people in what you have to say and share. These connections become especially valuable when they revolve around specific niches where communities and connections can flourish.
There are niche websites for travel where other enthusiasts share hotel and accommodation information as well as some travel dos and don’ts.
Be Activity Pals
People have been using the Internet to organise offline activities since its first days, but some sites – old and new – make the experience so much easier and less intimidating, especially when you are looking for new connections.
The oldest among them, Meetup.com, has been facilitating local connections among people who share the same interests for almost a decade now. With its 250,000 meetup events happening across the globe every month, it connects more than 7 million members based on mutual interests. While it’s not the only site to offer these services, they have a friendly and effective user interface that makes the process easier.
Location-based social networks have had some real buzz especially now that Facebook recently introduced Places (You may read about Facebook Places here). One reason for this trend is that mobile phones are needed to update our social connection online in real time. It’s much easier to create connections when there is a common point of interest, like a hotel bar or favourite shoe store. While location leaders like Foursquare don’t explicitly encourage new connections (yet), there are plenty of services that fill the void.
Friends in Algorithms
This trend combines the real potential of “Web 3.0″ by using semantic web and sophisticated algorithms to connect like-minded individuals. One popular website for this is Hunch which uses collective decision trees to make choices based on users’ interests. It asks users a series of questions, categorises answers and makes suggestions on things they might like.
Although still in its early stages, algorithm might redefine online discovery and help users create new meaningful connections with like-minded people.