When I get a friend request from a friend or family member, accepting their request is a no-brainer. But here's were it gets tricky (and I've changed the way I approach new friends because of it). When I get a friend request from someone who doesn't send a message and we have a no friends in common (or maybe even a few), I immediately look them up to see if they are in the industry. If they are, I accept the friend request. Many people, however, have privacy settings, so I can't see any information about them. I ignore those. The bottom line is, my Facebook page is open to the public, so they can read my blogs and get my information. If they want to be my friend, I want to know why. Do note that there is a section in messages titled OTHER and most people don't know it's there, so you could be sending messages to someone you have no connection to and it winds up in OTHER and they haven't received it.
For me, it's not a race to see who can have the most friends. If a stranger wants to friend me I want to know why. In the past year, I've sent friend requests to many camera people whose names I've known from the Guild. I knew I had value to offer them as a friend because I blog every day. Still, because I didn't send a message, a few wrote to me before accepting and asked who I was and how I knew them. When I told them I knew their name for years because I worked at the Guild, it put their mind at ease, and they accepted.
If you want more people to consider your requests, I suggest sending a message as to why you want to be their friend. It could say something like, "we have mutual friends in the business and it's always nice to meet like-minded people," or, "I work as a ____ and you are a ____, I enjoy connecting my friends when opportunities present themselves."
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