When I posed this question recently on twitter, as you can probably guess, everyone had their favorites, including one woman who boasted of meeting her billionaire husband on a site for “high rollers.” I realize the word "best" is relative. Some people use dating sites to simply expand their circle of friends, others are searching for their soul mate, and (a growing) many use them for casual sex hook-ups. I strongly believe a successful online dating site is one that generates real-life dates! That said, I've searched and searched and have been unable to find "first date statistics" from the major sites. However, I do have a good sampling group, my clients! I recently surveyed 220 and I’m happy to report my findings. On a pure statistical basis, there is one site that consistently ranks #1 as the best deliverer of first dates...any guesses?
And the answer is...Facebook! That's right, based on my survey and other research (I maintain an active account on at least 30 dating sites), I consider Facebook not only the most effective, but with 600 million users and counting, it’s the largest “dating” site in the world (not to mention the most honest...it's much easier to lie using a “member name” on a typical dating site versus your real name on Facebook). If you’ve ever thought about trying out Facebook for dating, here are some tips to get the most out of the experience.
What’s the first thing you do when someone accepts your friendship? You look at their pictures, of course! Part of this is the voyeuristic nature of Facebook, but a part of it is also that a picture is truly worth a million words. I suggest that you review your photos and understand the story it tells about you and your life. If not accurate or flattering, change it. Pay extra attention to your profile photo, it will typically determine whether someone accepts your introduction message (see #3).
Trolling online for someone you only find attractive may sound brash, but it’s actually not much different from what most of us do offline (when you’re at happy hour and see him across the room, are you first thinking about his credit scores or how hot he looks in that suit). Let’s face it, attraction is important (and something I consider to be a non-negotiable). In this step, I suggest literally looking at the photos of your actual friends. Attempt to view general profile information in order to determine relationship status. If you can’t tell, no worries. Our mission with this step is simple…who is cute and a friend of a real friend.
This is a very important step because we tend to place higher value on people our friends claim to be of value. Once you have your person(s) of interest, ask your mutual friend to suggest you both as friends and in the introduction, include an endorsement of you. Example: “Tony, I’m excited to introduce you to my good friend Kim. She is moving to New York City in the fall and I can think of no one better than you to show her the city."
So many people think this step is unnecessary, especially online, but it’s critical. Flirting is an expression of interest and can be done effectively with Facebook. Quality comments on their posts, re-sharing of their posts, fun/humorous inbox messages, etc. all show that you’re into him. Flirting also is your opportunity to distinguish yourself from everyone else, so give ’em you’re A+ flirt game (or someone else will)!
I often say, “the ask is where we most often fail, because we don’t do it.” After you have done all of the above steps successfully, it’s time to close the deal (and this is if you are a woman or a man). Remember, the best online strategy is to take it offline as quickly as possible. Ask them out! What’s your opinion about online dating and using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter? Leave your comments below.
Please share this list with friends and be sure to add your thoughts and feedback in the comments section. If you have further questions for me. I can be contacted on Twitter at @PaulCBrunson on facebook.com/PaulBrunson or online at www.onedegreefrom.me.