start a conversation, black man using smartphone

Trying to talk to women online doesn’t seem that hard, right?

Not if you’re the really charismatic online kind of guy, but let’s be real here… not all of you are. Women don’t mind you being in their inbox, we just want you to do it correctly. Social media has become one of the number one ways that society stays connected with the people and things going on around them. With that being said, I am not against people who make friends online. I know a few couples who started dating after they met online, in fact. However, this is not an article about online dating, this is an article about the first step—how to start a conversation online.

It’s easy to speak to women online if it’s done publicly like commenting on a status or picture, but that’s not really the same as starting a one-on-one conversation. It’s after you try to slide into her inbox that you find yourself having some difficulty soliciting a response (especially with the catty narcissistic ways of some women). The next tips I give you are ones you should definitely hold on to when attempting to start a conversation online. Let’s get into it!

1.  Say the right kind of “Hello”.

All too often do I have to correct the way a man slides into my inbox just based off of how he addresses me. Although, “What’s up, beautiful?” may sound like a winning opening line to you… it is a MAJOR turnoff for most women. A simple “Hi, how are you?” will do in most cases.

I think the other thing to take into consideration when choosing the right greeting is whether or not you know the person you’re messaging. If you don’t know them, always go with a normal greeting. Compliments are nice, but coming from a stranger it can be a little weird if done incorrectly. In all honesty, it takes a smooth delivery to offer a compliment in a way that engages a woman without her feeling creeped out by you being a complete stranger.

2. Do a little research.

Yes, I think it’s important to do a little ‘research’ on the person you’re about to message. Especially if you’re introducing yourself online to someone you do not know personally. No, I’m not telling you to go 52 weeks into her Instagram or to go and dig up old tagged photos on Facebook. I think reading her bio and a few of her recent status updates might give you a feel for what to say to her and how to say it.

This is also where it is appropriate to find something to compliment her on. Most women have the things they are proud of in their bio and on statuses, so this is another way to open a conversation.

3. Have good conversation to offer.

Piggybacking off the previous point, when you do a little research it should give you a good insight on appropriate conversation starters. If you look into her profile just a little bit or you’re familiar with the things that strike her interest as a result of following her, it shouldn’t be hard to have a fruitful conversation with her. Have something to offer when you slide into her inbox. Don’t be inappropriate. Don’t be rude or insulting. Don’t just say ‘hello’ and then expect her to be interested in starting a conversation with you when you messaged her first.

4. Have a point. 

Hopefully, there is some type of point behind why you’re messaging her. I have plenty of online friends that I have made. I don’t meet many of them, especially if there are no mutual friends or we don’t live in the same area, but I do make connections with plenty of amazing people online. When you reach out to her and get the conversation started, have a point behind doing it even if you just want to discuss your opinion about her most recent post. Otherwise, it can come off a bit creepy that you “just wanted to say hello” to someone you don’t know at all.

5. Don’t ask her for her number, offer yours. 

After a few successful online conversations with her, you may want to exchange numbers with her. You are the one that initiated the conversation, so you need to be the one to follow it all the way through. Kindly let her know that you enjoyed the conversations you two have had and that if she would like to she can connect with you via phone call or text. That is much more appropriate than asking her for her number. It also gives her the refreshing option of contacting you at her convenience, instead of her feeling vulnerable about your ability to contact her at your free will.

Don’t underestimate the power of conversation, even if it happens to start online! Women love to be flattered by the intellect. Start a valuable conversation and watch how the friendship escalates.

Read more original Goddess Column content from Isis on Thought Catalog.