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The Social Media Flirting Rules You’re Probably Getting Wrong

For the love of god; give the eggplant emoji a rest.

There was a time when wooing a woman meant flowers, poetry and chocolate (or, at the very least, a nervously scrawled note with two check boxes: Do you like me? Yes or No).

Today the flowers are flame emojis, the check boxes are swipes, and the chocolates don’t fit her vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, locavore diet. Flirting is a more delicate art.

Our social media age calls for a tech savvy come on, one with just the right mix of subtlety and shamelessness. Go too big and you’ll be branded a creep long before you reach DM status. Go too small and your heart eyes emoji will be buried under more aggressive men’s digital advances (ahem).

The modern Romeo must learn how to flirt on social media without veering into either extreme. Follow these ten tips to get your social media seduction game on point.

RELATED: A Guide To Maximising Your Success On Tinder

Keep Your Photos Fresh

If you’re planning to use your social media profiles for flirtation, you need to give them the same TLC as your dating profiles. Start by unleashing a killer profile pic. It should be current and flattering, not the grainy shot of your proudest college keg stand moment. It must include you, even though your dog is extremely photogenic and rightfully your favourite family member. It should not include your ex, feature so many other people that it’s impossible to identify you, or be taken in a bathroom mirror (shirtless or not, it’s a no-go).

Think Before You Post

Your profile is the image you present to the world. What is it saying about you? Be mindful of what you post and what you’re tagged in because you will be judged by it. Remove anything that could earmark you as undateable, whether it’s a picture of a controversial Halloween costume or an offensive comment a buddy made or a series of BuzzFeed quiz results (in your defense, you were really bored that day). Shape your image to present yourself truthfully, but in your best light. Share content that is insightful and funny, and post pictures that illustrate your interests and personality.

Beware The Deep Like

Think about how you flirt in real life. You want to make your intentions clear, but you don’t want to come off as obsessed or desperate. Social media is no different. It’s fine to peep deep into her feed (we’ve all done it, we’re all curious, she does it too), as long as you just look. Once you start liking or commenting, however, you risk veering into creep territory. ‘Deep-liking’ – scrolling way, way back on her profile and liking ancient posts – is the digital equivalent of stalking. That being said, a carefully deployed deep like can be an effective way to signal interest in a woman, but it must be used sparingly and is best left to the experts.

Like Responsibly

The equally detested colleague of the deep like is the ‘like storm’ – a sudden tidal wave of likes on anything and everything on her profile. Liking a handful of things says you’re interested in her life; liking everything says you’re only a few steps away from “the calls are coming from inside the house” territory. And while you’re executing your moderate, totally reasonable, not-at-all-creepy liking campaign, think about what you’re liking as well as how often. Aim for a mix of selfies and other content. Liking a selfie is the cyber version of complimenting someone’s looks – it’s cool to do it sometimes (and it’s a clear way to make your interest known), but doing it all the time is not a smooth move.

Watch For Reciprocation

Be conscious of reciprocal communication. For starters, if she starts liking and commenting back, it’s a positive sign. Your efforts have been noticed and appreciated, and she’s interested enough to take action in return. You’re free to take the next steps in your social media seduction strategy (perhaps a private message?). Secondly, it’s important that you don’t continue to pursue her if she shows zero signs of being into it. Do not be the guy who sends message after message with no response, and definitely don’t be the guy who does that and then becomes an aggressive asshole about it.

Don’t Be A Dick (Or Send One)

What we said about emoji etiquette applies here too: if you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it online. Leave your junk out of any social media conversations with women, both literally and in a figurative sense, unless you’re on a social network explicitly designed for that. Do not leave thirsty comments on her photos, it’s just catcalling from behind a screen. Sexually explicit content is an obvious no-no, but even a simple “ur hot” is tedious, played out, and unspeakably lame. And we shouldn’t have to tell you that unsolicited dick pics in her DMs are always the wrong call.

Take It Offline

Did you forget about this oft-disregarded, but golden, rule? The whole point of all that cyber-wooing is to make something of it. That techie tête-à-tête should eventually becomefl an IRL meetup, or you’ve wasted both your and her time. Once you’ve established a relationship online, don’t be afraid to take things further. Send her a private message. Become friends on other platforms. Exchange numbers and start texting. And maybe, just maybe… if all those likes and coy emoji haven’t stunted your ability to communicate via actual human speech… invite her for a drink and see what happens. She might like the real man even more than his profile.

Be Witty

As for your tone, take your cues from Insta star Simone Holtznagel (who we recently interviewed), “The wittier the better.” Then all you can do is wait, trusting she likes what she sees. “Usually after a while of seeing your name pop up everywhere she will take a look (at your profile)” the international model told us. So make sure your clever prose isn’t ruined by forgetting to get rid of the bio your drunk friend wrote for you.

Take It Slow

According to Simone, if you want your approach to work: don’t just go straight sliding in there. “Do a couple of week’s work, follow them, like pictures, respond to Instagram stories (NOTHING CREEPY).” Then, and only then, can you start transitioning from sly, witty Romeo to suave, fearless Casanova.

Employ The “Great Gatsby Technique”

Who’s to say you’re only trying to slide into the DM’s of international models? Chances are you will mostly be flirting with guys/gals/androgynous droids you actually know. This provides a fertile testing ground for one of the most devious dating trends of the 21st century.

‘Gatsby-ing’ is where you add a video or photo to your Instagram or Facebook story, viewable by all your followers, but curated specifically to show that special someone just how good a time you are having. Without them. If this doesn’t reel them in, you can console yourself that Gatsby had a mansion, elaborate parties and all the new-money in New York and it didn’t work for him either…

RELATED: How To Successfully Slide Into A Girl’s DM”s, According To A Girl 

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