To Friend or Unfriend. Or Ignore. That is the Facebook Question.


What if you have too many friends in Facebook? A tough problem, right? But what if you maxed out at 5,000, and/or what if you were sad that you weren't keeping up with what your true friends are doing in their home towns? You would need to scale back in some Facebook friendships, and essentially, unfriend some people. If you're a person with a lot of street cred online, and you were reading this article on whether or not to create a Facebook Fan Page for yourself, then the next step you should be thinking about is how to handle your current collection of friends.

Why Do We Have Friends on Facebook?
If we are in college or high school, we are really just keeping up with our actual friends on Facebook - looking at their pictures, commenting on their funny videos, throwing snowballs at them, etc. If we are making our way in the world today, it takes everything we've got, and yes, we are using Facebook to network, sell product, sell services, and more. But with the 5,000 friend limit, which does really squash your chances of using Facebook for fun because you have so many networking types in your feed, you will want to reconsider why you are accepting friends.

Reasons to Accept Friends

  • You really want to know what they are doing, what events they are having, etc.
  • You want them to know what you are doing. You can assume they are going to be watching every move that you make, or you can decide to put a little bit of effort into them when they post a thought-provoking status update, release a video, post a link, etc.
  • They have sent you a little note with their friend request

Reasons to Ignore Friend Requests

  • You look at your mutual friends, and the mutual friends are all big time Facebook users who are more interested in having high friend numbers, than in the quality of what you are saying.
  • You have no idea who the person is, and you have no mutual friends. This person did not tell you why they have requested to be your friend.

How to Unfriend Current Friends to Make Room for New Friends
If you need to scale down your list, and you need to delete some friends in order to make room for new friends who you for either personal or professional reasons, you need to quietly unfriend people who are not helping your professional cause, nor are they contributing to daily doses of random happy things. There is no need to make an announcement that you are doing this, but before you do it, and if you have made a Fan Page for your business that you would like them to continue to follow, create a campaign for yourself.

How to Move Friends to be Fans
While you can't technically click a person to be a "fan" instead of a "friend", you can persuade your current friends to also become fans. Little do they know you may soon be cleaning house, and they will suddenly stop seeing your status updates, but that's ok.

  • Write about your new Fan Page on your blog, and link to it.
  • Put a "Find us on Facebook" graphic on every page of your website or blog. If you're not an "us", then make a "Find me on Facebook", but chances are, it takes some kind of community to do what you do, so consider sticking with "us".
  • Update your Facebook status to let your friends know you have a Fan page, and you will be posting lots of goodies to it, like helpful links, sales, etc.
  • Update your Facebook status a few times, to really give those who you will be unfriending a clear chance to know where to find you.

Lastly, keep in mind that this is all a work in progress. Facebook is always introducing new features and changing the rules. So what may have been a great strategy 6 months ago, may not apply today.


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