Sunday, December 11, 2016

Should You Unfriend Inactive Facebook Friends?

Occasionally I see business people in social media announcing that they will be getting rid of friends who rarely engage or interact with them on a regular basis. They tend to give their reasoning as these friends aren't interacting with them on any level.

Therefore, understandably as a business person, they want to get rid of the dead weight of these unproductive social media connections.  However, before you get rid of social media connections you view as being aloof consider the technology side of the issue.

Really Facebook controls a great deal of the interpersonal dynamics with social media connections than you might realize with their algorithm. For instance I have some Facebook friends that I love to read and interact with but there are periods where Facebook doesn't show them much in my Newsfeed on my Home Page.  Well not until I inbox them and give them a bunch of likes.  Inboxing them in their private messages or giving them a bunch of likes helps to get the Facebook algorithm to start putting them in my Newsfeed again. 

Facebook only allows you to have 5,000 friends.  However, I started another Facebook personal page as an overflow and that one is also maxed out at 5K too. I will start a 3rd one. That is because I don't like the business pages.  It is a hassle to get people to join them.

When I need to reach all of my friends I will do Facebook ads. Facebook only really allows you to reach 200 or 300 of your connections on a regular basis unless you advertise.


There are some free ways to reach a larger more diverse group of your social media connections.  For instance post different times of the day to reach different Facebook connections who log on the platform at different times. Do this a few times a month. Post 2 am or 3 am in the morning and you'll reach some FB connections who you don't usually see in your Newsfeed during the day.

You should also consider posting automatically at different times of the day with an online app like Hootsuite to reach different social media connections you have on Facebook.  Remember the busiest times of activity on Facebook tend to be around 7 am to 9 am, 12 pm to 2 pm, and 8 pm to 10 pm. But again to reach people groups of your friends at different times of the day also try off peak times to post too on your Timeline or Newsfeed.   

Furthermore, since Facebook only allows you to reach a couple of hundred friends on a regular basis (unless a post, mime, or video goes viral by being liked or shared a great deal) this may demoralize or discourage you in reference to interacting with your social media connections.  The people who you will see most often posting are people who like you a lot or inbox you.  The Facebook algorithm sees those folks as the people you interact with the most and therefore the most important.  Nevertheless, there are times you may have to consider unfriending people as a business person.

While it is good to have a difference of opinion to learn new things, if you run a business and notice you tend to get into long debates with certain people it may be time to pull the plug. When social media interactions become too time consuming making you lose focus on your online business goals it would be good to unfollow those people or unfriend them.  If you find they push your buttons on endless debates remember time is a terrible thing to waste.  So you may have to block out contentious social media connections.



Another reason to get rid of some friends is if you want to have higher quality potential clients and want to get the social media connections with the highest potential to patronize you interacting and seeing your content more.  For instance if you have 3,000 social media contacts on Facebook you may want to lose some so the 200 or 300 Facebook friends Facebook gives you exposure to, on a regular basis, have a higher probability to see you because you have less friends.  However, I wouldn't get rid of any friends until you 1st get rid of the contentious social media connections.

Also another way to keep in contact with important business contacts in social media without unfriending or unfollowing someone is to communicate with them in their inboxes periodically, like their posts and share their info.  Facebook will be automatically conditioned to know algorithm wise that these are people you enjoy interacting with and accordingly adjust itself.  Moreover, If a connection is just rude to you or your other connections like trolls it is better to just block them otherwise they will just make your online life miserable.

Remember to unfriend or unfollow with caution.  A social media contact who doesn't buy or support you now may do so six months from now.  It happens to me at times that people contact me about services years down the line.

You may be asking why would a business person want to use a personal Facebook profile for business instead of a business page?  When a person is the personal brand of the business a personal page may be far more effective.  This is because people buy from people they like. So Facebook's friend setup may be an organic platform for business since many businesses rely on relationships and rapport to survive and thrive.   



Bio: Search Engine Buzz is Published by DadPreneur Kamau Austin. Kamau is a popular Blogger, Writer, and Internet Marketing Professional helping small businesses grow more profitable businesses online.

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