If Your Facebook Friends Are In A Mess What Should You Do?
Two weeks ago top Internet Marketer Ed Dale decided to Boot all of his Facebook friends by deleting his Facebook account and starting again from scratch. He raised the question in many people’s minds of whether they should do the same. Ed is kicking out the dead weight from his Facebook profile but its a laborious task.
One of Ed Dales buddies Ryan Deiss has asked the question Should I “Unfriend” All My Facebook Friends Like Ed Dale?
I would like to offer some alternative solutions that can help you manage your Personal and Business profiles under a single Facebook account.
The Root Of The Problem
The root of Ed Dale’s problem lies in the fact that he is not a normal Facebook user. Facebook will only let you operate a single account that has to be in your own name.This means that your personal and business life has to be all lumped together.
Being a famous Internet Marketing Guru means that you get a lot of people wanting to be your friend. John Reese maxed out his Facebook profile in under a week last April reaching the 5000 friend limit.
A Sticky Mess
If your network grows so rapidly it’s next to impossible to organize it in any structured way so that it can benefit you. For those who are using Facebook for business purposes there are some lessons to be learned here. Without quality control, structuring and proper organization your network could turn into a sticky mess.
Facebook are considering raising this limit but the question is, how can you manage a huge network of friends and still be able to use Facebook like a normal user?
Dealing With Background Noise
It’s understandable that if you have 5000 people who you don’t really know add you as a friend and then spam the hell out of your Facebook wall in a bid to attract your attention or to hijack the viral power of your network you might get a bit upset. And by closing down your Facebook wall you kill one of the most popular features and your profile just becomes a one-way interaction
Ed has been missing out on the way most normal people use Facebook and because the intensity of the background noise gets too much to cope with he opted for the drastic approach….Starting Again!!
Getting Used To The New Design
The new look Facebook is still a mystery to many people, even though we have now had 6 months to get used to it. Most people never fully benefit from its real power. It’s obvious to me that Ed never took the time to learn all its subtleties when they rolled out the new design, preferring to focus on the aspects of Facebook that actually make you money like Facebook Ads and Pages
It’s hardly surprising really when they keep adding new functions and moving things around. I am often amazed when I discover some of the treasures that lie buried in the Facebook Maze
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
One thing you can do to manage your profile is to adjust your privacy settings effectively, Nick O Neil shows exactly how to do this in his excellent post “10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know”
There are also several things you can do to ensure that you don’t end up like Ed and have to start over again
Segregate Your Friends Into Lists
This is one of the most powerful and under used functions on Facebook that you need to get into the habit of using. By creating segregated lists you can keep track of specific groups of friends and keep all your business contacts in one place. The best way to implement this strategy is to build it into your regular routine when you send or receive friend requests.
Go to the FRIENDS tab on your Facebook profile
Choose Logical Categories For Your Friend Lists
If you scroll down will see a button that allows you to create a new list. Think carefully how you want to group your friends, you can segregate them however you like
Choosing logical categories will help you find them later and make you more likely to use this function on a regular basis. Your friends can belong to multiple lists but don’t add too many categories as it defeats the purpose of the exercise.
Speed Things Up By Selecting Multiple Friends
You now get the option to start typing in the names of the friends that you want to include in your list. Often its difficult to remember everyone’s name and its very easy to forget people once they become buried in your contacts list. You have a second option and that is to click on SELECT MULTIPLE FRIENDS, this will pull in the photographs of your friends. If you have a big network this might take a while to load so be patient.
Filter Friends By Region
Another very powerful option is to filter your friends by region, when the MULTIPLE FRIENDS option is open, just click on the FILTER FRIENDS tab and select who you want to include. Of course you will only be able to find your friends who have entered all their details correctly.
Don’t Forget To Save Your List
After you have selected everyone to include on your list make sure you don’t forget to save it, scroll to the bottom of the page and click SAVE LIST
Get Into Good Organizational Habits
Now when you make a friend request or add a new friend you will have the option to place that person into one or several of your chosen categories, Just click on the small triangle in the corner and your lists will be shown in a drop down menu. Get into the habit of doing this and you will build a much more powerful and easy to manage contacts list than the jumbled mess you might find yourself in otherwise. It becomes more important the larger your network grows; once you get over 500 friends it starts to become an issue and the job of segregation becomes harder and harder. It’s never too late to start, so take my advice and keep organized.
Messaging Your Lists
If you are planning on sending messages to a list you need to keep it below 19 members. Remember to warn people that if they respond, their reply will be sent to everyone in the group. This type of messaging is best done with the permission of your friends, as it can be very annoying if a recipient isn’t interested in the message and they get bombarded with all your personal replies in their email inbox.
Form A Secret Group
If you want to message more than 19 people at a time consider making multiple lists or try starting your own Facebook group. For personal friends you can keep this group secret and it will be invisible to other Facebook users. You can adjust a group’s privacy settings when you create the group.
To View A Segregated List Newsfeed
Facebook give you the option of viewing each of your friend’s lists as a separate newsfeed. It would be a useful function to be able to choose which newsfeed gets show as default. I am sure that at a future date this kind of customization will become available. For now to get to a specific newsfeed you will have to go to the hassle of clicking a few times
First click on the HOME tab on your profile page this will take you to your usual newsfeed page, there are 6 tabs for you to select what type of news you want to see.
To view the newsfeed of one of your segregated friend lists click on the TRIANGLE tab that says MORE FEEDS and scroll down the drop down menu and select the one you want.
Spy On Your Competition Or Keep Track Of Your Family
For those of you who like to spy on your competition this is a great way to track other peoples Facebook activities and see what they are up to. If like Ed dale you want to keep track of your friends and family then this would be the best way to go about it.
Adding People Quickly To Your Lists
Another way you can add people to your lists is by clicking on the EDIT button in the MORE FEEDS tab and then entering names in the box provided. When you click BROWSE you have a rapidly scrolling list of your friends. You don’t get any photos when you do it this way so it loads a lot faster than the other options that you can use. You can populate a list quickly and easily if you know who you are looking for, the list is presented in alphabetical order.
Adjusting Your Newsfeed Settings
For those people who want to choose who they hear news about you also have the option of customizing your newsfeed. This is another of those hidden functions that most users rarely find. To get to it you have to scroll down to the very bottom of your HOME page and click on OPTIONS FOR NEWS FEED
You are then faced with a set of sliders, much like you would find on a graphic equalizer. Just adjust them to the type of news you want to receive and add the names of all the people you would like to hear more about. If there is a particular person who shows up constantly in your newsfeed with news that doesn’t interest you and you don’t want to remove them as a friend you can place their name in the second box on the right and hopefully they will become less visible in your newsfeed.
Adjust Your Newsfeed Settings
White Listing Who You Allow To See Your Wall
Facebook have a function, hidden deep in the privacy settings that allows you to choose who has access to your wall and who you will allow to see what others have posted. By using your friends lists you can keep your personal friends or business contacts in their own little bubble depending on which way you choose to adjust your settings.
From your profile page, first click on SETTINGS and then click on PROFILE, this will take you to the privacy>profile settings, scroll down and select the box that allows friends to post to your wall. If you are suffering from a lot of wall spam or you don’t feel comfortable with others posting on your wall keep it turned off.
If you want to customize who can interact with your wall then you can use your lists and only allow certain groups of friends access. click on the triangle and select CUSTOMIZE from the drop down menu. A new pop up screen will now appear.
Select SOME FRIENDS
And now click on the small FRIENDS LIST icon to the right of the box
You can now select which friends you want to include on your white list by selecting the appropriate groups
Now you need to select which networks you want to be able to see your wall. If you select NONE OF MY NETWORKS then only those on your white list will be able to see your wall.
Get A Friend To Check Your Settings
It’s a good idea when experimenting with these settings to have a friend on another computer check how your settings affect them.
Another way to organize your friends would be to exclude certain people,
You might not want your boss or work colleagues seeing every aspect of your social and family life.
Deciding whether to White list or Black list is entirely up to you it depends on which types of Friends are in the majority
After you have made your selections and clicked OK make sure your REMEMBER TO SAVE YOUR SETTINGS when you return to the PROFILE SETTINGS page
The bottom line whether you are using Facebook for personal or professional interactions is the more you understand how the platform works and the more organized and disciplined you are regarding how you separate your personal and private life. The more pleasure you will gain from using it. In my opinion it’s the most powerfull social networking platform ever created, if you have any further suggestions or ideas about how to integrate your personal and business contacts please feel free to leave a comment.
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