Michael Hyatt, CEO of Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson, has an excellent post this morning explaining his new Facebook strategy. He went into Facebook with no strategy – well, no defined strategy. His strategy by default was simply to accept all friend invitations figuring the more friends the better. He ended up with thousands of friends… and along with them lots of messages, solicitations, and other annoying garbage which left him on the verge of deleting his FB profile.
After a lot of thought and input from readers of his blog, he decided to keep his FB profile but implement a new “friend” strategy.
- Only accept friend requests from relatives and close friends.
- Utilize a Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/michaelhyattfan for acquaintances and “fans.”
- Purge all the “friends” from his personal profile who are acquaintances and fans.
The end result is that he went from 2,200 “friends” on his personal profile to 80. And his Facebook page now has 2,300 fans.
My Facebook Strategy
I’ve been using a similar strategy for a while. Basically, I want to use Facebook to stay better connected with the people I know offline. Because I’m not as well known as Michael and don’t have as many acquaintances (and few if any fans), I haven’t had to be as strict with my “friend” policy. I like having acquaintances as FB “friends.” But when I’ve gotten a friend request from someone whose name I don’t recognize, I send them a message saying, “Sorry for my bad memory, but how do we know each other?” Sometimes it turns out to be real acquaintance, sometimes not.
Early on I accepted some friend requests from OurChurch.Com members. A few months ago after Facebook improved their pages, we created a Facebook page for OurChurch.Com, which now has 95 fans.
After reading Michael Hyatt’s post on Wednesday, I decided to “unfriend” the handful of OurChurch.Com members who are not personal acquaintances of mine. No hard feelings, I hope.
What’s Your Strategy
Of course, just because Michael Hyatt and I have Facebook strategies that limit the number of “friends” we have for our personal FB profiles, doesn’t mean that’s the best way to manage Facebook. I know of lots of people who accept every friend request for various reasons. Some still maintain that when it comes to friends, the more the better, because they use Facebook as a public communication tool (aka marketing).
So, how about you? What’s your strategy? Do you accept all friend requests? Do you limit your FB friends to just Family and close friends? Or have you got a different FB strategy all together?