MORE Facebook friends may equal FEWER Likes & Shares…



I used to believe, like most marketers, that Bigger/More is Better. More fans. More friends. More email list subscribers.

Now I believe differently…

I’ve been finding that *smaller* might really be better: You experience less overwhelm, and more engagement with your true fans. The ironic result is *more* visibility and impact of your content.

And likely, a more stable income, because with less overwhelm and more focus and better relationships, you are serving people better, and getting more word of mouth referrals.

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I recently removed 3,000 Facebook friends.

The vast majority were people I randomly added 5+ years ago and we don’t know each other and haven’t engaged for years. Even some of my real-life friends, who aren’t engaging with me on facebook (or I with their content), there’s no need to be “friends” on Facebook constantly. There’s always the option to add people back if there’s interest to engage mutually on Facebook.

There are 2 main reasons I did this:

Reason 1. To increase the views of my facebook postings.

Although the Facebook algorithm is hidden and secret, my *guess* based on experience is this:

When you post something, Facebook first allows a small percentage (let’s say 10%) of your friends to see it in their News Feed. If enough of those first 10% like your post, then FB will allow another say 25% of your friends to see it in their News Feed. If enough of that second group likes it, then FB shows it to another 25% of your friends, etc.

Again, these numbers are guesses. But the general idea seems to be correct… based on my experience of using FB for 10 years.

One example:

Once I removed 3,000 Facebook friends, I posted something that was the same message and link I shared 1 year ago. And I got 50% more likes and 100% more shares this time, even though I had 3,000 *fewer* facebook friends.

Here’s the proof —

My post in 2014:

On this day when America celebrates #Columbus, let's remember what he *really* did… and let's look at an alternative hero: Bartolomé (read the post all the way to the end!)#ColumbusDay

Posted by George Kao on Monday, October 13, 2014

3700 Facebook friends: 10 likes, 2 comments, 2 shares

My post in 2015:

On this day when America celebrates #Columbus, let's remember what he *really* did… and let's look at an alternative hero: Bartolomé (read the post all the way to the end!)#ColumbusDay

Posted by George Kao on Monday, October 12, 2015

700 Facebook friends: 16 likes, 4 comments, 4 shares

Again, what Facebook cares about isn’t how many friends you have — it’s how engaged your friends are with your content.

I do recommend adding a “follow” button on your Facebook profile so that you can post publicly and allow people you don’t know, to “follow” your public postings.

Here’s how to do that: http://j.mp/1Q2Yvu1

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The 2nd reason I removed so many Facebook friends (and will continue to, until I get to about 300-500 only) is to make my News Feed *more focused* on those who are actually engaging with (liking/commenting/sharing) my content.

This give me a higher chance of seeing *their* postings in my news feed, so that I can engage with them.

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So I also tried this with my public Facebook group, “Our Highest Work”.

There were about 400 members (out of 600) who hadn’t engaged with (liked/commented) the postings in at least 3 months.

I removed them.

Remember: it’s a *public* group so even if they’re not in the group, they can see the content anytime they want, just by visiting the group.

Again, I removed 2/3rds of my Facebook group members, and yet the likings didn’t go down. It didn’t go up either, but now, the people in the group are ones who engage, and therefore, the ones I want to engage with as well.

I noticed that there Facebook groups with 3-5x more members as ours, but have 3-5x *less* likings per Facebook posting than our group. It’s not a direct correlation, but the lesson still applies:

More members, more fans, more friends, is not better.

More *engagement* is better, and ironically that often requires *smaller* circle of members, fans, friends, because then one’s attention is not too scattered.

Less overwhelm, more relationship.

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Take care of a group of people you really feel engaged with, even if it’s a small group. (Again, it may require removing non-engaged people.)

Let people flow out and back into your life as needed. No need to hold on, fixated, to an acquaintance that is no longer engaging.

There’s so many people in the world you could really help, and could help you. Practically speaking, when it comes to online connections, there are an unlimited number of kindred spirits for you.

Just engage with the ones who positively engage with you. Serve them well.

And watch your business flourish.

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George Kao’s best articles, sent by email monthly:
http://georgekao.com/email

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