Friday, September 23, 2011

Facebook Friday: It's cool to have friends who don't have friends

I scheduled the following article before FB rolled out the latest news feed changes.  Though there are some definite new features, the following still applies.  For really excellent information about the newest news feed look and subscribe feature, read this blog entry here from  I couldn't say it any better myself.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how FB is like highschool.  Now little by little I've been expanding on what that means for us author types. The first explanation can be found here.

The second way I likened FB to HS was by stating the obvious: You show up more on the news streams of people with fewer friends then you do on people with tons of friends.

Of course. My friend who has 1000 friends has a lot more status updates to read than my friend who has 26 friends. Which one is guaranteed to read my post?

There's actually even more to it than that.

Let's say that I am an author who is just about to publish my first book.  I have just made a book trailer and I want people to see it so I post it on Facebook. The friends who are most likely to see this book trailer are my friends who don't have a lot of other news in their streams - the friends who don't have a lot of friends. If these friends see my trailer and start to respond to it, then suddenly my story becomes rated higher by FB and now my friends who have lots of FB friends are more likely to see it.  Now they start to comment and I'm even more popular so my friends who have lots and lots of FB friends are more likely to see it.

This shows the benefits of having FB friends with lots of friends and those with very few. This may sound manipulative, but I'm kind of saying it's a good idea to make friends with the newbies as well as the FB giants just so that when you have something to say, it's more likely to get around.

And here's a variation of my usual disclaimer: I don't mean to say that Facebook is all about promoting yourself. (It certainly isn't for me). But there's nothing wrong with that being one component of your FB interactions. It really isn't any different from those of you who have blogs in order to build community AND build your platform. These are just tips on how to use FB the same way.

How many friends do you have? Are you friends with the giants and the newbies? Do you use FB for promotion or community or both? I always enjoy your comments.

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