Facebook Friend Culling

After watching The Social Dilemma I became overwhelmed with a desire to both spend less time on FB and also to lessen the # of friends I have on there. I explained this in my 10.11.2020 The Eleven newsletter thusly:

“Years ago I followed the advice of a fellow marketer regarding social media and accepted the friendships of thousands of people I didn’t know. The idea was that everyone would become an audience for my marketing business (part of which was teaching classes on how to use social media). Over the years my work has shifted away from social media, and after watching the new documentary The Social Dilemma, it occured to me that it is a great time to reconsider the # of “friends” I have = 4,470.
I recommend doing this next step
A couple days ago in FB I clicked on “friends”. From that viewpoint one can see all of the people one is connected to. Then, I started culling. I’m at 2,330. It’s interesting. Beyond saying goodbye to a lot of people I barely know (if at all), I’m also coming across people who I haven’t thought of in a while and am reaching out to say hi and reconnecting. I’ve always found FB useful as a networking/staying in touch tool.
I thought I’d share this since I’m finding the process interesting. If I’ve culled you and you want back in just send me a friend request :)”
—-

10.22.2020: 741 FB friends.  Some observations and upsides

  1. My FB newsfeed is entirely different now. It’s filled with postings from people I know. It’s also moving a lot more slowly. I still use FB Purity which allows one to customize your FB experience – for instance, I see things in the order they’re posted. Install this app and you will be a happier FB user = no advertising.
  2. Having so many FB friends played into some of my weaknesses. I kept a lot of people on there thinking – ah, potential date when that was really not the case 🙂  Or, staying friends with certain celebrities – what actual good was that doing me?  I detached from a number of people who have close to 5K friends (actually, Michael Lerner who had 5,000 🙂  It’s not that I don’t love these people anymore, I just won’t see them in my newsfeed 🙂  This is true for both the people who I never met and those who I did years and years ago – old HS connections who I have no reason to stay in touch with; people who I burned with or shared a night with on the playa in 2003… All great memories, and I still get to keep those and I know that I can always find people if I want to 🙂
  3. There is definitely an addictive quality to FB like they talk about in the Social Dilemma, and as I unfriended people I could feel the pressure to not do this. FB actually makes it difficult to unfriend people. There’s a way they make the actual move to unfriend someone when you’re looking at your friends from the “friends” page difficult. The pull-down menu jiggles and is hard to actually click on!  They are so clever.  They also stopped me two times when I hit the “700 unfriendings in one day” limit. I got a message that my account had been blocked and I’d have to run through a series of steps to reconnect. It was super earrie, but I suppose not a bad thing, either.
  4. I also partly went through this effort to get to the other side and see what life is like for most people. I often hear from someone – you probably saw my recent important update on FB.  I never did. Never. So, perhaps now I’ll be a little more in touch with the people I’m closer with. We’ll see 🙂  I partly want to really keep moving away from FB and towards more IRL experiences – even with Covid keeping us apart.
  5. FB is very useful for introducing people to one another. With a smaller group of friends I’ll probably be able to see people I’m closer to stand out more and be able to help them more. I just noticed when I posted this blog post to FB the people who popped up to respond were a closer set of friends than usual – and I was able to see the power of the people I’ve kept around.
  6. Oooh, this means that I’ll see a lot less people who’s birthday is today 🙂  I love wishing people happy birthday and have an email that goes to those on my list on their birthday which people love. Now, way few people to wade through. Love this.
  7. Yeah, I think having my group of friends on FB be ones I’m closer with is going to be a good thing. Whew, a little relief there that this wasn’t a huge mistake 🙂
  8. 10.23.2020: I’m noticing a few things I hadn’t noticed before. Way less notifications. Way less friends on-line to chat to. That part has gone from 3-500 people to 77 right  now 11:30am.
  9. 10.27.2020 – I still post to FB, but I notice that the responses are from people I’m closer to – has changed the quality of response.  Also, I notice my newsfeed has so much less on it, it’s a lot more attractive to check 🙂

I’m sure I’ll add more insights to this article as I have them. I feel like I’ve just landed in a new place and I’m excited to see how it’s different. So far it feels calmer.

Downsides to doing this:

  1. A thought I’ve had over the years is that when I’m older (70+) I’ll probably want to spend more time reconnecting with people who titillated me once upon a time. I just said goodbye to lots of people, so I won’t have the easily-accessible group that I had 2 weeks ago to choose from.
  2. My FB live concerts will not reach as many people and have the chance to spread. I’ve noticed as I’ve played some recent FB live shows that I haven’t had the bigger audience I’ve become accustomed to. Oh well 🙂
  3. My business offerings might not have as wide a reach via the newsfeed as they once did. Oh well 🙂  Luckily, I’ve been building my email list like gangbusters over the years 🙂

Thanks for listening. I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave them in the comments area below.

Happy Facebooking. Happy living. Albert

PS – Next up, same thing for LinkedIn 🙂

PPS – 10.23.2020 – Ooooh, under settings look what I found! More places to limit the FB monster’s reach into my life 🙂 

5 Facebook Surprises

5 Facebook Surprises

You may know that I’m a peculiar fan of Facebook. I use it more than most people – but some of the ways I am on there are probably different than most. I do not think it’s a very good marketing tool, for instance. I find the more I poke around in the corners, the more interesting things I learn. Here are 5 ways that I experience Facecrack that might illuminate what’s going on on there and help guide you to a more improved experience. I also have a webinar that goes step by step through some of this – it’s a bit long, but I promise you’ll learn some things 🙂

  1. Facebook is an incredible networking tool. If you want to find someone – I’d use LinkedIn (and that’s another article in the works), but if you want to connect friends who need to meet (you matchmaker, you!) – or coordinate something, Facebook works great. I use the chat area all the time – sometimes just looking at a friend who’s on-line will prompt me to remember that I needed to talk to them about X, Y, or Z. In a way, it mirrors email’s ability to connect people – but that visual of someone’s face I think elevates the interest we all have in connecting and makes it practicable and immediately possible. Try this sometime – start a chat with a few people on the sidebar at the same time. Who do you know that needs to meet someone else that you know and for what purpose? Introduce them. Go! Report back if you have any great results 🙂
  2. Create lists. I talk about how to do this here, but I now want to add that the lists that you create can also be used for selectively sharing your posts. Once you’ve created a sub-list of your friends – this makes viewing your newsfeed a completely different experience. For one thing – you can now see everything that person(s) has posted rather than accept what Facebook’s algorithm feeds you. And, you can also use that list in the pull-down of (public, friends, etc.) who can see your post.  Example: you want to keep friends and family members separate? Create a list of just family – post things you want them to see and choose that list – and vice versa – want to share with just your friends – post to your Friends list (the one you create, not the “automatic” one that FB creates for you.
  3. Play around with Facebook. When you start experimenting, you find things that are possible, and possibly useful that you would never find otherwise. For instance, regarding fan/business pages – which I think are about as useful as a yellow pages ad these days – you can make a post that reaches a certain demographic only, without paying anything extra. Just want to reach 45-year old women? Here’s how. (it turns out this is not available on all pages!)

    Step one: create post and use the pull-down arrow

    Step one: create post and use the pull-down arrow

    Step 2: choose your demograhic

    Step 2: choose your demograhic

  4. Take a Facebook purification tool for a test sometime. I’m using something called Facebook Purity. The interface looks like this and it allows me to kill all advertising and do some other customization of my experience. There are a few tools out there – try one and see what you think. I love that I can set my newsfeed to most recent news, automatically.  I guess what I’m saying is – if you’re going to spend a bunch of time on FB, learn more of the ins and outs of it 🙂

    FB Purity, free tool super helpful! https://www.fbpurity.com/

    FB Purity, free tool super helpful! https://www.fbpurity.com/

  5. Get some training on how to use Facebook well. It will make such a difference. I teach free classes on email marketing and social media on a fairly regular basis – and there are tons of resources out there, too – search Youtube – spend a little time – once you figure out how to get past some of the more frustrating aspects you’ll see a bit more of how useful FB can be.Some things to learn next: how to unfollow someone without unfriending them. Decide what you’re on FB for – just close-knit friends and family or everyone under the sun (I’ve gone for the latter). This makes a big difference in your experience.

[Read more…]

OneCon 2015

Takeaways from OneCon2015

I attended Constant Contact’s OneCon in Las Vegas from October 4-6th, 2015. This time I was much better prepared to take advantage of all that was on offer – great keynote sessions; product updates; panels; and lots of time for networking. I learned a ton – some is evident through the pictures and captions below, but some will have to wait until I gather my notes and go a bit deeper. I think one of my main take-aways was that I’m on the right track. Listening to email marketing expert/guru, Michael Katz talk a couple times, reminded me that I’m doing a lot of what he does – and what he does works. He’s himself. He tells stories. He has a relaxed take on things – very refreshing in the world of business. And, he’s a solopreneur, just like me!

I also have been moving to a more philosophical take on what I do. Reviewing the situation… And, I think I’m figuring out a way forward that works for me. Working with great clients who are doing interesting things and taking the time to get things right. I’m not rushing and I’m being more careful and considerate as I go. And, what a great bunch of people I’ve decided to join up with (both within Constant Contact and my current client mix). I’m more convinced by this year’s OneCon that email marketing is THE way forward for small businesses who want to reach their audiences in an easy and inexpensive and REPEATABLE way. Hearing peoples’ challenges in quantifying value from social media was refreshing. Here are some photos and some ideas – enjoy! Your feedback (a gift, thanks Ron Cates for reminding us of that) is welcome in the comments section, below.

If you’d like to get started working together, start by signing up for a Constant Contact account. As one longtime solution provider clearly stated: “If you don’t have $20/mo. to spend on marketing, you’re not really in business”. Take yourself and your efforts seriously and invest in email marketing!

Brandon Klayton of Conscious Commerce in Canada. One of my mentors. Learn more about him here: https://www.cc94.com/

On the left: Brandon Klayton of Conscious Commerce in Canada. One of my mentors. Learn more about him here: https://www.cc94.com/

A brilliant panel about ways to make what we do pay off

A brilliant panel about ways to make what we do pay off

All of the new features delivered this year. I'm going to do a blog post just on this slide. Or, perhaps a short video. Next week, I promise!

New Constant Contact features delivered this year. I’m going to do a blog post on this slide. (Can you say AUTORESPONDERS?) Or, perhaps a short video. Next week, I promise!

Constant Contact making a point by turning off the screen for a moment (clever!)

Constant Contact making a point by turning off the screen for a moment (clever!)

More brilliance from experts on client relations

More brilliance from experts on client relations. Michael Katz, moderating.

A great panel with Michael Katz discussing good clients and how to keep them. Bad clients and how to fire them :)

A great panel with Michael Katz discussing good clients and how to keep them. Bad clients and how to fire them 🙂

2015-10-05 14.36.58

This was a slide shared by Michael Katz that outlines his strategy for running his business. I think I’m going to move towards this model. Lunch, anyone?

Close-up of donut!

Close-up of donut! Who is in your network?

Great info presented clearly.

Great info presented clearly by Michael Katz.

Michael Katz. Simply. The. Best. Here's what I wrote to the Solution Providers post event: Also, one person who continues to inspire me is Michael Katz. Maybe it’s the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. Maybe it’s the fun stories that are always teaching me something. Whatever it is, if you’re not on his email list, join it and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about. If we all did more of what he does, the world would be a better place (and you’d find those clients you wish you had :) https://bluepenguindevelopment.com/ I also like his “Today I…” series… You can sign up for it, here. https://thetodayiblog.com/

Michael Katz. Simply. The. Best. This is one person who continues to inspire me day in and day out. Maybe it’s the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. Maybe it’s the fun stories that are always teaching me something. Whatever it is, if you’re not on his email list, join it and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about. If we all did more of what he does, the world would be a better place (and you’d find those clients you wish you had 🙂 https://bluepenguindevelopment.com/ I also like his “Today I…” series… You can sign up for it, here. https://thetodayiblog.com/

Corissa St. Laurent, Carol Infranca, Don Richardson, Debbie Rinckey and Kathy Day. My fellow PNW ALEs (and Corissa, my Regional Development Director for Constant Contact)

Corissa St. Laurent, Carol Infranca, Don Richardson, Debbie Rinckey and Kathy Day. My fellow PNW ALEs (and Corissa, my Regional Development Director for Constant Contact)

The Team from the Pacific Northwest: L to R: Twanda, Carol, Moi, Debbie, Lisa, Kathy, Don and Corissa

The Team from the Pacific Northwest: L to R: Twanda, Carol, Moi, Debbie, Lisa, Kathy, Don and Corissa

Corissa & Stuart Atkins

Corissa St. Laurent & Stuart Atkins

Ron Cates, fellow ALE - Don Richardson, and Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact. learn more about Don @ https://www.digitalpopcorn.net/

Ron Cates (watch for him on the stand-up circuit, btw), fellow ALE – Don Richardson, and Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact. learn more about Don @ https://www.digitalpopcorn.net/

It was gray and rainy... wait, it's not Portland! you can tell by the palm trees. But we did have flash flood warnings on Saturday night!

It was gray and rainy… wait, it’s not Portland! you can tell by the palm trees. We had flash flood warnings on Saturday night!

Marsha Pearson a fellow ALE from Philadelphia. One of my highlights was hanging out together on the ride in. Learn more about her @ https://emailmarketing.guru/

Marsha Pearson a fellow ALE from Philadelphia. One of my highlights was hanging out together on the ride in. Learn more about her @ https://emailmarketing.guru/

When this event comes to Portlandia, we will not have any bottled water. I will see to that!

When this event comes to Portlandia, we will not have any bottled water. I will see to that!

One of my favorite slides. Straightforward and correct.

One of my favorite slides. Straightforward and correct.

Zachery Barron, our area director

Zachery Barron, our area director

Hanging out with my fellow PNW ALEs over drinks in the lobby

Hanging out with my fellow Pacific Northwest Authorized Local Experts over drinks in the lobby. From left to right: Carol, Lisa, Don and Twanda!

My fellow Pacific Northwest ALE team!

My fellow Pacific Northwest Authorized Local Expert team!

Another amazing chandelier

One amazing chandelier

This chandelier was sparkly

This chandelier was sparkly

The chandeliers at the Red Rock Resort are really eye-catching

The chandeliers at the Red Rock Resort are really eye-catching

First panel of the day

First panel of the day on Sunday

Some words about one of my favorite clients, Gaealana Healing Arts: https://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

Some words about my work with one of my favorite clients, Gaealana Healing Arts

https://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

There was a nice poster about my work with Gaealana Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon near the front of the room: https://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

2015-10-04 14.32.24

Thanks to everyone at Constant Contact for hosting such a great, inspiring event! Until #onecon2016 (in Portlandia, ok?)

The graphics were really nicely done

The graphics were really nicely done – sharp and clear – makes a big difference!

2015-10-04 13.07.58

First session on Sunday – everyone was pumped up and enthuiastic

One of the opening sessions featured Richard Israel who leads the Solution Provider Program for Constant Contact

One of the opening sessions featured Richard Israel who leads the Solution Provider Program for Constant Contact

Comfy!

Such a comfy bed – I could get used to living like this!

View from my amazing room at the Red Rock Resort

The view from my amazing room at the Red Rock Resort

#OneCon2015 in Las Vegas - Constant Contact's annual convention for solution providers

#OneCon2015 in Las Vegas – Constant Contact’s annual convention for solution providers – Thanks again! See you at #onecon2016!

Albert at #OneCon2015

See you next year!

Facebook fan/business pages are dead unless you pay to advertise

Zero people saw this Facebook post!

Facebook Business Pages are Dead

or this one, 3.8.16

Screenshot 2016-03-08 20.57.57

That’s it. I’m calling it.  I’ve been saying this ever since Facebook changed it’s algorithm after going public. And now the results of posting on a fan page have dropped to a point I didn’t think was possible. Here’s more proof. If you have the time and money to advertise on your fan page you may get more engagement/sales/attention/etc. But for the time being, organic reach has disappeared. These pages are great as yellow pages ads, though.

If you’ve got a great following – you’re getting tons of natural engagement because you have a fun following – for example, Keep Portland Weird has a page that regularly gets their posts shared like crazy. They are probably a perfect fit for Facebook. But for small businesses, I think it’s now a waste of time to post on your page.

This is why I’m continuing to place more and more of my time and effort into email marketing. I wrote about this decision a little while ago, here.

Though I’m down on business pages, I still think Facebook is good for a few things. It’s an excellent networking tool. Here are 5 Facebook Surprises.

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