I have now very close to 5000 friends on Facebook. It took me about a year before growing my network up to this size. In this article, I'm going to explain you how I did it and why it might be a good idea for you to do it too.
Why would want to have a huge number of friends on Facebook?
It can do several things. First lets agree that a Facebook friendship can be pretty much meaningless but having a lot of FB friends can:
Marketers pay a fortune to have their ads seen by people on Facebook. You can have your ads seen by your friend pool that can be as big as 5000 persons (current limit).
A lot of the principles and technique you will find in this book are directly from my book Dominate LinkedIn Formula which teach you how to use LinkedIn to become in the demand professionally. What works with LinkedIn is usually directly applicable on Facebook.
Join groups having people that you wish
Think about people you want to have in your network and figure out the most likely interests they have. Then join the group. Make yourself known to the group by participating to the group discussion and provide value to the group. Once this is done, scan the members list and just invite people in it.
Once your social snowball starts to roll, Facebook itself will start to suggest you friends. You cannot indiscriminately start to invite every suggestion or else you will get warned by Facebook to not do that and it could go up to an account suspension. There are several way to overcome this.
Some people suggest the you PM the people you want to have in your network. You tell them that you have this and that common acquaintances and that if he is interested, he can ask you to become friend. By letting others initiate the friendship, there is nothing that Facebook can do against that.
However, I have found that it was time consuming and not as fast as I wish so I took some shortcuts and took some risks.
People receiving your invitation may look at your profile to see if they want to have you in their network. So if your profile is cool, you are almost certain that your invitation will be accepted.
When I started, I systematically invited everyone in the suggestions from Facebook with who I had over 10 mutual friends. As my network grew bigger, I have slowly raise the bar from 10 to 30, 50 and over 100. When you do that, what it does, is that the person will see that you know 10 or 20 of his friends, hence you must be a cool person and they will accept your invitation. And the most amazing thing is since you targeted exactly for a precise type of persons by choosing from which group to start your network and the fact that people alike hang together, by connecting with friends of friends, you are going to have more people from your targeted group.
Here is what I do:
I don't allow my number of friends above 4,900
Why? Because once you reach the limit of 5K, people won't be able to send you friend invitation and you might miss out connecting with great people who would want to become friend with you.
This phase is extremely fun as basically all you are doing is improving the quality of your network. You will be replacing low value friends with higher value people.
So people that I remove have one or more of these properties:
Obviously, I'm simply merciless with people spamming my wall (Why Oakley glasses spam is so prevalent???). Doing this, it is immediate ejection from my network.
As your network grow, it may become very tedious to manage and clean up. There are probably better ways to do it but here is what I do:
or the second checkbox is Turn off chat for all friends except...
and then you could enumerate friend lists into which you put people that you know you may want to remove at some point.
Then traverse the chat list and one by one, do one of the following:
Not everyone in your friend network will see what you post. If everything posted in your network was shown to you, you would be flood with information and overwhelm by it. Facebook has a complex algorithm to determine which persons are more likely be of interest to you.
Basically it is to interact with your network. Like your friends posts, comment them. It will do several things. Reciprocity and liking principles will kick in. Since there is a lot of vanity on Facebook, people generally like more people who like them. You provide value to them. Especially in younger crowds, they get validation from the number of likes that they receive and because you liked them the reciprocity rule will make them willing to help you back.
Facebook knows this and simply by liking others stuff, this will make your posts more visible to these people. An indirect effect is that when you like or comments someone post, your name and profile will be exposed to this person network. It is especially true when you are among the first few people commenting or liking a post.
This is where the RT news feed is so valuable. You can see posts being created immediatly as they happen. The RT news feed is on the right side of the Facebook page. It is above the chat section, if you don't see it, hover the cursor around the top of the chat section and should be able to grab a slider that you can use to adjust the space used by the chat list and the RT news feed. This is a bit tricky, I didn't know about that feature and it took me sometime to find it out...
one last thing that I want to address before ending this article is this: Lets say that you do not want strangers to see the same content than your close friends and familly.
No problem, with the friend category system, you have a very fine grained control on who is seeing what.
So this is how I did manage to reach 5K Facebook friends. I hope that my tricks will be helpful to you and your network too will explode and bring you great things.