If you’ve been using your personal Facebook profile for business connections, you can eventually hit the point where Facebook won’t allow you to add more friends. The maximum number of connections allowed on Facebook—including friends and page Likes—is 5,000. This can be quite frustrating for those of us who are happy to accept new friends into our Facebook vortex, but since Facebook won’t lift this silly limitation, you have to make some decisions. Following are your options.
Remove Facebook Friends from Your Account
If you want to be able to add new friends to a maxed out Facebook account, you have to drop some old ones. This can be tricky since Facebook doesn’t make this easy. You can scroll through your list of friends, where the most active friends will show up first, and then eventually get to the more obscure friends. And then, once you choose to “unfriend” a connection, the page reloads and you have to start back at the top. This can be very frustrating!
Another option is to monitor your news feed more closely and remove people who aren’t a good fit for you. If you see posts in a language that you don’t speak or if you simply don’t like some content, then you can just unfriend those users. Get in the habit of doing this on a regular basis since these “friendships” don’t likely hold much value anyway. Also note that in order to see more activity on your news feed, you will need to sort by “Most Recent.” But even doing this won’t guarantee you’ll see all activity from your friends list since Facebook never shows all content. Again, very frustrating.
One of my favorite ways to filter out friends is via birthdays. Every day on your home page you see a list of people who have birthdays, and if you don’t know some of the people, you can click on their names to view their profiles and decide if you want to keep them. Again, this isn’t exactly quick and easy, but Facebook isn’t in the business of helping business owners take advantage of the site (without paid advertising).
In addition to the above, I personally remove people who send me sales pitches via Facebook mail or invite me to countless events. I’m located in Sacramento and if I receive invitations to events in Orlando, it feels like spam.
Remove Page Likes
The number of pages you like on Facebook counts toward the 5,000 maximum, so if you want to make room for more friends, you can unlike some of the pages you follow. To do this, simply click on your “Likes” to view all the pages you follow and then remove any that are no longer a fit.
Convert Your Profile to a Business Page
Facebook allows users to convert a personal profile into a business page. When you do this, your friends are converted into page “Likes.” By doing this, you will no longer be able to view status updates from your friends in your news feed, though they can still see yours. However, Facebook does not have a limite on how many page Likes you can have so you will be free to build your network. Here is a previous post I wrote on how to convert your personal Facebook page to a business page.
By the way, I chose not to argue the merits of whether or not you should even conduct business with your personal profile on Facebook. I will tell you that Facebook policies require that profiles remain personal and are not intended for business use. In my opinion, it’s a better strategy to launch a business page to separate your personal activity from business and because it’s a more professional approach and your business page will be visible in Google search. Another downside of having a personal profile with a lot of business connections is that you miss out on some of the fun of Facebook, like sharing pictures of kid or your grandmother! I personally wish I’d kept them separate early on, but that’s not always realistic.