Truth You Must Know About Inactive Facebook Friends
Are inactive Facebook friends are really inactive? And can I use an extension to help me delete them all in one go?
In this relatively short post, I want to look at what is considered “inactive” Facebook friends and how to go about clearing your profile from the “dead weight” of connections you may have made in the past but that no longer serve to have on your Friends List.
Let me just say that if you do not see a specific person engaging on your posts, that does not mean they are an “inactive” friend.
Most of the time, people who are attracted to our messaging do not engage openly on our posts (unless they have that “loud” personality). But they read our posts and watch our videos, so technically, they are clicking on the “Play” button or “Read More” link on longer posts. This is exactly why video and long-form written content is so important to create for your organic marketing on Facebook.
Let’s define ENGAGEMENT as people to read or watch your content (regardless of their visible engagement -comments, shares or likes).
But there are also connections who you made in the past, for various reasons, old workmates, people you met in a Facebook group that you no longer engage with, maybe you were growing your audience and sent them a friend request because they fit your target criteria, but the magic just did not happen. (This is good news because that is how marketing funnels work: many more enter the funnel than the few “right ones” come out on the other side.)
Yet, if you want to CONSISTENTLY add more people into your funnel, you need to have some space for them AND make sure that your audience is quite an engaged one.
Our profile can “store” five thousand people at any one time. But if only 100-300 engage with your current posts (this is not a statistic, just a healthy assumption), the rest fall into two groups: those who may be re-engaged and those who need to be removed.
First, let’s have a look at how we can identify those users who are most inactive on our list.
Facebook does not make it easy. Personal profiles were not created with business purposes in mind, so Facebook doesn’t have any automation tools to clean up the audience. (Neither they offer this option on Business Pages, in fairness, which can suffer from the same issue. I once had to painstakingly remove five thousand people who followed my page after a dodgy advertising tactic I tested to grow it – one by one!)
I could start ranting here that one can send spammy invites to like their page to all their friends, and yet when we really do need that kind of one-click job – it is just not available. Oh, Facebook!
So what CAN we do?
One good thing is that our Friends list is by default sorted by the most engaged users. So if you go into the Friends section on your profile, the ones you see on top are those who are engaging, and if you scroll to the VERY bottom, those are completely inactive. Those are safe to remove.
How to remove inactive friends:
First, you need to use that target audience criteria again – before you remove any inactive connection unless it is obvious at a glance that they do not belong, I suggest opening their profile in a new tab and checking them out. Sometimes they could fit ideally into the criteria you want to attract, so in that case, you just need to do ONE THING: leave a comment on their last post. The comments have the most weight among the engagement activities we can do publically – and it will get you noticed by the user too. I no longer get notifications about reactions left on my posts, only comments. You can even tag their name, and then there will be two notifications: one about the comment, the other about the tag.
Do not engage with more than one post! Because then it is obvious you were scooping around their profile, and that can feel weird.
A private message is the ultimate re-engagement tool, though – I am observing clearly that after I have a private chat with someone, I see their posts more, and by the fact that some of them comment or like mine, they seem to see more of my posts too.
Re-Engaging Strategies By Human Design Type
Here is where Human Design comes in handy. If you have the initiation energy (you are a Manifestor or Manifesting Generator), you may feel that leaving a private message feels fine. Manifestors, you do not even need to worry – just send messages, just be mindful of not leaving a voice note as a first message. Some people prefer to know what is in the message before they respond and may have no option to listen. I wrote about it earlier.
Manifesting Generators, you still need a slight “nod” from the Universe, so ask yourself does it feel good to send a message to this person. If your body responds with a yes, do it! If nothing or no, don’t do it.
Generators – if you feel a positive response to something you see on the profile and want to send a message – do it. But you can also use a hack, where you check out if that person has a recent story and respond to that, leaving a heart or some sort of emoji that is then sent straight into their messenger. Just do not use your head to “decide” to reach out. Only do it in response to something you see. Or ask yourself if your energy wants to do this. (A Yes/No question works well for Generators)
Projectors, unless there is a very strong energetical invitation to, I would not recommend sending strangers private messages as a strategy. It may exhaust you, and also sometimes we, projectors, can come across quite heavy, we have a very focused aura, and if we are not invited – this can be a big turn off. I like using the Stories strategy or just leaving a comment on the last post on their profile.
Reflectors, honouring your energy, you may reflect the energy of the persona whose profile you are looking at, so go with the energy flow or follow what I suggested for Projectors—a soft touch strategy. You need to be very mindful of who is in your world and whose energies you are sampling, so I suggest looking out for any red flags and using the ” it is a NO unless it is a Hell YES” approach. You are literally protecting yourself from negative influence and energies.
Should You Use 3rd Party Extensions?
Now to be fair, scrolling way down your Friends List can take a long time is not a very efficient approach.
And this is where we can use some automation, like various friend list management tools extensions out there, but with a very clear understanding of what we need and what we are NOT going to use it for.
Let’s start with what we are NOT going to do – we will not use such tools to remove inactive friends. No matter how tempting it will feel at a time, and here is why – this can get you kicked out of your account, and in the worst-case scenario, you can lose access to it and will have to start from scratch.
This happened to people I know, I myself got kicked out of my account several times, and although sometimes all I needed to do was change my password, other times I was tested on my knowledge of who I am connected to to “prove” I was me.
They started showing me photographs of people I was connected to (I had about five thousand at the time), but not their profile pictures that I had some way of recognising. They showed me their private photos to identify a friend with a choice of five names. I swear that was a panic attack-inducing test, and I do not know how I passed because most people that were shown to me I had no idea about. I just clicked the name I “guessed” and hoped for the best. It worked, but it was a miracle.
This kind of drama is not worth it, and this is why I highly warn you against the temptation of automatically removing inactive members.
Another experience when I was doing it apart from triggering the security mechanism was the fact that the extension removed some people who actually were engaging. One of them was my client. I remember the shock when I came to her profile and saw the “Add Friend” button. I thought I was fired and didn’t get the memo!
Do You HAVE To Remove Inactive Friends?
Now the most important question is – is it worth your time to use the extension to determine the inactive friends? Frankly? No. Every extension I tried required time to set up and was not very clear in terms of who to re-engage and who to delete, just a crude option to batch delete people, but that is not the point of this marketing tactic in the first place.
Before I suggest an easy way to clean up your list on an ongoing basis, let me offer the healthy perspective I learned while I was doing a 90-day WildFit challenge where I was learning about my relationships with food last year. It really works and creates transformational results where the actual weight loss becomes a bonus (I lost everything I hoped for and some, I have not looked as good in 20 years!). The program got us to remove certain foods from our diets and watch our internal food dialogue. But the underlying principle was NOT about the removals and exclusions. It was more about what we put into our body – the required nutrition to let our body operate properly.
In Facebook marketing, the “nutrition” your profile needs to attract clients consistently is not removing inactive friends. It is about re-engaging those who do not obviously engage. Spending 10-15 minutes going into profiles of people on your Friends List that you do not see engaging and applying my suggestions above to re-engage. Just keep in mind that they need to fit into your Target Audience criteria in the first place. If they do not, you can either remove them or, if this is a connection important for some reason (family, real-life friends, good friends you made online, influencers that inspire you), leave them be.
And now, to leave you with something tangible, here is my strategy for cleaning up your list on an ongoing basis.
Easy Friend-Removal Strategy
Every two to three days, check out the Birthdays section under the events tab. You will see not just people whose birthdays are on that day, but those who had their birthday within a couple of days and the upcoming ones too. Just go through these names to re-engage or delete (Use your Human Design Authority for deciding to unfriend, not your mind – or you can go nuts!)
And one more crucial tip – do not send people happy birthday comments, posts or messages if you never engage with them. It is creepy and does not feel authentic. Plus, it gets so noisy on the day – your comment can just get drowned beneath all others.
Instead, look for upcoming birthdays. Because these people still do not have that avalanche of notifications that may last for a couple of days and engage with their content in a meaningful way.
This way, you will spend a little time every day on the quality of your audience, but you will not need to overthink or waste time scrolling down your Friends List.
To learn more about the Client Attraction Profile Secrets, click here.
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Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and experts. She teaches how to attract clients online, creating your OWN marketing experience that feels good, easy and aligned with who you are and brings results.
Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world-leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.
She lives in Tallinn, Estonia.