If you’re a successful (and very social) author, sooner or later you’ll bump into Facebook’s friend list limitation. You are allowed to have 5000 friends, and once this limit is exceeded you can only be followed.
The Guild has always recommended that every author establish an official Facebook page (example: our very own Gina Whitney) as there are no limitations on page Likes. However, there are instances in which you’ll want to establish the two-way connection of a Facebook friendship. If you’re hovering around the friend limit (as I am), you’ll find yourself constantly reviewing your list to decide who stays and who goes.
A great tool or “hack” is found in the search bar at the top of your Facebook page. In addition to typing in the names of people, pages, groups or events, the search also accepts queries. Let’s start with one that will be a must for every erotic author:
My friends who are younger than 18
Go ahead and enter that into the search bar. As authors of adult literature, we should have no need to have anyone of that age reading our wall (at least not on our author profile, right?) If you live in an area in which the legal age for viewing erotic material is higher, go ahead and adjust. Enter that in, and you’ll get a list of everyone on your friend list who meet that criteria. You can hover on each, and unfriend one by one.
You can do other searches too. Try
My friends who live in Bangladesh
…or any country that keeps sending you requests from people seeking “BEAUTIFUL GIRL FOR MARRIAGE” and/or someone to be the recipient of “15,000,000$USD” from a deposed dictator’s estate.
You can do it by language too.
My friends who speak Swahili
Keep in mind, it will still show you friends who list their languages to include Swahili.
Now, this isn’t intended to imply that you can’t have friends who live in Bangladesh (or wherever) or who speak Swahili. But you can search quickly through a large sampling of your friend list, and weed out people who got added accidentally and have no need to be there–keeping you well beneath Facebook’s friend limit and ensuring that more of your social media content is being seen by people within your demographic.
You do know your demographic, right? According to surveys I’ve done, I know that my main target audience consists of thirty- or forty-something women, married or in long-term relationships. Will I have a fan base outside of that? Of course. But with the search features, I can pull up a collection of friends outside the demographic, then make a careful determination whether our relationship is adding value for me (and for them.)
Good luck, and happy querying!
Dylan Cross is a director of the Erotic Authors Guild but is not fluent in Swahili.