I Have Fans; Do I Need Facebook Friends Too?
The answer is a resounding YES!
But I Already Have a Fan Page, So Don’t I Just Need to Get More Fans?
The answer to this question is a resounding NO! It is true that you need to be getting more Fans, but that is not enough.
Before going any further let’s get a definition of Facebook Friends versus Facebook Fans. It is important that you have a good understanding of this difference because it is incredibly important to the “going viral” process.
A Friend is someone that either you invited to join you on Facebook, someone that invited you to join them on Facebook, or a third party that recommended that the two of you become Friends.
What this means is that there was an overt act on the part of someone to extend the invite or recommendation. There was also an overt act to accept the invitation or react to the recommendation. You can only be a Friend of another individual if they accept the offer of friendship.
A Fan is someone connected to your Facebook Fan (business) Page. They may have had your Page suggested by a Friend of theirs or maybe even you as that Friend. In the latter instance the Friend may become a Fan out of loyalty to you or even loyalty to the person that made the suggestion.
However, as easily as they became a Fan they can stop being a Fan. It only takes a click of the mouse to “Unlike” a page and Fans can disappear and leave no trace. Unless you have a very small Fan base, it is difficult to know who has joined or left your Fan base.
In addition to being suggested as a prospective Fan; a potential fan may join because they have seen something about your Fan Page that created an interest on their part. In either case the Fan has taken an overt action to a Page suggestion or a Page ad, or an overt response to something they have seen or found in a search on Facebook or even the Internet to become a Fan.
Fans can only become a Fan by clicking the “Like” button for a Fan Page. That “Like” button can be one on your Fan Page or one that has been placed on one or more pages of your or other’s websites. Friends can suggest that you become a Fan, but no one can force you to become a Fan.
So, there we have it. Friends belong to people and Fans belong to Pages.
Getting Back to Why I Need Friends
There are two reasons why you must have many Friends on Facebook. First, so you can suggest your Page to those that you believe will be interested in your Fan Page and second, even though they may not be Fans, your friends may still be interested in your message or know people that are interested and be willing to propagate your message through their Friend Base.
Although we like to think that our message has broad reader appeal, that is seldom the case. From my observations although your message may resonate with many Fans and Friends; only a few will be motivated to act on your message. Obviously the more Friends and Fans that you have; the greater more chances that you have for people to repeat your message.
Repeating your message over and over is critical to your going viral; Fans and Friends are critical to getting the repetition. You cannot afford to not be increasing your Fans and Friends at every opportunity. Successful people have large networks; that means lots of Fans, Friends, Followers, Connections, etc. Do not let your efforts of creating messages go to waste by not having and continually building an audience!