Question from Alex: I’m a singer/musician who has a large semi-local following in my city and the surrounding areas.
I created a Facebook page and tried to use it to let my fans know about my upcoming gigs, but I recently found out that Facebook only shows my posts to a just a small percentage of my 8,000+ followers.
I’ve found that I do a lot better when I post the dates on my personal Facebook Timeline.
The problem is Facebook won’t allow me to have more than 5,000 friends and I have new people wanting to friend me all the time.
Can you tell me how to bypass the 5,000 friend limit on a personal account? I’ve heard you can do it but I can’t figure it out.
Rick’s answer: I know exactly what you’re talking about, Alex.
You’re right about Facebook limiting the number of followers that see your posts on your business page. The last estimate I heard was that only 17% of your followers will receive your posts in their Newsfeeds.
This throttling first started when Facebook went public and had to start earning some serious revenue in order to please their shareholders.
To that end, they limit the number of followers who see our posts in order to get us to “boost” them (i.e. pay Facebook a fee to advertise the post).
I have tried boosting a number of posts over the years but it never really paid off for me. The results of my advertising never really ended up justifying the expense.
Unfortunately, the info you heard about bypassing Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit for personal profile accounts is incorrect. It just isn’t possible.
Unless and until Facebook decides to rescind that limit I’m afraid every our personal profiles are going to be capped at 5,000 friends.
But I have some good news as well…
While there’s no way to bypass Facebook’s arbitrary 5,000 friend limit, there are a couple of way to maximize the number of people who receive your messages…
The first thing you can do is create a Facebook group for your music and post the info on your upcoming gigs there.
Groups have a couple of huge advantages over personal profiles and business pages:
1 – There is no cap on the number of people that can join your group.
2 – Everyone in the group will see every post you publish as long as they have their group “Notifications” setting set to All Posts!
What I do is tell everyone who joins my group to change that all-important setting.
Once your group members have set their Notifications for the group to All Posts they’ll see every post you make to the group with absolutely no throttling or filtering!
I’ve discovered that the engagement I receive with the posts in my group is consistently around five times the engagement the posts I publish on my business page receive.
That’s why I spend most of my Facebook time promoting my group instead of my page! I recommend that you do the same.
Now that our discussion about Facebook groups is out of the way, I’m going to tell you about an even better way to get your message out to all of your fans…
Build an email list containing all of your fan’s email addresses and use it to send them an email every time you need to tell them about a new gig!
This is hands-down the best way to ensure that ALL of your fans have the opportunity to read your messages about upcoming shows.
All you need is a one page website with an email capture form similar to the one at the top of every page on this blog.
Then every time you perform you can take a minute to ask the audience to visit your website and sign up for your emails.
Before you know it you’ll have thousands of fans on your list and you’ll be able to reach them all in one fell swoop by sending them an email.
Fast and easy, and guaranteed to work like a charm as long as you don’t send out anything that looks like SPAM.
There are several good email marketing services for you to choose from but I use and recommend Substack.
I’ve been using Substack about a year now and I absolutely love it!
Why? Because they make it so easy to create your email sign-up forms and place them on your website.
And, as luck would have it, they make it even easier to write your emails and send them out to everyone on your list with just a few clicks!
Bottom line: You can forget about bypassing Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit. It’s just not going to happen.
However, the good news is you do have a couple of other great options for getting your messages out to ALL of your fans.