What do I do with "fans" on Facebook?
December 13, 2013 11:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm lucky enough to be experiencing some success in my career, and people are adding me on Facebook who don't know me. I want to communicate with these people as I appreciate their support, but how do I do this in the best and safest way?

I added a few of them early on, but then stopped pretty soon after a member of my collective gained a pretty bad stalker through befriending a "fan". I want to be in touch with these people but I don't want to give them access to my friends, photos etc.

So from someone who is active on facebook but not particularly great with it, to you, hopefully more savvy social media citizens, what's my best option? Do I need to create groups, and is that watertight? Or do I have to start up an artist page and try and herd everyone off my personal profile and onto that? Is there a way to do that without it coming across as a jerky move, ie. "I want you to support me but I don't want to be your friend"?

Thanks in advance and sorry for anonymizing this - I feel like if I link this to my profile it's going to be like a humblebrag: oh poor me with my fans, please play your tiny violins now
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Typically a Page is the best way to go for something like this. That's what they're intended for, and the sooner you do it, the fewer people you'll have to migrate over there. I am connected to some musicians and other minor celebrities on both their personal accounts and their pages, because they didn't have pages when I first became a fan. Some of them post the same thing to both, but some I think just lock everything down in their personal profile to their "real" friends and post the public stuff on their page. It's a bit of a pain I'm sure, but I understand why unfriending these people isn't desirable.
posted by primethyme at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Create a public group about you that you can update periodically and have some involvement with fans, and then make your personal account more locked down and limited to people you actually know.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Really, setting up a "page" is the best option here. I realize that might feel a bit icky, but if you have people you don't know friending you because they like your work, then you are actually a public figure and there's nothing wrong with having a page.
posted by lunasol at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2013 [5 favorites]

Make a Page account, which is not your personal account but a public-facing account which anybody can see and join.
posted by gauche at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2013

Create a page for yourself "the brand" and direct your fans there. Put a note in the About Me sectionon your personal page that "this is your personal page and that people wishing to connect you in your professional capacity should like your brand page".

On preview what primethyme said.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:13 AM on December 13, 2013

A friend who is famous quietly created a second account with a nickname and no profile photo and added in-real-life friend friends to that, and she uses the original, primary account for chatty public fan-friendly what-not and the second semi-anon one for personal what-not. Looks to work out well from here. Though (trying to remember here) I think she may have had to herd to a page at some point as there's a ceiling on the number of "friends" a personal account (that is, not a "page") can have, I think? 5000? So that's something to consider; it may eventually become unfeasible to do it without being a "page."
posted by kmennie at 11:23 AM on December 13, 2013

Anyone familiar with facebook is probably surprised that you don't have a page and they have to actual friend request you so don't worry about the "don't want to be your friend" feeling. This is exactly why pages exist.
posted by magnetsphere at 11:25 AM on December 13, 2013

A page is probably best, but another option is to look into the distinction between friends and followers. Facebook now lets people follow public posts on your personal account, and by default, when someone friends you, they end up as followers unless you approve them.

There are a few downsides to this, of course, the first is that you have to be a little more deliberate about the permissions on stuff you post. You will probably screw up from time to time (but that isa lso a risk with a page), but you can change permissions after posting.

The second is that you may end up with a lot of friend requests from fans that you have to clean out, and may end up missing legit friend requests. This can be mitigated to a degree by only allowing friends of existing friends to even see the option to add you as a friend. If you do this, make sure that its set so other people see the "Follow" button.
posted by Good Brain at 11:28 AM on December 13, 2013

A friend who is famous quietly created a second account with a nickname

This is risky. I've known a few people who have tried to skirt around Facebook's real-person-only, no-duplicates rule, and it can end in tears (profile and all content vanished without warning).
posted by dontjumplarry at 12:05 PM on December 13, 2013

I'm "friends" with Dave Wakeling of the English Beat on Facebook. Looks like he keeps a couple of profiles that are him mostly with fans (each one has a limit of about 5,000 friends), and I think he keeps another one that seems to be a personal one where he's friends with his kids and family that is not public.

Of course I have no idea if it's really him or not, but it's always a thrill when he "likes" something I posted. A lot of the stuff he posts are pretty political and opinionated and are not necessarily about his music or the band, so that's cool.
posted by HeyAllie at 12:07 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

> Is there a way to do that without it coming across as a jerky move, ie. "I want you to support me but I don't want to be your friend"?

Get over that kind of thinking. This switcheroo happens all the time.

"Hi all. I've decided to create a new Facebook Page around my artistic endeavors. Please join me over there! [link] I'm going to use this personal account only for close friends and family, so to protect their privacy and to protect you from too many pictures of strangers' babies instead of [art], I'll be trimming my friends list on this account. If you end up being trimmed by mistake, please reach out to me and we'll fix that asap! Otherwise, I'm so grateful and honored that you like my work and I look forward to continuing our conversation on [my new page]. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"
posted by troyer at 1:41 PM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Have two accounts.

1) Public FB page with your full name. (your current FB account)

2) New Private FB page with your first name and goofy last name, for friends and family only.

Slowly start migrating friends & family over to the goofy last name FB account.

I'm on the fence about a formal announcement... if you're just getting successful no need to alienate your audience either.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:46 PM on December 13, 2013

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