Have you noticed you’re not seeing Facebook updates from friends and pages as much as you used to?
There are many reasons this is happening. One is to be expected: If you have a lot of friends and like a lot of pages, you’re just not going to see all their updates unless you’re on Facebook 24/7.
Another reason? Facebook wants pages like Honest Mom to pay to reach their fans (impossible for blogs like mine, small businesses, and nonprofits). This means just because you “like” a page doesn’t mean you’ll get to see what that page posts, unless the page pays big bucks.
Annoying, right? My prediction is that everyone’s Facebook news feed will eventually become a useless feed of ads, sponsored posts from big brand pages, and a smattering of content that Facebook deems worthy of your eyes.
But there is a way to see what you want to see from the pages you like and the friends you have. It involves a little-used, super-awesome feature of Facebook that I discovered ages ago, but never used properly. Now I’m using it correctly and it’s life-changing. Well, Facebook-life-changing.
Let me start off by saying this: I’m talking about seeing the posts (aka status updates) you want to see from pages and friends. I’m not talking about “Get Notifications” (learn how to do that here). That’s a nice feature and another way to not miss stuff (go ahead and Get Notifications from Honest Mom!).
But the problem with Get Notifications is that you can’t see the whole post. You have to click to see the post and be able to like/interact with the post. Then you have to go back to your notifications and repeat for each post. Not exactly user-friendly. And not a solution to the crappy news feed problem.
So I have two magic words that beautifully solve the problem of Get Notifications: Interest Lists!
How to create Interest lists in Facebook
Go to your news feed. You know that left-hand column that’s always there? Look at the way bottom of that column, where your favorites, pages, groups, etc. are listed. At the bottom is something called “Interests.” (If you don’t see Interests, you just don’t have any yet. Keep reading – I’ll tell you how to fix that.)
Click on Add Interests. You’ll then see a little button that says +Create List.
Click that, and a box with all your likes and friends will appear: pages you follow, people you follow, and friends.
There are also categories such as art, books, business, etc. to browse and discover new pages and people. Plus there is a search box to find pages and people, whether you’ve liked them/friended them already or not. But we’re going to stick with things we’re already liked.
Let’s say you want to create a list of your favorite blogs. I’m calling mine Bloggers Who Rock. Within the Pages section of the box you’re looking at (see pic above), click on a blog you have liked or type its name in the search box. When it appears, click it. A check mark will show up so you know you’ve selected it. Here’s how it’ll look if you searched in the search box:
Keep clicking on blog pages or searching and adding until your list is complete. When you’re done adding pages to your list, click the next button at the bottom right. Create a name for your list, decide if you want it to be public, seen by friends only, or private, and click done.
Voila! You now have a list of your favorite blogs. And their posts will appear in chronological order (none of that “top stories” crap). So far it seems that every post of my friends and pages I like appear in the lists I made for them. Success!
If you make a public Interest list anyone can follow it. You can follow my Bloggers Who Rock list – I bet you like a bunch of the blogs. Now you can actually see what they post!
How to easily find your Interest lists
Your list will appear in your Interests, but of course your Interests are waaaaay down at the bottom of the sidebar where Facebook hopes you’ll forget about them (because Facebook wants you to see its ads, not the content you want to see).
So I give Facebook the virtual finger and move all my lists up so I see them right away. Here’s how to do that:
Hover just to the left of the name of your new Interest list and a little pencil will appear. Click on it and select Add to Favorites.
It will now appear at the top of your left-hand column on your news feed for easy access.
When you like a new page, be sure to add it to one of your Interest lists. (If you don’t have any Interests in your left-hand sidebar on your main Facebook page, do this first. Then Interests will appear.) Here’s how:
If you’re on the actual Facebook page, click the Like button. Then hover over the button (it now says Liked ) and click Add to Interest Lists… (go ahead and click Get Notifications too, if you want them)
If you are looking at your news feed and like a page within your feed, you can do the same thing. Click the Like button, hover over the button (it now says Liked ) and click Add to Interest Lists…
Things to think about when making Interest lists:
1. Keep them small-ish. Better to have a lot of lists than a ton of people/pages on one list, or you’ll end up with another useless, crowded feed.
For example, if you follow a lot of blog pages divide them up into different lists: mom bloggers, food bloggers, humor bloggers. Maybe have another list for all the music pages you like, and another for TV shows. Whatever floats your Facebook boat.
2. Organize your friends. Interest lists are great for keeping up with your friends’ Facebook pages. I once tried to organize them within the Friends section in the sidebar, but doing it that way requires you to type in every name you want to add. Painful. Now I have a private Interest list of my closest friends on Facebook and I actually know what’s going on with all of them!
3. Don’t forget about your Interest lists! Be sure to add them to your Favorites as I described above.
Now go make some Interest lists and see what YOU want to see on Facebook! It’s magical, I promise!
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