Facebook Tips #1 – Facebook Lists

Are you tired of missing updates on your news feed from the people who matter the most?

Facebook is a fun social networking platform but it is also a great place to connect with people and share ideas. It is therefore to our benefit to know how to use it to its full potential.

The other day it struck me that I keep seeing the same people’s updates in my news feed and that there are many friends whose updates I haven’t seen in months. Visiting the profiles of everyone I was missing would take hours. So I began to do some research on how I could change this and I found some solutions! If you’ve wondered the same thing then read on to find out how you can start getting the latest news from all those long lost friends.

I don’t claim to be a Facebook expert, but I love to research and find answers to things that puzzle me. I also enjoy sharing knowledge that may be of help to others. Facebook Tips #1 assumes that you have a personal Facebook profile with more than just a few friends.

News feeds are the snippets of friend’s news that you see on your homepage when you log into Facebook.

Firstly, let’s take a brief look at how Facebook decides who appears on your regular homepage news feed. The answer to this lies in how much interaction you have recently had with a friend or page and it works both ways. While not many people know this, Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to filter news feeds. It is a complicated system that determines who is and who is not going to see your updates in their feed and vice versa. This has important marketing and promotion implications, but I cover this in more detail in Facebook Tips #2. For now, lets just talk about how you can choose the updates you want to see in your news feed.

Lists are a quick, optional way to organize friends so you can control what you see in your news feed and post updates to specific people.

You may or may not have come across Facebook lists before. Lists show up on the left-hand column of your homepage under the headings ‘Favorites’ or ‘Friends’. Facebook has some pre-existing lists which include ‘Close Friends’, ‘Acquaintances’, ‘Restricted’, ‘Family’ and a few others. You can either use one of these or create your own list, for example ‘Writers’.

TIP: Don’t add anyone to the pre-existing ‘Acquaintances’ list as Facebook rates these as friends who should show up LESS in your news feed, unless of course that’s what you want!

I suggest you begin by using the list called ‘Close Friends’. The ‘Restricted’ list is for friends who can only see posts and profile info you make public. Some of the other lists such as ‘Family’ are automatically set up. If you already know how to create lists and change their notification settings, you may want to skip the next paragraph.

Log in to Facebook and go to facebook.com/bookmarks/lists. Here, you will see all the existing lists. Click on ‘Close Friends’. On the new page, go to ‘Manage List’ in the top right corner and choose ‘Edit List’. This is where you will add the names of all the friends whose updates you want to see in your news feed. Click ‘On This List’ and then on ‘Friends’. Too add a friend to the list, simply click on their photo. Once you’ve added your chosen friends, click ‘Finish’. Next you want to choose your settings. Click on ‘Manage List’ and ‘Choose Update Types’. Then uncheck any updates you don’t want to see in your news feed such as ‘Games’ and ‘Other Activity’. Lastly check the ‘Notification’ settings and choose your preferences. Voila! You have created your first list!

Now return to the page facebook.com/bookmarks/lists and next to the lists you’ve created, click on the small pencil symbol and choose ‘Add to Favorites’. Your lists will now appear under ‘Favorites’ on your homepage. All you need to do is click on the list name to see all the latest relevant updates from everyone on your list in your news feed!

Lists also offer the opportunity to post your updates straight to the people who will find them most interesting. There is a button next to the ‘Post’ button where you can choose who you’d like to send a particular update to. The default is set to send to go all your Facebook friends and generally you won’t need to change this. Lists may prove useful though if you don’t want to bombard your close friends and family with work news or you don’t want your colleagues to see you in a bikini and so on.

An added bonus to lists is that once you start interacting with long lost friends again, Facebook’s EdgeRank filter should kick in and they will begin to show up on your main news feed too.

Facebook Tips #2 will go into more detail on how you can keep up to date with friends, fans and pages for marketing and promotional purposes. Remember, your Facebook business page doesn’t have lists.

Hope that helps, please feel free to leave a comment.
Keep on connecting 🙂

UPDATE: Please note that Facebook changes their policies and practices regularly and some of the information in this article may no longer be relevant when you read it!

5 thoughts on “Facebook Tips #1 – Facebook Lists

  1. Thanks – this is great – I tried to do something similar and ended up posting in groups – and everyone getting an invite to join a group – big deal.

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