So there’s this thing called Facebook. You might have heard of it. Maybe you’ve got an account, but never actually visit the site. Maybe you’re a Facebook voyeur, reading others’ posts, but never posting yourself. Maybe you can’t wait to share yet another picture of your kid eating dog food/sleeping/writing in cursive at age 3 (no judging, I definitely fit into this category). Or, maybe you’re like me and not only enjoy Facebook as a social space, but depend on it to grow your community.
Over the past 2+ years, with your help, my Using Our Words Facebook page has received 558 likes. (I know, right?! No doubt if you’re reading this you’re one of them, of course.) I don’t take that lightly. But, over the past year or so, Facebook has also changed the way they approach sharing Facebook Page updates. As the page administrator I can see how many people (but not which ones, don’t worry) were exposed to my post in their news feed. Over the past two days, my posts have been shown to anywhere from 70 to 92 of the people who have liked my page. While math isn’t my forte, I believe that’s just 13-16%. Ouch.
That’s ok though. I can just pay for the rest of you to see what you already asked to see (and what used to be free). For around $5 a post, I can be sure a larger audience sees my posts. (Note, I’ve never done this, but plan to with this post.) While $5 sounds kind of cheap, when you think about the fact that I post a few times a week, that adds up to a lot of money. Especially since, at this point, my blog still costs me more than it makes. (A huge shocker, perhaps to some of you who dream of living the glamorous life of a blogger.) This also goes for other pages you’ve liked — local groups, non-profits, artists, schools, etc. (And the bigger the fan base is, the more it costs them to amplify posts.)
My friend, Aimee, wrote a great tongue-in-cheek post about this that was highlighted on Project: Underblog earlier this week. I shared it on my personal Facebook page and it got a great response there, as well as on the blog. Aimee discovered that underblogs like ours aren’t the only ones who are noticing this. A blog called Dangerous Minds went into great detail and they’re trying to start a movement. My friend who works at Facebook was very patient in talking me through things and encouraging me to either go with Option #3 or even try paying the fee, looking at it as a business investment.
I’m afraid I’m not all that much of an activist, but I do think it’s important to share what I know so that this community that you’ve opted into — along with others that you WANT to see — continue to be a part of your world. I’ve spent an outrageous amount of time trying to figure this out to be sure I’m not missing anything. But if you know of other strategies, please do share in the comments.
OPTION 1: Forget Facebook. Don’t depend on Facebook to deliver posts. Sign up for email alerts on your favorite sites. Each site has its own approach to subscriptions, but mine is on the sidebar to the right, below the About Me module. (Oh, and if you really, really like me, like me like a Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Most Influential Blog by clicking that big ol’ button and voting — I mean being one of just 11 blogs in the country on the list…wow! Again, this awesome community shows its powerful voice.)
OPTION #2: When you’re on Facebook and go to a page you’ve liked (take Using Our Words, for instance), click the check mark next to “Liked” and you should get a pulldown menu like this:
See that “Show in News Feed”? If there’s no check mark next to it, click it and a check mark should appear. Beware of the alarmingly close “Unlike”. You don’t want that. (At least not for my page…) What’s that Best Blog on the Planet? Well, that’s Option 3.
OPTION 3: So this is the approach Facebook and most social media bloggers are talking about. When you go to a page you’ve liked, next to the “Liked” there’s a “Message/Cog Image” like this:
Click “Add to Interests Lists…” and select “Create New List”. At this point you’ll be allowed to create a list that includes whatever you want it to. You can create all kinds of lists, for instance “My Favorite Blogs” or “Daily Reads”. Choose from pages you’ve already liked, subscribed to, or even your friends. You can also find new ones you don’t already know about.
Once you click, “Done”, this list will appear in your “Interests” which is down, down, down at the bottom of the left panel where your profile pic and name appear. (I have to click “More” for Interests to even make it on the page). Once you find it in interests, I suggest moving the things that you really want to be sure to check in on up to your favorites. Hover next to your list and a pencil will appear. Click that and select, “Move to Favorites”, like this:
Then you should see your list up by your profile name in your Favorites:
People who think this is a great feature look at it like a newspaper. They can check in and read the things they really want to at any time, rather than wading through their news feeds full of stuff they aren’t that interested in seeing. I’m willing to give it a try. Goodness knows I could benefit from making my time of Facebook more efficient.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, I know you like me. But do you like me like that?
What do you think? Will you be making this effort to ensure you see the pages you’ve liked on Facebook? Or is it just not worth the effort to have to “re-like” things you’ve already liked in the past?