Taking Control of Your Facebook News Feed
Have you wondered why you are not seeing as many of your friends and business Pages in your personal and business Page News Feed? Facebook determines what appears in your News Feed, and how high, with an algorithm called EdgeRank. It is based on three variables.
- Affinity. This is a one-way relationship between a user and a post. It could be understood as how close of a “relationship” a brand and a Fan may have, or friend to friend. Affinity is built by repeat interactions with a brand’s posts. Actions such as commenting, liking, sharing, clicking, and even messaging influence a user’s Affinity.
- Weight. This is a value system created by Facebook to value certain actions within Facebook. Commenting is more involved and therefore more valuable than a like. Sharing has a high weight. Actions that take the most time to accomplish weigh more.
- Time Decay. This refers to how long the post has been alive; the older it is the less valuable it is. This helps keep the News Feed fresh with interesting new content.
As you like more business Pages and connect with more friends, your daily interaction and engagement with each of them will likely decrease, thus affecting EdgeRank and what you will see in your daily News Feed.
It’s important for businesses to control this. As you know, any business Page must have a personal page — an actual person — that is tied to its business Page. Some smaller businesses, depending on their products and services, even use a personal page and a business Page for Facebook marketing. You can monitor and control your personal page News Feed to get updated news from competitors, partners, and industry leaders. You can fully control this from your personal page, not your business page.
To take control over your News Feed on your personal page, and to see the content you actually want to see, use the new Interest List tool, which Facebook introduced in March. The tool is designed to organize your News Feed into personalized lists. In this way you can control what you see in your News Feed by creating your own lists with your chosen competitors, partners, vendors, industry leaders, as well important business Pages.
Creating Your Interest List
- Your Interest Lists are found on the home page of your Personal Profile, not your business Page. Look down on the left hand column. You may need to click the “More” button, then you’ll see “Interests.” Once you have created Interest Lists, you will see them listed here. This is the direct link to that page: https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/interests.
- Click on “Add Interests…”
- To create your own Interest List, click on the button “+ Create List” at the top of the Interests page — see screenshot below.
- Once you do this, a window will open and you can choose “Page,” “Subscriptions,” or “Friends” to add to this list.
- You can then choose who can see this list: “Public,” “Friends,” “Only Me,” which is handy to keep an eye on your competition.
- You can go back and add to this list.
- You can also subscribe to lists here, per suggestions that appear by Facebook.
Remember, Lists can have any combination of Friends, Subscriptions and Pages. To start with, Facebook displays a list of all the Pages you’ve already liked, all your Subscriptions — personal profiles to which you’ve subscribed — and Friends. Remember, when you send a friend request to someone on Facebook, you immediately become a subscriber, which means you’ll see their public posts in your News Feed.
Adding your Lists to your Favorites
Once you create your favorite Interest Lists, you can add them to your Favorites at the top left side of your home page. These become your own personal bookmarks, visible on both desktop and mobile, through which you can now browse the exact content you wish.
First, go back to your Interest Lists bookmarks page. You will see the little pencil icon next to each list. Click the icon and select “Add to Favorites” as shown in the screenshot below. The little blue Interest List icon is for Lists you created; the green icon is for Lists to which you subscribe.
You will see the list appear under “Favorites” on the left hand side.
Next, look at the list of favorites at the top left of your home page. Hover over any item and then click the little pencil icon. From there, click “Rearrange.” You can drag and drop the order of anything you have in your Favorites. You can have Favorites to be Interest Lists, Friend Lists, Groups, Apps, and Pages by going through this same process.
Add More Friends and Pages
Friends/Profiles. To add a Friend to your Interest List(s), the Facebook user must have her Subscribe button enabled. You cannot add anyone to an Interest List who does not allow subscribers. You can read more about subscriptions on Facebook’s About Subscriptions page. You can choose to subscribe to the person, or not. Either way, you can still add her to your Interest List. Just look for the little gear icon to the right of the Friend/Subscribe buttons as shown in the screenshot below.
Pages. To add a Page to your Interests Lists, go to that Page. Then, next to the Like button of all fan Pages, you’ll see a little gear icon. Click and select “Add to Interest Lists…” A list of your Interest Lists pops up; click on the list or lists to add the Page. You can also create a new list from the same menu. Note that you do not need to become a fan of a page to add it to your Interest List.
Facebook Interest Lists help you organize and easily access your Facebook connections. If the Interest Lists feature is new to you, you’ll soon wonder how you ever managed Facebook without Lists and Favorites.