Thursday, November 08, 2012

Getting More From Facebook

"No one commented on my Facebook post!" someone said to me.

 "Maybe no one saw it," I replied, meaning "almost no one"
 How many people see which of our posts?  Who knows, right?  We do know that the "reach" - how many people see our posts - has dwindled! So what do we do?

 Sadly, I can't think of a way we can help more people to see our posts. However, we can each exercise a bit of control over whose posts we get to see.  I took some time one day to go through all my Facebook friends and put them in my News Feed, which is where I read what my friends are saying. (If you know how to do this, please stay with me and just go to the next paragraph.) You go to the person's page (click on their name when it comes up or put their name in the little box on the Facebook toolbar at the top, and hit Enter on your keyboard).  Hover over Friends (the box near the top to the right of the friend's name). Click on:  Show in Newsfeed. Voila. All set.

Maybe you already knew to do that. But did you know it's no guarantee?  You may or may not see that person's posts, consistently or randomly.

What if you don't want to miss any posts from a certain friend?  I love this feature.  Go back to the person's page and hover over Friends again. This time click on Close Friends.  Now their posts are much more likely to come up in your News Feed. You can even click on Get Notifications, and then you should know whenever they post, but that's an option that I find, at times, to be overwhelming.

Okay, but if I've listed someone as a family member, their posts will definitely come up in my Newsfeed, right?  Wrong. If you want to keep up with your mom or your sister or your nephew, you will want to go to their page, hover over Friend, and make them a Close Friend.  You see?

What about all those businesses that you "Like"?  They don't post much, do they?  Or so it seems these days.  No, actually, Facebook has cut way down on their "reach" many people see any one post coming from a business, non-profit, or other organization. Why? They now charge that business or organization if they want to be sure to reach all their fans. Recently, I started a fan page as a writer…which happens to have the same name as my regular Facebook profile.  (If you'd like to join me there, it's:  I have a modest 50 fans, which is just enough for me to get a little statistical information on my page.  Sometimes my "reach" is 14 or 17...out of 50. If people start conversing, the reach tends to go up.

So, if you want to promote your favorite fan page, perhaps commenting will help, as well as sharing posts when you can.  I read an article that explains the "reach", from a business owner's perspective.  I have to say that I know nothing about the blog the article came from and have not perused it at all, except for this particular article. So, with that disclaimer, if you're interested in an explanation about Facebook Fan pages (especially if you have one), here's the link to the article, entitled, "I Want My Friends Back" (

Is there anything you can do to see more of the fan pages you've subscribed to?  Yes, but again, you would have to do it on a case by case basis. You may want to do it a little at a time, as you think of an organization, an author, or a company whose information you want to see.  You can go to the fan page, hover over Like, and click on Show in News Feed. Again, you may also click on Get Notifications, if you would like.

This is all very well, but it’s so easy to get sucked in and spend too much time on Facebook, isn’t it?  Yes. And no, I’m not suggesting you spend more time on Facebook (except for a few administrative clicks). I’d just like to help you to improve the experience you do have while you’re there. It’s just nice when we can connect with those we have come to connect with. If you have any additional ideas or comments, I would love to hear from you.

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