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Categorize and Target Your Facebook News Feed with Interest Lists

On Facebook you are encouraged to use¬†Interest Lists which allow users to subscribe to others’ or to create their own lists of Subscriptions, Pages or Friends based on categories they choose. This is intended to create a customized “newspaper” like experience on Facebook. Follow and list Pages about certain topics such as “sports” or “politics” and you can read the latest “news” about those topics. But for businesses who are marketing a product using social media, the benefits are even greater than simply gathering your information in one place.

One, it helps you look at a news feed that is made up of only the posts from that list. We have been able to do this with Friend Lists but that did not include Subscriptions or Pages. This means that when you view your Interest List feed, you can spend your time on Facebook in a more targeted way. For example, interact more with people or Pages that you would consider prospects or relationships you would like to build (or whose networks are those things). This saves time.

Two, it helps others see you as a resource for information, connections, or “news” about certain topics, since they can view and subscribe to your public Interest Lists. For example, if I have an Interest List called “Sonoma County Foodies” that is public, my own network as well as the rest of Facebook can find that list and subscribe. Then when they want to check in to find a good place to eat, or maybe a good local recipe, they can view that list. It serves them, but also makes everyone aware that I am a resource for Sonoma County information. Since I conduct workshops locally and part of my business is local in nature, this is a way to be known in this area without blatantly advertising.

Here is a brief video of how to set these up. Please also check the how-to at the bottom, since I learned some things after creating the video:

Step by step how-to:

  1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/addlist You can also get there by going to the new Interests bookmark on the left side of the Home page and clicking More and then Add Interests
  2. On the following panel you will see suggestions of other people’s Lists. Check these out so you get an idea of how this works. You can subscribe to a List someone else has created. When you subscribe to someone’s List, the name of that List becomes a bookmark on the left side of the Facebook home page under Lists. However when you click on it, the news feed will only include items posted by people you already Like or Subscribe to. The list of members will be on the right and you can use that to decide if you want to Like or Subscribe to the others on the list.
  3. To create your own list go back to the Add List page and click on Create a List. A panel will come up which calls up your currently Liked Pages and Subscriptions. Use the search box to type in key words you might want to sort people by. This is not the title of your list, just a search, so type in several iterations that people may have listed in their title or About. Example in the video: direct sales, direct selling, direct seller
  4. Facebook will suggest people to add to the list, click on their photos and try different words to find more. When you are done click Next. Note that any suggestions you add that you aren’t already subscribed to will not show up in the news feed, just in the list of list members.
  5. Type in a title for your List and choose whether you want it visible to the Public, or just Friends, or only you.
  6. When you are done it will take you to the news feed for that list. The name of the list will then appear on the left side under Interests. Facebook will also continue to make suggestions of who you might want to add to the list.
  7. Now when you are going online to connect with people, you can be purposeful, targeted and smart!

What are your thoughts on this new feature? Leave a comment!

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6 Comments

  1. Jeri on March 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for posting this. I seem to be having difficulty setting up a list:

    – When I’m using Facebook as my Fan Page (https://www.facebook.com/leapoffaithwebdesign), I can’t create a list. Were you creating your list from a personal page or a fan page?

    – Even when I created a list from my personal page, there are fan pages (https://www.facebook.com/pybop and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Confab-The-Content-Strategy-Conference/159094754142087?ref=pb) that I can’t for the life of me find or add.

    Any idea why?

    Regards,
    Jeri A Hastava

  2. Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    on March 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Jeri! Good to “see” you! So this is as a personal profile not a Page (yet!) I am hoping this is coming to Page feeds as well – would sure make things even MORE efficient!!

    For ones you can’t find, make the list first anyway, and then go into the list and click on Add to add more – that worked for me. For some reason FB doesn’t see some of them? It is likely just suggesting ones it thinks you might want first? I would say it probably is not yet perfected, could be buggy still!

  3. Becky Christensen
    Follow me on Twitter: yourstorybooks
    on March 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Karen,

    I am loving this new list feature, been going list crazy! what I found worked for me was to just add one page to a new list then continue. From there I would put in Key words, such as Crafting, sewing, quilting, food, health, eventually FB “caught” on as to what kind of list I was wanting to create. Then what i will do is – just put in a letter of the Alphabet – and soon those both friends and pages would show up, so i could sort it that way. Either way I am loving this new and easier list-ing feature! Thank so much for the posting on this! ~ Becky C

  4. Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    on March 12, 2012 at 6:48 am

    That great Becky! There’s a case when Facebook’s ‘watching us’ is helpful! LOL

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