Facebook Page owners have become increasingly vocal about their concerns that Facebook changes have resulted in only a fraction of their fans seeing any given post. There’s a widespread perception that the only way to get all your fans to see your posts is either to pay Facebook or to get each fan to use an unwieldy process to adjust Facebook settings.
Earning and sustaining fans’ attention is a science and an art – and often a business transaction, too. In this two part post, we’ll look at four methods for increasing engagement – from the least effective to the most effective.
1. Bad/Misleading Method: Interest Lists
Recently we’ve seen a lot of pages posting these sorts of posts:
Facebook’s Interest Lists have been around since March 2012, but they are not an optimal way for most fans to see a page’s updates. The problem with the above page’s post is that this is a cumbersome, confusing process, a misinterpretation of Interest Lists’ purpose, and at best an inefficient, clumsy way to see a page’s updates.
Interest Lists on Facebook are designed to work like Twitter’s Lists function does or Google+’s Circles. They are user-generated, user-curated lists of Facebook users and pages. To create an Interest List of say, Social Media Marketing Experts, you’d add Aristotle’s page to the list (wink, wink) then add any others you want to follow. You can share your Interest Lists with your friends and the public, and encourage them to subscribe to them, too. Then they can access that Interest List the same way you do, whether or not they’ve ever visited or liked the pages that comprise it.
Probably 1% of Facebook fans knows about and uses Interest Lists. Creating and using them is a multi-step process and not one most of your fans want to do. Adding a page to your Interest Lists also has little to no apparent effect on whether or not you see that page’s ongoing updates in your regular newsfeed.[box type=”info”] Bottom Line:
Interest Lists have a place and function on Facebook, but they do not necessarily guarantee engagement and visibility.[/box]
2. Better Method: Get Notifications
In November, Facebook rolled out a new notifications option for Pages, similar to what’s long existed for individuals. Just as users get notifications on Facebook about other users’ activity that relates to them, your fans can now opt in to get notified of all your page posts. This means they’ll get a notification in the Notifications Tab each time your page posts a new status update, photo, or other activity.
Activating Notifications is a way of letting Facebook know that your fans definitely WANT to get notified of all your posts. Your superfans are going to be all about this, and it’s also handy for short-duration pages, such as event pages.
Most users, however, are more fickle. They want to be able to keep up with the brands they like, but don’t necessarily want to be notified of every update of every page—it would simply be too overwhelming.[box type=”info”] Bottom Line: We recommend encouraging your fans to Get Notifications but not badgering them about it.[/box] Coming Up Next: Check back Wednesday for the conclusion of this two-part post. We’ll cover how best to use Facebook advertising and discuss the power of good content.