Facebook Promoted Posts, a ‘work around’…

I should probably start this post off by explaining why ‘work around’ is in quotations. Well, this is not really a work around because there isn’t really a work around. There is no way to have your Page’s posts show up on the Newsfeeds of more of your fans unless you’re willing to pay a billionaire some money. In Facebook’s defence, I’m sure (or rather, I hope), the main reason they implemented their mysterious EdgeRank was to deal with the fact that most folk’s Newsfeed would be overrun with posts every few minutes. The problem is, Facebook has seemed to put a higher priority on your Auntie liking a picture with painfully religious/cheesy text than your favourite local band’s post about how their awesome new album - which they’ve poured their heart and soul into - is available for free, for a limited time. Or etc.

I posted a while back about how I thought the promoted posts thing was a bunch of BS, which I still do, but I’ve been meaning to do a follow-up about dealing with said BS. It’s only nice to stomp and complain for a little while, but then you need to re-group and re-strategize, otherwise you’ll just be the last kid on the Myspace swings. Over the last few weeks, I’ve seem more than a few Pages post about how if you hover over the ‘Like’ button, you’ll see an option to ‘Show In Newsfeed’. Which was being presented as a solution to this whole Promoted Posts / EdgeRank thing.

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Well, unfortunately, that doesn’t really fix things. The above ‘solution’ is ignoring the main problem, and that is Facebooks EdgeRank ranking system. Your Page’s posts will still be battling it out with your old high school classmate’s photo of her ultrasound, and your Page’s post will usually lose that battle (and don’t even think you have a chance against a co-worker’s post about going to the gym). I don’t fully understand how EdgeRank works (although here is a blog post about how to improve your EdgeRank-ness), but just know that your Page’s post will always only show up on a fraction of the actual number of people who ‘like’ your Page. In fact, a lot of the Pages you ‘like’ probably already have that ‘Show In News Feed’ checked, even if you’ve never done it manually (and that hasn’t prevented their posts from disappearing from your Newsfeed).

So Now For The Work Around That Isn’t Really A Work Around…

You can create something called an Interest List. The reason this isn’t really a work around for your Page is that it is something you need other people to do, and in order for your Page’s post to show up in their Interest List, they need to add your Page to one of their lists first. If your page is added to an Interest List, then all your posts will show up in that list (alongside whoever else is in the list). Think of it as a filtered Newsfeed, filtered by your personal taste / choice, rather than a mysterious Facebook algorithm.

But this is something that ‘people’ need to do. So I’m going to stop talking to ‘pages’ and start talking to ‘people’. People, there are a few reasons why setting up an Interest List is in your best interest (and not just because you’ll make whatever Pages you add to your list happy, although that’s a reason too):

  1. Promoted Posts / EdgeRank did not just effect a Page’s chance of having their posts seen, it also messed up your ability of finding out about things that you tried to tell Facebook you wanted to know about (i.e. by liking a Page). By creating an Interest List, you can have a filtered list of all the posts you are not only interested in, but are probably missing out on.
  2. It is really easy to setup.
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If Your Fans Won’t Make A List, They Might Subscribe To One…

As mentioned in step 4, it is possible for a Page (i.e. the person who manages a Page), to make it easier for their fans to start using Interest Lists which contain their Page in the list. And you can do that by making your own Interest List, and then them public. Once you have done that, all someone needs to do is Subscribe to your list and they can bypass all the ‘creating an Interest List steps’ (all 4 of them) and still end up with a filtered list of interesting posts (which includes your Page’s posts). The key to that, is creating a list that someone would find worthy of subscribing to (i.e. you can’t just make a list of just your Page and expect people to flock to that). It is also a good way to earn some internet karma by turning people on to more than just your own stuff.

I have created three lists; lists that will (hopefully) both interest me and interest others. Anyone can subscribe to these lists, which would then have them show up on the left sidebar of their Newsfeed. And yes, I have added HI54LOFI RECORDS to all three lists, but not out of straight cheeky-ness (I think it is fair to say that HI54LOFI RECORDS applies to all 3 lists).

Here are my 3 Interest Lists, which anyone can subscribe too (you’ll need to be logged in to Facebook in order to see / Subscribe to these lists):

  • HI54 Friends & Friendlies: this is a list of all the Pages that I am a little bit ‘internet friendly’ with. In a nutshell, these are all the bands and blogs that I am personally very interested in keeping up with, as I love what they do and want to know what’s going on with them. Maybe you do too?

  • Music Blogs/Labels/Sites: this is a list of what you might expect; a bunch of blog and record label Pages. It also is a pretty good way to keep up with the constant flow of new music and music happenings, and hopefully find a few new gems along the way.

  • DIY: this is a list of Pages that are either sites / tools that I use (i.e. Bandcamp, etc.) or Pages that often post about music related stuff (as in advice or tips for musicians, etc.).

A Couple More Things (three to be exact)…

  1. With any Interest List you have created, you can always add or remove Pages from your list whenever you want. I won’t diagram it out, as it is basically looks and feels the same as Step 3 in the above diagram. Whenever you are viewing an Interest List, there is a ‘Manage List’ drop down which then has an ‘Edit List’ option. Select that and then a pop window comes up showing you who is on this list. Change ‘On This List’ to ‘Pages’ and then you can select and deselect Pages till you heart’s content.
  2. You can add a Page to a list you’ve created (or even create a new list… you can even remove them from a list) directly from a Pages page. By either hovering over the Pages ‘Like’ button, or clicking on the little ‘gear’ symbol, you’ll see all those options. You can even add a Page to your list without liking them. Although, if you’re interested in what they have to say, you should probably ‘Like’ them as every ‘Like’ is a small confident post, no matter how loudly a band may say they don’t care about Facebook.
  3. If you’ve created a list that you want to share with others (i.e. you hope other people will subscribe to it), there is a little ‘Share’ button beside the ‘Manage List’ button I mentioned earlier. So you can share your lists as ‘person’ you, or as ‘page’ you.

In Conclusion…

Well, that more or less covers things. Again, this isn’t an actual “work around” for by-passing the way Promoted Posts / Edge Rank works. This is just a way to have Facebook show you more of what you are interested in (and hopefully, for all you Pages out there, people will be interested in having your posts in their lists).

I am now going to post about this post on our Facebook page, and no one will see it. Except for me, because I now have HI54LOFI RECORDS in an Interest List (3 to be exact).

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