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The Basics of Facebook Interest Lists


What is a Facebook Interest List?

Facebook continues to roll out new features (the big one is Facebook Timeline) and Interest Lists are one of the latest. Interest Lists are Facebook’s way of de-cluttering your newsfeed. You will now be able to categorize the Pages and people you “like”, “follow”, and “subscribe to” into different groups.

For instance you may put a friend who is a chef, Ben and Jerry’s, and Starbuck’s into one Interest List called “Food.” If you select that Interest List, you will see all the updates from those Pages or people you have put on those lists. Your newsfeed, in turn, will become the news you most want as opposed to irrelevant or unwanted status updates.

Facebook’s Interest Lists should already appeal to Twitter users who use Twitter lists and are used to segmenting the news they receive. Many people would rather stick with Facebook (even with the changes) than move to another social network. News aggregators for the iPad, iPhone, and Android such as Flipboard and are also on the rise and you can see why Facebook would like to keep you on Facebook even for your news.  (Facebook calls Interest Lists, “your personal newspaper.”)

How do I find/create a Facebook Interest List?

After logging into Facebook, you will see “Add Interests” (“Interests” if you’ve already created a list) on the bottom left-hand side of Facebook’s homepage.

If you do not see this option immediately, click the “More” option.

When creating new lists, a wizard helps you pick from your Liked Pages, subscriptions, friends, and members of categories such as Art, Entertainment, Games, etc.

If you have liked a business or organization's Page on Facebook you can add that Page to an Interest List directly.

The top news or “stories” from each “Interest” you subscribe to occasionally appear in your primary newsfeed without clicking directly on the list. 

To create your own Interest List, simply click + Create List.

You can choose from Liked Pages, Subscriptions (people who you’ve subscribed to already), Friends, and basic categories that Facebook provides for you.

After you’ve chosen who or what will be on your Interest List, you can select your privacy settings (if that makes sense).

First, create a name for your Interest List, and then decide whether your list is available to the “Public”, “Friends”, or “Only You.”

If you want other Facebook users to see your list and even subscribe to it, make it “Public”.

Your Interest List will now appear on the left side of the screen when you log into Facebook. If you would like to add to your list, click the list and you can add. Facebook will also suggest relevant people or pages you can add to your Interest List.

Interest Lists are still brand new, so we’re yet to see if they are a Facebook main-stay. In the meantime, Interest Lists are a great way to focus on the people and Pages you love without all the other distraction that can clutter up your newsfeed.

(Second and Third Image Courtesy of Facebook Newsroom.)

Still confused? Just Ask Betsy! Subscribe or leave a comment below: 

The Anatomy of a Facebook Timeline

The Anatomy of a Facebook Timeline

Facebook is replacing Business Pages with Facebook Timeline for Business. In order to help with this transition to Facebook’s latest change I’ve broken Timeline for Business into a few simple steps.

Your Facebook Timeline will be the first page the public will see (fans and non-fans) so you’ll want to make sure it’s visually striking and conveys your business’s or brand’s story.

This is an example of what Facebook Timeline looks like:

To see this Timeline live click here.

1)   Cover Photo
Think about an image that tells your brand story. It’s a very large horizontal photo (850 x 320 pixels). Do you have a photo or a group of photos that you love? If you don’t here’s an article on 19 great resources for timeline creators. You can get really creative with this: to add neat effects try TrickedOutTimelines.   

2) Profile Picture
This is the place for your logo or an image that conveys your brand. Keep in mind width is now 180 pixels, height 180 pixels and Facebook will auto-adjust this to 125 pixels wide by 125 pixels high.

3) Views and Apps
Facebook “Tabs” are now called “Views and Apps”. You can have up to 12 of them, but only 4 are visible without clicking and now you have an image to represent each of them 111 x 74 pixels)
Of these 4 “Photos” are static but the remaining three tabs are interchangeable (the other 8 tabs are hidden but users can access them by hitting the expand option).
Here are some examples of Views and Apps that businesses are using on their Timelines:
  • Blog
  • Coupons                                      
  • Contact Us
  • Countdowns                                  
  • E-Commerce                                  
  • Events                                          
  • FAQ
  • Contests                                      
  • Twitter
  • Foursquare
  • Galleries
  • Google+
  • Job
  • Maps
  • Newsletter
  • Offers
  • LinkedIn
  • PayPal
  • Pinterest                                      
  • Polls
  • Email Capture                                
  • Share Button
  • Testimonials
  • YouTube
  • Chat

To make your own custom apps or re-size the apps you already have on your Facebook page, try – they have an easy and great free version for just getting started! 

4) About Section 
If you are a local business, company, organization, or institution you’ll ned to provide           Facebook the following:

  • Name of your Facebook Business Page
  • Your Business Address(es)
  • Telephone Number(s)
  • Hours of Operation (optional)
If you are a brand or product:
What would you like Facebook Timeline to say about your business or brand? Only the first 150 characters (approximately 15 words) will display directly on the Timeline Cover Page. Think of this as your business or brand’s core value statement. Don’t worry: Facebook users will have the ability to expand the about section to view more of your business’s or brand’s description, if you want to say more.
5) Milestones (appear as updates in your newsfeed, by date)
Timeline has created a new feature called Milestones allowing you to fill in the gaps from       when your business or brand was founded and when you joined Facebook. This is where we can go back in time and add images with captions to indicate significant events in the history of your business, such as:
 Milestone Ideas: 
  • When your business launched
  • Your first partnership
  • Your first sale
  • Expanding or opening a second location
  • Your first hire
  • Forming a new division
  • TV or magazine appearance
  • Important press

All of these events in your business’ history create your Brand Story.

Start with the year your business was founded and the location where this occurred. Provide a story (optional). Think about what you want to say about the concept or inspiration for your brand or business’s inception. Keep in mind the first 255 characters (approx 25-30 words) will be visible. Facebook users can expand to read a further description. Last, but not least, provide a photo, video, or link of this important milestone in your history!

You can add as few or as many milestones as you like, and you can change them later on, too. Try to really tell your brand story so Facebook users can interact with your entire history. 

You can also go back and delete any posts that you don't want to appear (ones that didn't get good engagement, for example).

Still confused? Try Facebook Help for more assistance or give Be Visible Associates a call.  

Facebook’s Timeline & What it Means for Your Brand


This article, written by Karen Lewis of Simply Amusing Designs, appeared on March 1, 2012. It's a simple overview on the big changes that will affect Facebook Pages on March 30. Karen is a great designer and a really smart cookie and I think you will find this explanation very easy to understand. You can link to the original post here  

The much-anticipated release of Timeline for Brands was rolled out today by Facebook and there are a few things you need to know if you are a Brand manager or Business owner.

The newest feature has rolled out for preview across the network, and if you don’t upgrade before March 30, your page will be automatically converted to the new style. Similar to personal profiles, Timeline for Brands has design beauty potential. Facebook has added features to Brands that personal profiles don’t have – such as public storylines and new admin capabilities, which I’ll discuss in a moment.

About those Custom Landing Pages & Tabs

Possibly the biggest news is that you can no longer send your Facebook visitors to a default landing page (aka welcome tab, or fan-gate). Those applications will still remain available, but your fans will only get to them if they click on the app on your page. If you have a custom application that has been created for your Page, it will still work, you will just no longer be able to send certain traffic (like non-fans) to a particular page inside Facebook, unless you pay for Facebook ads.

Other Important Changes To Pages

1. Cover Images – The new look for Brands includes a large 850px-wide image (similar to personal aprofiles) at the top of the page, with the page itself separated into two columns by a “timeline”. This affords companies a beautiful visual way to share and engage with their visitors, even more so than before. The one caveat to your brand’s cover image? Facebook’s rules stipulate you may not promote your products or services there. Yep…you are reading that correctly – no pricing information, no discount or percent off information, no web address, no contact information, no encouraging people to like your page, etc.

2. Reduced Tab Visibility – Where as before you could have as many tabs as you wanted in the sidebar, now you’ll be forced to choose the top three you want to show under the cover image. Choose carefully and wisely – as there are only three tabs visible at any given time. The one tab you cannot change is the “Photo” tab, to see more than the first four, users will have to expand the tab panel by clicking on a drop-down menu.

3. Feature Posts - You will now be able to feature posts for 7 days by “pinning” them to the top of your Timeline (akin to posting a ‘sticky’ post in a forum or on a blog). If you have a promotion or special offers, this is an opportunity for it to shine on the page and not get lost in the daily shuffle. This is also where you will want to focus your marketing strategy to point visitors to contests, promotions, other tabs, etc. It will be interesting to see how marketers use this particular feature.

4. Private Messages – With the new update, users will be able to leave private messages for brands and brands can interact with them outside of the Timeline. It will be easy to clutter up the Timeline with customer inquiries and notes, so the addition of messaging is going to be really beneficial for page admins.

What We Recommend to Our Clients:

Don’t convert yet. The most important “next step” is for you to prepare your Timeline Cover Photo and decide what apps/tabs are going to be visible on the home page. You can see a preview of your Timeline by going to your page and walking through the tutorial. Do not publish the changes – play around with it, but make sure that before you publish, you have a nice cover photo, and have cleaned up your timeline. In addition, there are bound to be a few bugs to be worked out, let Facebook handle those while you are getting used to the new highly visual format of your page.

 I'll be posting more Timeline info throughout the month, but in the meantime please reach out with your comments and questions.


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