Over the past few months I’ve been maximizing my time on-line, figuring out ways to use tools more in a manner that feed me rather than drain time from me and I’ve codified some of that here. For the small artistpreneur, flowpreneur, soloprenuer or entrepreneur who uses Facebook as one of their (possibly primary) marketing tools who want to get more done on Facebook in less time to help them expand their reach, here are 10 practical tips I implementing to assist in my own work flow efficiency.
Most of the first 8 tips use the upside down caret (what is like the symbol above the 6 (^) key on your keyboard only pointing down instead of up) in the upper right hand corner of the post. After pressing this, a drop down menu will appear which will be contextual to the post.
Turn off notifications. You know those long drawn out threads where people are commenting every 2 minutes and you said something at comment 10 but 200 comments later you’re still getting notifications? Or those times when a friend gets married or engaged or has some other life events upon which you comment and hundreds of their friends also comment too? Two problems have arisen for me from this — one being the clutter of unnecessary notifications in my feed actually distracting me from important ones and the second being the interrupt driven nature of the notifications providing subtle and ongoing distraction that is a time suck in ever-so-tiny increments. The solution to this problem is to comment and then turn off notifications. Click on the aforementioned down arrow and from the menu that appears select the option, “turn off notifications.” Note: in some instances you may have to first select “more options” and then you will get the option you seek below it. On my mobile, I have sometimes needed to first select “turn on notifications” before being able to “turn off notifications” so try that if it doesn’t work at first.
- Stop notifications on photos.The same sort of scenario can easily happen with a photo where you want to comment and don’t need to see hundreds of other people’s comments. This can easily happen with your friend’s engagement photos, baby photos and of course it’s equally likely with a meme photo you post that’s viral or maybe a contest photo you post upon which lots of people comment. Leave it to Facebook to do something slightly different for photos than for posts or links. To address this, go to the image itself and select the “stop notifications” button above the comments. In this instance, I have not found a way to stop notifications on photos from my mobile device which is why it would be fantastic if Facebook allowed the same drop down menu for photos.
- Unfollow person. If you find yourself consistently bothered by a large portion of someone’s feed, you can opt out of having their posts appear in your feed without un-friending them by using the down arrow to select the “unfollow person” options. What’s great about this is that you can filter your feed, tailoring it to the most inspiring information for you without having to cull your friend list, something useful for entrepreneurs. Remember, even if you select this option you can still go to the person’s wall and see what they have posted and while you’re on their page, you can use the options there to follow some or all of their posts again if you choose to.
- Unfollow page. Similar to wanting to see fewer things in your feed from a particular person you know are the feeds of fan pages, celebrities and organizations. For example, you have a friend who posts an article from, say, Bill Maher. As a result of this, if you’re following Mr Maher, you can, while you’re sorting out the posts of your friend, also sort out the posts from that fan page by selecting it on the same menu. In this case, Facebook is smart enough to give you the option for both of those things at the same time from one menu for your ease and convenience. The downside of this for us as business owners is that not only can we sort out the posts from pages to which we are subscribed but our clients can also do that to our pages, too.
- I don’t want to see this. Recently someone posted a fire breathing incident video to my time line and not surprisingly, so did some other people. Suddenly, it was appearing everywhere in my feed. I didn’t want to see it any more but the “unfollow friend” feature didn’t make sense to use since it was really specific to just that single post that multiple people put out there. Instead of “unfollow friend” you can instead use the “I don’t want to see this” option on the menu and that post will no longer be automagically displayed in your feed. Allegedly, this option also removes posts like it, but I’m not 100% clear on what their algorithm for similarity is.
- Hide all ads. Some people don’t want to see any ads on Facebook, a sentiment I can appreciate. At the same time, as a small business owner, I find I’m interested in seeing what people in similar and related markets are doing so it’s fantastic for me to be able to see some amount of ads and with the new algorithms, many of these ads are somewhat relevant and often interesting. I’ve actually found some cool products through the ads, although I still find myself wanting some of them to disappear from me feed. Instead of “stop notifications” or “unfollowing” features one uses with friends, use the “hide all ads” option on the drop down menu.
- Turn on Notifications. Lately I’ve been noticing people will comment on a thread and write, “following” in the comment so they can get notifications later about what has been said on the thread. This certainly works but it also pollutes the thread with useless comments and actually puts notifications in other people’s feed at the same time — sort of a double whammy of wasted energy. If you’d like to follow the thread in a way where other’s aren’t aware you are following it (i.e., with more anonymity) or you’d like to be able to keep up without having to pollute the comments with something that will notify other people that you’re “following,” you can do that by selecting the “turn on notifications” option on the menu. Note: Like the “turn off notification” feature, in some instances you may have to first select “more options” and then you will get the option you seek below it.
- Save for later. In the same scenario above, instead of turning on the notifications, you can save the entire thread (links and all) for later by using the “save for later” option. That will allow you to access what you’ve cued from the “Saved” tab on the left side of your display on Facebook through the web interface on a desktop or using the lower button on the right on the main screen in the (iPhone) mobile app to access your saved posts.
- Invest more time on your personal page and less time on your business page. As Facebook continues to move toward a more lucrative business model that allows them to make more money, they have moved toward feeding smaller and smaller percentages of your fan page data into people’s feeds organically. This is a process that has been going on for some time now and has continued to reduce for most people, especially if you don’t pay for ads. It seems like a great idea to invest time into your fan page when in reality, without paying for ads, not much you do there will really get seen as less than 10% of your followers will even get notified. Don’t get me wrong — it definitely adds credibility to have a page and keep it active each week as people do go to the pages proactively instead of web sites sometimes. Yet, for smaller companies where they can acquire more people in their personal feed, you actually will get a higher hit rate on your posts because more people will see the post through your personal page than your fan page, and, as a result, until you’ve reached your (5000 person) friend limit, we’ve found you really will get more bang for your buck time wise putting your energy into your personal feed. As this article reports, good content is still rewarded despite Facebook’s recent move to reduce organic reach so continue to focus on high quality, engaging posts in your own feed and help them spread their reach by continuing to work the posts.
- Don’t bother paying for ads. Now you might be saying, “Why not just pay for ads to improve reach?” You could do that. And from everything I’ve heard from small businesses who used ads, for the most part, they haven’t gotten the return on investment they are seeking through those ads and they have not been very lucrative.
For more tips on how to use Facebook and other social media platforms in more lucrative ways, explore one of our 13 year anniversary discounts to our Building Your Business training or check out the Social Media focused modules.