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Let’s talk about fb.

Posted: July 6, 2015 in article
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Because your fb experience is different than my fb experience. FB is a very complex platform of programs and algorithms and personally set perimeters. Your daily web activities affect what you see on fb just as much as your actual interactions on fb affect what you see. Much like google, fb believes in putting you into a bubble of people and things you like and shields you from seeing things you have programmed it to believe you don’t want to see. You need to work to stretch your bubble and you need to strive to pop it from time to time. Your personal bubble is set by the politics and likes of the other people you interact with, the things you click on, and your other web activities. The ads on your side bar are a direct reflection of your bubble. The common misconception is that those ads are exclusively driven by web addresses you have visited and ads that you have interacted with. This is only part of the way the algorithms work. If you have a long chat with friend A who loves back yard chickens you may see a chicken ad in the rotation for 72 hours. Your ads will reflect your perceived likes AND things the top ten people you recently interacted with like. If you find an ad annoying or offensive – block it. Take the half a minute and go through the block process for that advertiser. In the case of mega-advertisers it won’t completely block it simply because blocking wallnart.cum doesn’t block iluvwalnart.cum or shopwalnart.cum. (and yes, I typoed on purpose, not only to be funny but to prevent autolinking and a slew of wallnart ads in my feed for weeks to come). Because what you post affects those ads as well. The other variables that affect your feed are friends and access. Access is whether you are getting onto fb from a cell phone, using the app or loading the page, or if you are using a laptop or computer. You see a lower percentage of posts when using a mobile device. I do not have a work around for that – I just try to pay attention to who I haven’t seen in a while and visit their wall from time to time. The number of friends a person has directly influences what they see on fb. A person with under 100 fb friends will see everything everyone posts, shares, likes, or comments on. Everything. I post a lot – Hi. The average fb user has between 250 and 350 fb friends, and they see about 50% of what happens. Fb decides what 50%, so if there is someone you haven’t seen in a while – search, click their name and go to their wall. Fb will unfollow people for you if you click hide this post one too many times. The next tier of fb users has between 500 and 1250 friends. We see 20% of post, shares, and likes. After that is people with 1250 to 3500 friends. 5%. And then the players with 3500 to 5000 friends. Just assume that they see nothing. Uncustomized – their feed looks like twitter. There are ways to customize your feed and maximize what you see. It’s work and not a quick fix, but it’s well worth it and no different than clearing out your email inbox daily and checking your spam filter. A lot of people and articles recommend using the ranking system that fb provides, the close friend vs acquaintance designators. I don’t because the computer will show you the more *liked* posts by acquaintances and not the important ones. Ie, “look at the cute cat” gets 22 likes therefore you see it but “Uncle Joe has cancer” got no likes so you never saw it. To customize your feed, open up your friends list. Now, take the time to unfollow every person you don’t know. Seriously. And understand that if you only have 250 friends you may very well know each and every one of them. If you have more than 350 friends – unfollow everyone you do not know, recognize, or interact with regularly. These are the friends of friends, the game adds, and the randoms. If you recognize the icon or name, by all means leave them active, but unfollow those you don’t know or who have no icon. You can defriend if you want but they might notice. Unfollowing allows you to refollow them later if you realize that you know and miss them. In going through your friend list, be sure to unfollow anyone who makes you frown or gives you a momentary flash of annoyance – even cousins and coworkers. No one can tell if you unfollow them, unfollow does not block them from interacting with your posts, and you can always refollow them if you start to interact with them. Oh, and you can’t see if they already unfollowed you. But you can suspect that a person has unfollowed you if the only time they interact is right after a mutual friend interacts. Friend B clicks like and comments on your post, Friend A (whom you haven’t seen click anything in weeks) clicks like and then likes three other posts of your and a photo from last week. Now that you’ve weeded your friend list, go back to your news feed. Make it a policy and a habit to unfollow pages that people share that you are not interested in. Not the “Joe likes ‘Flaming Nut Runners’ page”, not the “please like my new page” requests. When a friend shares a link from a page or website that you don’t care about the “She took three common garden pest and when she was finished I…” posts and unfollow that page or website. You’re blocking spam and you have to do it each and every time. You can use a program like Fluffbuster to do it for you. Understand that somethings just won’t block, I figure they paid the big bucks. And I unfollow people who regularly post things I find disgusting or annoying – even if I like them. Next, quit complaining about game requests, game players don’t like games that spam their friend list anymore that nongame players like getting spammed. If you tell me a specific game spammed you with my name I will delete that game, I won’t quit playing games. FB makes so that you have to actively block each and every game that spams you. There used to be an option to block all games – they removed it. There used to be an option to not allow games to spam your friends list – they removed it. Games and ads pay for fb, you’re going to see them from time to time. Be proactive and block games when you see them, fb will get the hint eventually and you will see fewer and fewer. Ok, you unfollowed your ghost friends, your unfollowing and/or blocking ads and games as they pop up (yes its time consuming but taking one moment to block will stop the next 50 times that article gets shared). Your feed should be getting cleaner, don’t hesitate to unfollow anyone boring or who spams memes and no content. Hell, don’t hesitate to unfollow. Do hesitate to unfriend. People take that seriously. It hurts people’s feelings, it causes strife. It’s petty and it’s rude to unfriend someone publically over a tiff that very well could heal with time. It’s too often used as a punishment and not as a way to walk away. If you really feel you cannot stay friends with someone then unfriend and block. This prevents them (or you) from fb stalking and “keeping tabs”. If you’re not willing to block then just unfollow. If you do get unfriended by someone – block them. When you block, they cannot see you, your comments on others posts, or your likes – and you cannot see them. Watch out for new friend requests as people often make a second account. I clear my blocks once a month because I really don’t care if someone petty wants to fb stalk me – they can get in line. Point – if you report a photo or comment of a friend to fb for anything other than directed bullshit aimed at you – you are being an ass. If you don’t like what someone is posting – unfollow them. If someone starts posting things you find offensive (be it religion, violence, breast feeding, or general asshattery) – unfollow them. If you report them and you don’t unfriend them you are a rude, tattling, troll that doesn’t have the guts to be public in your opinions. If you see friend A post a picture (breastfeeding), you like the picture, and then see friend C ranting about reporting a (breastfeeding) picture within a few hours later – chances are friend C is an ass and you risk your other friends getting reported by keeping that person as a friend. I private message, tell them I will continue to like and or share the same types of pictures and if it really offends them could they please unfollow me. Most will hit the defriend without reply. Fb news feed maintenance is an ongoing thing, the same way your email inbox didn’t get 8000 unviewed emails overnight, your feed doesn’t get cluttered overnight. Just unfollow things and people as you go to keep it to a minimum. And refollow anyone who takes the time to engage you. Now let’s stretch that bubble. Open fb, and then open a new window and go to your preferred news source. Have you liked their fb page? Read a couple of articles. Share one. All with your fb news feed open. Now go directly to a blog you like. Do the same. Basically do your daily web surf with fb open in the background. Back to fb, see an ad you actually like? Click it. Ads pay for fb, you might as well get good ones. Do not use brand identifiers in writing posts or comments unless you like and want to promote that product. If you hate wallnart – misspell it. If you love and want to promote California Raisins, used the brand the way they do. You have to tell fb what you like and want to see, you have to click like and share on businesses and politics and media or fb will just show you what your friends like. You want to promote your own business, self, or product on fb? You have to build a healthy friends list, full of active engaged friends. Note the word friends. Not fans. Not customers. Friends. People you interact with and who in turn interact with you. (I suck at this part…J Click like on other people’s posts, share, and comment. Interact. Post things worth reading. Don’t fall into the share without comment trap. FB will combine 3 or more shared posts in a row, only show the first and then give a “see more” tab. When you go on a fb cruise and share everything that catches your eye – people don’t necessarily see any of it. Same with key words. Say Thanksgiving, Superbowl, Easter, etc. in a post and you could get hidden in a list of related posts much the same as you don’t see every birthday greeting a friend gets. If you spam shared memes fb will limit your reach. If you do it regularly fb will throttle your reach. And don’t allow one friend to troll another friend on one of your posts. People will hold you as the host/ess accountable for a bad time they had on your wall. I give a warning and then I delete and state that I deleted. The only thing more annoying than a troll is getting a comment deleted without an explanation as to why. “Sorry kids. Deleted the comments because I’m just not in the mood for politics today, feel free to take it to your own wall.” Or “Wow, really didn’t think that could be so misunderstood. My bad. Deleted everything and will rethink.” Or “Troll! Defriended and Blocked! Sorry” There is a bit of a debate about sharing from your page onto your wall, the thought being that you’re spamming the same thing twice. You’re not. FB limits page reach, the only way to get a page post out there is through shares. Share it your own wall, ask page fans to hit share, share it to groups, share it onto a willing friend’s wall. You cannot share enough. Besides, my comic page has around 1000 fans of whom I am friends with 97. I have 750 fb friends of whom 97 have like my comic. That 1500 people who do not overlap. Between all of my pages and active groups I have a reach of around 9000 easy. Add in fb friends who I can count on to hit share and I get to around 25000. The example being that every time I share one of my books available on amazon I sell 2 or 3 copies within the hour. Some people will say that I am spamming my friends, I disagree. It’s no more spamming than the friend who treats fb as a second twitter account and posts an ongoing play by play of a sport event. I’m a writer, someone else is an artist, a third is a model, and a fourth is a sportsball fanatic. We post on fb about our ongoing lives and if someone isn’t interested in your ongoing likes and dislikes they can unfollow. That isn’t to say that you should be “that guy” and post three links a day to your book, music, or etsy. It is to say that if you are in the business of selling something I should be able to easily find a link to buy it from your “about” section and not have to search for your fb page to find a link to your blog to find a link to your store, amazon, or concert schedule. Groups and events are their own little worlds. Consider groups to simply be locked forum board threads. A great resource and a great way to meet and maintain friends. Groups allow for focused discussions and the ability to ask a question without random people chipping in. Groups can overwhelm your feed. I unfollow notifications from most groups. I am not active in groups when real life get busy. Groups require an active moderator the same as any forum. Events are a great way to calendar things. If you are planning an event, try to make sure no one else makes a new event as it really dilutes the brand and confuses people. Events can have multiple hosts, and you should add those people directly involved as hosts. Only invite those people in the geographic area and share the event on a regular schedule along with adding content to the event. Last thoughts, fb is different everyone. Some people only have real world friends – getting on to check on family and such from time to time; some of us make real world friends here and sit around chatting while sharing videos and coffee, and some use it as a twitter-like dating site from their phone and are never offline it seems. FB should never be a point of stress for you. Questions?