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CONTROLLING YOUR FACEBOOK FEEDIf you’ve spent any time lately on Facebook you may have asked yourself this question. “Where is everyone? I feel like I see the same thing over and over. Did everyone leave?” While some in the social media world like to claim that Facebook is declining in popularity, that’s simply not the truth. Facebook is still the number one social media channel in the world and it continues to grow. The latest number is 1.56 billion users. That’s an increase of 21 percent from last year. So the real question is how can we see the stuff we want to see instead of the stuff the Facebook algorithm deems important?

Before we get into the how, let’s briefly discuss the why.  Facebook originally worked on a traditional timeline feed similar to Twitter. (Twitter's algorithm has recently changed, but it still largely based on time.) Posts were displayed in a chronological order and you saw the most recent stuff first. As users engaged more and more, there were a number of posts which Facebook, and even the users, considered content worthy that got lost in the feed. This prompted Facebook to make a change.  

The two major forces behind the change are revenue and relevancy. Facebook generates revenue from ads. In order to sell effective advertising and entice marketers to use their platform, they have to ensure the ad space they sell is worth the investment. They obviously made the right move because Facebook advertising is growing rapidly, 57% in the first quarter of 2016 alone. 
 
The other main influencer was the user. There were a number of complaints about not seeing relevant posts in their feeds. Others felt like they missed important events because of the timeline function. The interesting part is that, after the many and ongoing changes to the algorithm, users are still complaining about what they see. The truth is Facebook is not going to be able to make everyone happy and just like any other business, they have to protect their bottom line. But there are things that you can do to take back your feed with a few simple tips!
 
Facebook gives the user a number of options to adjust what they see and how they see it. This is one of the many great features that draws so many to their platform. Going to www.facebook.com/help/ will direct you to a page with a number of options, topics and trends to help you get the most of the social platform. This page covers topics about your personal page, as well as helpful tips to creating and promoting a page for your business or organization. 
 
Facebook Help
 
To learn more about how to manage your feed, look for the “News Feed” link located on the left hand navigation column. Select the “Controlling What You See” link. This page offers great information on your “News Feed” and what the Facebook lingo means so you can be sure that you set up your feed to meet you needs. 
 
controling your Facebook feed
 
There are many different ways to set up your feed and I’ll let you explore all the options on your own. I will point a few of the most commonly used features that users find very helpful in getting their feed the way they want it.
 

Turn Back (On) The Timeline:

Many Facebook users, myself included, like the timeline feed. While this is no longer the default setting, it is pretty easy to turn back on. In the left hand column of your main Facebook feed you will see a link titled “News Feed” with a little arrow pointing down. If you click on this link it will give you the option to organize your feed  by “Top Stories” or “Most Recent.”
 
Turing on the Facebook Timeline
 

Time to Reorganize:

Have you ever wondered why you see so many posts from one person and none from another? Facebook is constantly monitoring your interactions with other members’ content. This means content or posts you are linked to, liked or comment on will get priority over others. Facebook will show you more of those posts and less of others. To adjust this go to http://www.facebook.com/friends/organize and you can choose who you want to see more (or less) of.
 
Re_organized_your_facebook_frineds.png
 

Changing the Story:

Do you have friends you want to stay connected with but just don’t want to see their whole life?  No worries! You can change this too.  Facebook allows you to customize what and how much you see from each of your friends. Click the arrow next to a status update of theirs and click hide (don’t worry, you can undo). Then click “Change what updates you get from [name]”. From there, you can select how much of what they publish you see, and even make some topical decisions. This is a very popular option for people who are sick of getting those request for games. Just uncheck the “Games” option and voila! Your free! Now this does take some work, but this is the best way to customize what you see from each individual. 
 
Facebook is and will continue to be one of the main points of contact for people in today’s world. The trick is figuring out the best way to use it for yourself so that you can stay connected to the people, events, organizations and businesses that impact your life. You have more control than you think, so take some time, tweak your feed and get social!
 
 
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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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