Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to make an effective Facebook Interest List

This is the second post in my Guide to Facebook Interest Lists. 

As promised yesterday, today's post is about:
  • How to make a Facebook Interest List
  • How to make your Interest Lists work effectively for you
    • to give you the news you want to read
    • to help other people find your news
Facebook Suggestions for Art related Interest Lists you can subscribe to
Check out the numbers of subscribers!

If you've come direct to this post, you might like to check out yesterday's post which is all about A Guide to Facebook Interest Lists (Part 1) which covered:
  • Why learn about Interest Lists?
  • What determines what news we get to read?
  • What is a Facebook Interest List?
  • Why use a Facebook Interest List?

Remember - If you make your very own Facebook List you get 100% of the posts and not just the 10% that Facebook decide you can look at.

Plus if you encourage people to include your Facebook Page in their list they also see all the content you produce - better make sure it's good!

The Facebook Guide to Lists

You've got three headings to explore in the Connecting part of their Help section.  I've got an edited version below
How to make a Facebook Interest List
This is the Facebook explanation
How do I create my own interest list?
  1. Go to your Interests page and click the Add Interests button.
  2. Click Create List.
  3. Search for the people or Pages you want to add to your list using the search box at the top of the screen, or use the categories on the left to browse.
  4. After you've selected all of the things you want to include on your list, click next.
  5. Pick a name for your list.
  6. Select a privacy setting (learn more). Choose Public if you want others to be able to subscribe to the list you've created.
  7. Click Done.
This is my explanation
  1. Make sure you're in your personal Facebook account (you can't make an Interest List while in your Facebook Page)
  2. Go to the News Feed Screen (ie click the Facebook name top left)
  3. Find the INTERESTS section in the left hand column - it's very probably at or near the bottom of the column
  4. Move your cursor to the right of INTERESTS and a MORE pops into view 
  5. Click MORE - this takes you to the Interests Page which lists all the Interest Lists you have
  6. Note that there is a + Add Interests Button top right
  7. Click the + Add Interests Button
  8. This takes you to a page which comes in two halves
    • the top half allows you to create a list of your own (if you click the "create List" button
    • the bottom half has lots of suggestions for lists you can subscribe to ie somebody might have already done all the hard work for you!
    • we'll cover each in turn in the next sections

How to create your own Interest List from scratch

The top of the Interests Page - what you see after you click "add Interests"

To make your very own Facebook Interest List this is what you have to do

This is what this screen look like when I create an Interest List
These are some the Facebook Pages beginning with "A" that I have liked 
  1. Decide what you want your list to be about - this should be a genuine interest on news items you like to check up on
  2. Click the + Create List button
  3. This takes you the screen which you can see above.  Except instead of seeing the Facebook Pages I have liked (in alphabetical order) you'll see the ones you have liked
  4. You now need to Select which Facebook Page and which Facebook accounts are on your list
    • Select all those Facebook Pages which fit your list.  Ignore the ones which don't fit
    • Next select Friends from the left hand menu and repeat the process
    • Next go to Art and see if there are any sites you want to select (I warn you - the photographers recognised the value of Facebook Pages and lists and got there first and appear to be monopolising the "Art" category.  Thus apart from a tiny number of very famous art museums with very active Facebook pages, there is very little in the Art category which I recognised!)
    • If you want to make a different sort of list - choose other categories.
  5. When you have finished, also try using the search function
    • I searched on linoprinting - and got no results
    • I searched on printmaking and got a few good quality results
  6. When you have finished (ie started your list based on your current "likes) click the Next button
  7. Now you need to name your list and decide who can see it.  There are three levels of privacy.  This is NOT one privacy level for all your lists.  This is the individualised privacy level for this particular list.
  8. Click Done and you now have an Interest List!

You need to name your list and decided on its Privacy Level
- and you can tailor this for each and every list

That's not the end of it though.......

How to maintain and update your Interest List

Once you've got an Interest List you'll want to start editing it.  You'll prune some Pages which are providing rather too much drivel - yet another reason for differentiating between a Facebook Page and a personal account for your own personal art business!  (See Making A Mark: The Facebook Guide to Facebook Pages 09 Oct 2012 An overview of The Official Facebook Guide to Facebook Pages.)

You'll also want to add some sites in which you've forgotten - because you hadn't got round to liking them.  (see how Interest Lists can drive up likes?)

The Interest List Page itself will provide some prompts.  I also look at the "Likes" of the Facebook Pages I've included in my list and find that's the fastest way of finding any Pages which have been excluded inadvertently.

How to add a Facebook Page to an existing List

When you find a site which you want to add to a list this is what you have to do
  1. 'Like' the Facebook Page (or 'friend' a personal account)
  2. Click the Downward Triangle to the right of the cog to the right of Messages
  3. Select Add to Interest Lists - This allows you to add the site to one of your Interest Lists.  
  4. You can also unlist a site using the same process.
How to subscribe to other people's lists

On the Interests Page, Facebook recommends a few lists related to the topics you appear to be interested in
  • the first (top) section relates to people you know - and lists which they have made
  • the second section are lists generated by Facebook based on your interests (ie which sites you tend to click).
See the example for Art at the top of this post.

Each of them has a subscribe button next to it - click the subscribe button to add it to your Interest Lists.  This list then appears in your Interest Lists.

How do you decide which people or organisations to include?

TIP #1:  Behave like a Curator. Check out all Facebook accounts / pages before you include them in your list

Remember if people subscribe to your list, then the content says something about you as well as the people generating content

I don't include anybody where I don't take a look at the account or the page first.

That's because I don't want any clutter on my Facebook page. This is why Etsy is NOT in my Art Business & Marketing List.  If they created a page which was simply about Etsy saying how to do better at marketing on Etsy it would be in there like a shot!

There are also some wholly worthy organisations have very dull Facebook pages.  I'd love to include but their Facebook pages are just incredibly sterile or dull - and they aren't ones I'd like to recommend to other people.  So if you think I've missed an organisation out by accident, I suggest you go and check their Facebook news page before you suggest it yourself or suggest it to me!

Finally, the other reason for checking is some people bang in names to their lists without ever bothering to check whether or not it's one of those Wikipedia generated sites (see Musée de l'Orangerie of you want an example of what to avoid).  For me it has to be the real thing or it doesn't get in my list!

TIP #2: Include your own site.  

You are allowed to include your own account and your own Facebook Page in your own Interest List - but ONLY include them on the lists which are appropriate for the content.

By including your own site in the list it should encourage traffic from like-minded people who subscribe to your list.  This works particularly well if you have a niche interest and a tightly focused list eg linoprinting.

Three ways to share your list

  1. At the top right of the Interest List page is a Share button.  This allows you to share your Interest List on your timeline
  2. You can also take the URL (if it's public) and post it to the timeline of your Facebook Page or blog and suggest people might like to take a look at it.
  3. Plus you can promote the use of the Add to Interest Lists item on the menu

How to use a list to help you improve your art and art business

These lists aren't about the reciprocity associated with some other listings - nor should they be.  They're about providing value to you as an individual

The bottom line for me is that Interest Lists have made it so much easier to read news from the people I want to keep up to date with - plus I KNOW I'm seeing it all.

However here are some suggestions for how I'll be using my Interest Lists:
  • Art Business & Marketing: stay abreast of recommendations relating to art business practices
  • Art Competitions and Art Societies: be more aware of art competitions and exhibitions by art societies (This is dependent on every competition having a Facebook Page - I'm sure they'll get there in the end - here's what I've come up with so far) 
  • Art Materials and Supplies: stay on top of the latest new art materials and any good bargains on offer 
  • Art Magazines: see what the Art Magazines are highlighting
Other opportunities are
  • Keep up with ALL the news from the people you like to follow in one place - on Facebook (much like Google Reader - but on Facebook)
  • keep an eye on trends in the marketplace eg keep up with what market leaders are talking about and offering in the marketplace
  • find out about workshops and learning opportunities by tutors you like
Here's an article - and I'm sure more will emerge over time as people catch up with what interest lists can offer This Little-Known Facebook Feature Can Help You Monitor Customers and Competitors

So - will you be building an Interest List?

I hope you've found the two posts useful.

What I'm wondering now is whether or not these two posts have persuaded you that there's some benefit to be gained from creating Interest Lists?

Do let me know by leaving a comment below.


  1. Can you explain that a list should be " a genuine interest on news items you like to check up on" ? What art news would interest Facebook users? Not sure of the purpose of the lists here. I hope you touch on Pinterest sometime as it is much more visual.

  2. I can't explain that for you dave - you know what you want to follow. Each Interest List is personal to the person who made it. The Interest List is just a mechanism for making sure you don't miss anything from the people you like to follow

    Try re-reading the blog post maybe?

    Re Pinterest - I've covered this extensively as I'm NOT fan due to the scope for copyright infringement. (Although I recognise this doesn't bother some people)

    See my blog posts about Pinterest earlier this year:
    * Pinterest: How to prevent your Blogger images from being pinned
    * How Pinterest removed all my pinned images in minutes (#1)
    * Takedown: How Pinterest moved fast to remove my pinned images (#2)

  3. wondering if there is trick to maintaining your interest lists via an app? I can't seem to figure it out? Or maybe you can't maintain them via app?


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