I am totally fed-up with Facebook! They seem to go out of their way to make things time-consuming.
As a photographer who uses Facebook, it is time to take a stand and to design a system that allows for the quick and efficient use of Facebook so that I can get on with what I should REALLY be doing - taking pictures!
I'm pretty sure many photographers are frustrated by having to spend so much time on social media, it can't just be me. So I've put together some of the 'hacks' have discovered (I am also a bit of a computer nerd) and I promise, no 'black-hat' stuff here, just the use of considered approaches and normal functionality..
First-things-first, we should probably define some ground conditions and goals.
I am only going to share 1 Facebook Hack in a post - I'm going to order the Facebook Hacks so they work together at the end of the process.
I use Facebook for personal stuff AND sharing photographs
I want my use of it to be less time-consuming
I want to interact with people and use a social approach without paying for advertising
Facebook Profiles and Pages
I am a photographer who uses his personal profile and a Facebook Page. The reason I split myself into two personas was that Facebook, in those days, did not penalise Pages in terms of organic reach. Things have changed.
The reason for this is that posts to a personal account with friends travel a lot further organically than those to 'business' pages. The downside is that you do not then advertise personal posts. If you are not running a business (I am not) then the whole idea of a business page is a bit suspect.
I am now stuck in a position where I do not wish to advertise but cannot post to my personal profile for fear of turning-off all my friends who knew me before I became a photo-bore.
Page v Profile Pro's and Con's
Pages cannot post comments in Groups (most interaction and sharing between nature photographers happen in groups - your page becomes useless)
Pages cannot post comments on Friends Timelines (again page is useless)
Pages CAN comment on other pages (this is a good means of driving traffic to your own Page when the page you are commenting on is very active - ie. hundreds of likes and comments - people will check you out if the comment is good)
You can Share your Page's post to a Group (hardly anyone will go and look at your page or like it these days - we are too jaded).
You can advertise Page posts but not Profile posts
Pages can have unlimited fans, Profiles can only have 5,000 friends and unlimited Followers.
Hack #1 - Segment your Friends
Segmentation allows you to tailor posts for specific groups. If you have more than one profile, then this is not so much of a problem. If like me, you only have one personal profile then the chances are that not every one of your friends will care too much about seeing your daily pic. They might even unfriend you or unfollow you if you are persistent.
You can manage this quite easily within Facebook by segmenting your friends by their interests.
To do this, go and have a look at your 'Friends List' on your 'Home' page.
The dialog box below will pop up, allowing you to create specific lists of friends. You can see that I have a number of lists built around what I feel those people are interested in. It is perfectly possible to have friends in multiple lists.
If you click on 'Create List' another dialog opens allowing you to create a name and then to add members. If you have a long list of friends this is tiresome, but definitely worth it!
Posting using your Friends Lists
Once you have added all your friends to your lists you can use these when creating a post. The idea is that you will target your post towards those friends with specific interests in it. This will prevent you from boring the rest of your audience to death (hopefully!).
The image below shows the current (sept 2017) Facebook post creation dialogue and you can see that there is a drop-down button allowing you to target specific lists or people. Perhaps more powerful is the ability to exclude specific lists or people.
The downside to this and real motivator to have a separate profile, is that you will no longer be able to allow the public to see your posts, so no chance of it going viral then!!
On the positive side, normally only a fraction of your friends see any one post anyway, so you may well see your engagement go up. I am sure also, that business colleagues, old school friends etc... will also appreciate your thoughtfulness in not spamming their Facebook News Feeds.
The final step in this hack is to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS categorise new friends into the appropriate lists whenever you make them. This way, the lists will always stay up-to-date and organised and we want that don't we :)
Commenting using Your Friends List
Now I subscribe to the view that a Comment beats a Like. It's much more personal. So when I can find efficient ways to comment I am delighted.
You can use your Facebook Friends List to check recent posts and to comment on them. If you have categorised your friends interests tightly then you should be able to pick a list and get a nice set of posts to comment on. It's a great way to try to stay in contact as your friends grow in number.
One thing that really annoys me about Facebook is its tendency to hide notifications and posts because it thinks it knows better than I, what I want to see. It even hides my own family's posts in favour of some very random acquaintances!!
You can fight back against the famous Algorithm by using Friend Lists. Clicking the lists item on the left side of your page and then on an individual list will display the latest posts of all those people - sans Algorithm.
It's crucial to set your Facebook News Feed priority to 'Most Recent' first - because speed actually matters when it comes to engagement and social connections. If you comment on the post sooner rather than later, there is a good chance your friend is still online and will see the comment - maybe you'll have a conversation. It's a great way to stay connected when we have hundreds, if not thousands of competing calls for our attention.
It's a pain in the butt, however, Facebook resets the news feed each time you visit, so it's something you have to keep doing. :(
Changing your Facebook News Feed preferences to 'Most Recent'