Saturday 5 September 2015

Managing What Your Friends See on Facebook

I wrote a post for this blog in June, Managing What You See on Facebook, which explained how to set up your News Feed so you only see the updates you wish to see.

In this post, I’ll explain how to manage which of your updates your Friends see. Most of my neetsmarketing posts are written to answer questions I’m asked on courses, or by clients, and often these questions come up:

How do I stop my family, close friends, and acquaintances from seeing my writing updates? (generally, because they are not interested, make fun of my ‘hobby’, or it makes me feel self-conscious when writing a blog post if they’re going to read it).

How do I stop readers and writing acquaintances from seeing my updates intended for family and close friends? (ie personal photos of husbands, wives, kids etc).

What can I do about those Friend requests I accepted (or feel obliged to accept because I know the person ‘in real life’ slightly and don’t want to offend them), where I don’t want them to see my updates?

Is there an alternative to unfriending the Friend who leaves provocative comments on my posts?

My Anita Chapman Writer Facebook Page
Set up a Facebook Page (if you haven’t already)

There are ways to make it better, and the first thing to do is to set up a Facebook Page, if you don’t have one already for updates relating to your writing; and ask your writing acquaintances to Like it. You can also direct readers to this page when they send you a Friend request (if you wish to), and explain that your Facebook Page provides updates for readers. 

Here are my Facebook Pages: Anita Chapman Writer is for writing updates, and it goes with my neetswriter blog on writing; and neetsmarketing is for social media for writers and book marketing updates, which goes with this blog.

My neetsmarketing Facebook Page
Facebook Pages don’t get that much attention these days, unless you pay for promo; see my post: Is it worth paying to promote a Facebook Page?. Recently I've paid £3 to promote each new blog post on my relevant Facebook Page, and the post has reached around 1000 people. I selected, ‘People who like your page and their friends’ when boosting the post, and spread the advert over three days.

Here is a useful post I saw on Twitter the other day by reedsy:

A Facebook Author Page, Still Worth It?

Social media works best if you play around with it a bit and there are ways to expand your reach with a Facebook Page, by posting effective content and by posting regularly. I’ve noticed that if the post isn’t getting any attention in the first place, paying for promo doesn’t make that much difference to the number of Likes and comments (and hits if it's a link to a blog post). Sometimes it’s worth giving a Facebook Page post a few hours and if it’s getting lots of Likes and Comments, to then choose to Boost it.

Setting up Lists in Facebook

It’s also possible to divide your Facebook Friends into groups (not Facebook Groups, this is something different, for another post), by setting up lists. You can use these lists to stop certain Friends from seeing certain updates when you post.

With Facebook there are a few things to consider: what do you post, and who do you want your audience to be with each post?

Photos of your family
Links to blogs, articles etc on writing
Photos or links relating to your novels or research
Promotion for your books or blog posts

My lists are:

Close Friends for close friends and family (created by Facebook)
Writers for writing friends and acquaintances (created by me)
Acquaintances (created by Facebook)
Restricted (created by Facebook)

Acquaintances are Friends you wish to see less of in your News Feed. You can choose to select Friends except Acquaintances when you create a post.

Restricted are Friends who can only see your updates if you select Public as your audience

One thing to remember is that if you post to a list, Facebook doesn’t give your audience the option to share. So, for example if you post a link to your blog post and select your Writers list, no one will be able to share it, and then you’re restricting how much attention your blog post will get.

That's it, I think! I've linked to the relevant pages in Facebook's Help Centre, throughout the post for the technical side and how to set up, because the explanations are really clear.

My Social Media Course for Writers

I’m running a Social Media Course for Writers on 3 October 2015 at The Hotel Mandolay in Guildford, which is £70, from 10am-5pm, including a two course lunch, plus refreshments (with cake in the afternoon). It promises to be a fun day with the chance to socialise with other writers. Attendees can bring their laptops and tweet/update Facebook live, and see results on the big screen (only if they wish to, of course). Bookings have been coming in over the past couple of weeks, and there are three places left, so let me know if you'd like to book at anitajchapman at gmail dot com; and find out more via my website, which includes an endorsement from Ian Skillicorn, publisher at Corazon Books

This is the lovely private room, where the course will take place:

It's good to be back, after a lovely summer break. I went on a road trip to Italy this summer with my family, and I wrote a post for my neetswriter blog here about the trip, my writing, and the aforementioned course: A Grand Tour, a Deadline, and a Course 

Upcoming guest posts:

Here, on my neetsmarketing blog, 11 September: 'Julie Stock on Book Covers'

On my neetswriter blog, 18 Sept: Lisa Eveleigh of Richford Becklow Literary Agency on 'What Agents Look For'

And if you missed my posts on the RNA Conference in July, here they are:

neetswriter blog: Going to a Writers' Conference as Two People

neetsmarketing blog (here):

Latest on Book Marketing from #RNAConf15, Part I

Latest on Book Marketing from #RNAConf15, Part II

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