Have you noticed a nosedive in your Facebook page’s Reach statistics since December time? Well you’re not alone in this problem. In case you weren’t already aware, Facebook updated their Wall feed algorithm to “improve user experience”, which has inevitably meant that business pages can’t get their messages out to their fans as effectively anymore.

Social marketers knew that this change was due at some point ever since we first embarked on the quest for more and more relevant fans who wanted to engage with our brands and their messages. After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Useful Fact: Following the latest Facebook feed update, Jay Hawkinson from Sim Partners made the decision to cease buying Facebook ads for their page and they experienced a 69 – 83% drop in organic traffic to their page from their posts (Mashable).

Yes it does appear that even if you have spent yonks building up your fan base the social goliath won’t allow your pretty posts to appear in all of your fans’ feeds unless you shell out for the “Boost Post” option. But there is another way!

Facebook’s Lists? I Never Knew They Existed!

Do you remember when promoted posts first were released? It was at a time when Facebook page updates were already disappearing from the wall feeds of fans and businesses got the hump because they’d have to pay to get their updates seen.

This was also a time when lists started coming into the limelight as page owners were pleading their fans to start using them. The neat thing about them was that if your fans added your page to one, they would receive all of your latest updates in their main news feed.

Sadly, this new algorithm too has hit them BUT I would still recommend getting people to use their lists or at least educate your fan base on the existence of them. The method behind my madness is that this tiny feature didn’t get a huge amount of press and most people won’t regularly use them unless they are very Facebook savvy/ enjoy curating their feeds.

There are plenty of Facebook users who dislike the frequent invasion of direct advertising in their news feeds so lists are a great solution for them. For example, if a user was planning to go shopping and they wanted to know which of their favourite retailers were hosting a one-day-only in-store sale then they could simply click on their “shopping” list, which would contain the updates of all the retailers that they are a fan of.

Where to Find Facebook Lists

On your desktop, lists can be found within Interests, which can be found on the left-hand-side, near the bottom. All you have to do is click on “add interests” and you will be directed to a page where you can subscribe to previously made lists by other Facebook users or create your own.

Click on the images below for larger versions.

If this option isn’t visible on your Facebook profile, visit https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/interests and you can continue with the following steps.

You then search for Facebook pages and user profiles that you want to add to a list and select them.

Finally you create a name for your list, set its privacy level and save it.

The list is accessible in the same area where you first create the list. As you can see from my feed, I have created a list labelled “Clothes” where I keep the clothing brand pages that I like.

Unfortunately there is no clear way to access or curate Facebook lists via iOS Facebook apps, however, on Android there is! All you have to do is open up the left-side navigation in the app and it can be found under interests.

How to Get Your Fans Using Lists

One of the simplest ways that you could have built up your fanbase in the first place is through a well-crafted email campaign that asked your database of customers to “Like” your Facebook page. So why not re-use that channel to inform those customers?

You could put some kind of a guide together, like ours, that explains the benefits of lists and how having your brand’s page in one will be of benefit to them. You could write the entire guide in the email if you wanted OR you could write an article on your company’s blog and link to it through a customised email that summarises the benefits of being your social friends (plus a cheeky offer if you can afford it).

Let’s not forget about your other social networks though. If you have an active Twitter follower base then you could Tweet out this message to them too. I would advise writing a blog article and linking to it though because of your 140 character limit!

These are just a couple of ideas to get you going but I do believe that the channels you used to build your Facebook page fan base in the first place, whatever they are, can be recycled to encourage the creation of lists.

Follow these tips and hopefully you will start to see your level of reach increase organically again. If not, there are always other Facebook strategies for you to try but for more instant results, the paid option may be a better choice for you.