Stay Connected on Facebook

31 10 2012

Have you noticed that your personal Facebook newsfeed isn’t as well-rounded as it used to be?

Facebook decides what makes it to your newsfeed and what doesn’t. Let’s say you “like” 10 pages on Facebook. If you seldom interact (like or share or comment) with a page’s posts, or seldom visit a page, its posts slowly disappear from your newsfeed.

Facebook thinks it has you figured out and, if left alone, will show you only what it thinks you want to see.

There is a simple way to see the posts that you actually want to see. You create a “list” of the pages that you like and those pages’ posts will start showing up again in your newsfeed. Most of them, anyway. You can see every single post from every page that you like by clicking on the “list” that you created.

This is how to do it:

Look on the left side of your newsfeed/home screen. Click  INTERESTS. If you do not see INTERESTS, click MORE.

The INTERESTS section will appear – click ADD INTERESTS

Then, click CREATE LISTS

Click PAGES on the left, then click on each page’s icon. A little blue check mark will appear to indicate that you’ve chosen that page to be on the list. Once you’ve selected all the pages you want for this particular list, click the NEXT button at the bottom of the box.

Type in a name for this list, and choose who can see the list. Once you’ve done that, click DONE.

That’s it! Now most of the posts from the pages on your list will appear in your newsfeed. To see all of the posts from each page on your list, look under INTERESTS on the left side of your newsfeed/home screen and click on the list. If you don’t see INTERESTS, click on MORE and that is where you’ll find it.

There is another way to ensure that you get a page’s posts in your newsfeed, and that’s to go to a page, hover over the LIKED button and then click “Show in News Feed” in the dropdown menu.

Those of you with branded pages should share this post with your Facebook followers so that they can get your page on their list.

[Update: No sooner do you post something about Facebook than it changes – a little or a lot. In this case, it’s a little, but it’s helpful. Check out this article on staying connected:]

By Trish Parnell

Facebook Tips – Let’s Share

16 08 2012

Facebook is a free social media site where we can share health messages and communicate with our patients, our community, or our world.

But, useful as the site is, the powers-that-be keep changing bits and pieces of it. It’s annoying. And, it’s hard to keep up.

Therefore, every so often we sit down and put together some tips for the current version of Facebook (at least, current as of the day this is being written). We hope you’ll share your tips in the comments. It’s easier to keep up on all the changes if we do it together!

Facebook has an App Center now. There’s no obvious search function on the page, so you do a lot of scrolling through the menu, but if you like apps and have the time to poke around, why not?

We love the convenience of going into Hootsuite and setting up our posts, but Facebook doesn’t care for it. There’s this thing called EdgeRank that is a magical formula used by Facebook to determine which posts will show up in your newsfeed, or which of your posts will show up on your fans’ newsfeeds.

Posting your updates directly on your Facebook page rather than through a third-party utility such as Hootsuite increases your EdgeRank.

You can schedule your posts to run when you like, just click on the clock image at the bottom of the status update box. It will ask you what year, month, day, and time you want your post to run.

You may have 1,264 “likes” on your organization’s page, but not all of those people will receive your posts. Facebook steps in and decides which of your posts will show up on which individual’s newsfeed. The more your posts are liked or commented on or shared, the more often they will show up in newsfeeds.

You can also ask your fans to hover over the Like(d) button on your page and make sure the “Show in News Feed” option is checked.

Use your Timeline cover image to share your various messages, and change that image a couple of times a week. The image is 851 x 315 pixels. You can use Paint or any simple software to create as many covers as you like. We’re currently sharing one of CDC’s flu messages.

We all love pictures, and we need to take advantage of the space on our Facebook pages. See the tabs below? The ones that say Photos, Likes, Home, Move to the Beat? You can go to your tabs on your page and change any image on any tab so that you have branded tabs.

The images are 111 x 74 pixels. To change them out, click the arrow in the box to the right of the tabs (next to Move to the Beat). Hover over a tab and click on the little pencil, click Edit Settings, click Change next to Custom Tab image, then click Change again when the new box pops up. After that, you upload an image from your computer and boom, customized tab images.

There are many more ways to enhance your organization’s Facebook page. We blog about them occasionally and we’d like to hear what you do to make your page a go-to site for your target audience.

By Trish Parnell

Facebook Timeline

26 03 2012

If your Facebook page doesn’t look like this (see below), you better get ready, because it will change over automatically to the new layout on 30 March.

That giant image at the top, called the Cover Image, is a significant change. Now, last week, we were helping to promote World Water Day, so we loaned our cover image space to Normally, we have something PKIDs-related up there. You will want something that relates to your organization’s work in that space.

The cover image dimensions are 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels high.

Open your picture editor and choose “new” to create a new image. Set the image size at the pixels stated and then just lay it out as you like.  Keep in mind that your profile picture (see our big purple P above) juts up into your cover image, so don’t put anything critical in that space when designing the cover.

Some Facebook rules about the cover image are:

  • All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
  • Covers may not include:
    • price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on”;
    • contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
    • references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
    • calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Facebook has removed your automatic landing tab, if you had one, and given you this space instead. 

If you want new visitors (those who haven’t “liked” your page yet) to first land on a tab that encourages them to “like” your page, you can still do that. Create the tab, copy the URL for that tab, and use that URL in all of your hyperlinks that point to your Facebook Page. When they click on that hyperlink, they’ll be taken to your custom landing page.

You can have up to 12 tabs/apps. Four are viewable at any one time, and when folks click the down arrow, the rest appear for viewing. These are located under the cover image to the right of the About paragraph. You can move them around so that certain apps are part of the four that are viewable all the time. Put your page in edit, hover over the app icon and click on the edit pencil. At the top of the dropdown box it says, ‘swap position with’ and you just click the name of the app or tab you want to swap.

You can also change out the thumbnail image of each app/tab by clicking on the ‘edit settings’ and choosing Custom Tab Image: Change.

The image size for a thumbnail is 111 pixels x 74 pixels.

You can hover over the Liked button on a page and see a few options, one of which is to unlike the page. The Interests list is also located here. You should try it out to get an idea of what it is. It’s a way of bookmarking pages or people on Facebook and listing them under whatever list name you choose. You can make those lists viewable by all, some, or no one but your page admins.

I haven’t gotten into it yet, other than to create a list to see how to do it. I’m not sure if this is something that will be useful or not. But, because one’s newsfeed quickly fills up each day, being able to check out a list of interest to see what they’re up to—for instance, a list of vaccine advocates—would be a way to drill down through the mass of information you get each day.

There are a couple of things you can do to posts. Hover over one and click the star. That post will be highlighted and spread across both columns. Try it and see, you can always click the star again to unhighlight a post.

You can also ‘pin’ a post to the top of the wall for a week or just a day or two, whatever you want. If it’s something you really want everyone to see, try it. Experimenting is fine! To pin a post, click on the edit pencil of a post and choose ‘pin to top.’ You can always reverse your actions to unpin it.

There are a few more gewgaws to the new Facebook layout, but we’ll get into those later. You know enough to get set up. Don’t be afraid to experiment. And, if you have any suggestions for others, we’d all love to hear them!

By Trish Parnell

Safety on Facebook: Does it Exist?

19 05 2010

A cartoon of a child on a computer.Ever since MySpace and Facebook exploded into pop culture, parents, teachers, and other leaders have decried how easy it is for kids to get in over their heads enjoying the very things that make social networking fun: playing multiplayer games, sending party invitations, and browsing their nearby neighbors—all things that make it easy to meet new people.

Behind all the buzz and fun is the fact that kid-magnet social networks, like Facebook and MySpace, are also popular with those who seek to do kids harm.

In response, Facebook has unveiled a new Safety Center, its latest tool to fight abuse on the network.

The safety center is a portal to information, some of which is provided by Facebook and some of which is provided by other partners like Childnet International and Connect Safely. It seems to be an easier way to find answers to questions we’ve all had at one time or another.  For that reason alone it’s worth a mention, although there’s no “Golly!” factor at work.

The network was criticized in recent years for not doing enough to keep tabs on predators who had created accounts.

The Safety Center just answers some questions, it’s no substitute for the oversight only parents can provide—even if our kids think it’s a drag.

Here are some tips for helping your family stay safe online, courtesy of Julia Angwin at The Wall Street Journal:

Savvy parents should treat the Internet like an unsupervised playground. Set some rules and then stick around to make sure they’re enforced.

  • No chat rooms
  • Only instant message with people that kids know in real life
  • Immediately report any cyber-bullying (parents should then contact the parents of the perpetrator)
  • Never give out personal information online
  • Use web filtering software


Facebook: Are We a Page Yet?

27 05 2009

Facebook (FB) is a good place to network with friends or keep up with your favorite causes or orgs.  It’s also good at causing confusion.

On FB, there are Pages, Profiles, Groups and Applications – and there’s Home.  Well, there’s a lot of other stuff, but we have to start somewhere.

Here are a few tips, but you’ll get the most out of FB by clicking on things and trying them out.


The Profile is your starting point. Before you can do anything else on FB, you need to have a profile.  After you sign up on FB, you fill in the profile info.

You can then adjust how open, or how private, you want your FB profile to be.

You’ll find that the Profile page and the Pages page(s) look very similar. That’s because they are, but they’re not.  It’s painful, isn’t it!

Just remember that the Profile page is where all your power is, and you’ll be good.


The Home page is like your hometown newspaper, if your newspaper only printed news about you and your friends.

Every morning, or five times an hour, depending on your level of addiction to FB, you get on FB and you look at your Home page.  You’ll see news that your friends have posted and you can post what you’re up to in the “What’s On Your Mind” share box at the top of the Home and Profile pages.

Anytime you post anything in that share box, it goes to all your friends.  If you want to communicate directly with one or more friends, and not blast something to all your friends on FB, go to “Inbox” at the top of any of your pages on FB and click on it.

Start typing in your friend’s name as it appears on FB and their name will pop up, you then click on it and type in your message and hit send.


Pages are a way of sharing your hobbies or interests, or promoting a business, organization or celebrity.

FB users can see your Page(s) and “fan” the page to show their support.  They don’t have to be friends of your FB account to see your Pages.

A Page looks similar to the Profile, and you have many of the same options for tweaking it, because it also has the Wall, Info, Photos and other tabs (see the PKIDs’ GETVAXED page below).


Pages allow information, pics and videos to be constantly streaming (much like Profiles).  This gives the FB Page an opportunity to be a main source of information for fans (a.k.a. page users).

For someone using FB to network as an org, one of the best parts of a Page is the analytics available to measure traffic and growth. Through these metrics, you can track your Page’s progress and set goals for success.


Groups were the first big thing on Facebook. Anyone could make one to show support for their passion (see the PKIDs’ FB Group below).

PKIDs Facebook Profile

Compared to Pages and Profiles, Groups are more of a static source of information. You can “join” a Group just as you would “fan” a Page, but the Page and the Profile are the champions of providing quick information updates. You could almost look at a Group as a business listing in the phone book.


Applications, or Apps, can be integrated into the Profile or Page as tabs and boxes (under the Boxes tab or as a box on the Wall tab). This allows a Page or Profile to be much more interactive (and fun!).

FB apps are developed by companies and individual developers, not always by FB employees.

There are thousands of FB apps and the complete application directory can be found here.


You can search for Groups, Pages, Profiles and Applications by using the search box in the top right corner (shown below).

Facebook Search

Have further questions about FB? Ask them by commenting below. And look forward to next week where we go in-depth about finding and sharing health info on Facebook.