Facebook profiles are seemingly harder and harder to manage. People who have hundreds of friends on Facebook probably do not want to every single one of them to see the exact same thing. Everyone has friends you want to keep close, and people – likely co-workers – who you do not want to see everything. Luckily, Facebook offers ‘lists’ that can help people manage who sees what content.

These days, it is not unusual for someone to have hundreds – or even thousands – of contacts on Facebook. Being able to manage all of your Facebook contacts can be daunting, which is why it there are Facebook lists available to do that for you.

There are three privacy settings, and three levels of access:

  1. Public – everyone can see this
  2. Friends – this is your ‘inner circle’ and ideally should keep prying eyes away from content you do not want many others to see.
  3. Friends, except acquaintances – this list is for people you are friendly with, but maybe have a reason to not let them know everything. Maybe inside jokes or intimate conversations should stay out of this.

How does one make use of this?

On every person’s profile, there is a drop-down menu which allows you to select ‘close friends,’ ‘acquaintances,’ and to select from other lists. The three privacy settlings will sort your posts into different Facebook lists.

Now if you are wondering what ‘other lists’ means, be patient – we’re getting there.

The other lists include schools you have attended, businesses you have worked at, places you live, and any organizations that have their own Facebook networks. There is also a place to a person on your ‘restricted’ Facebook list. There is also a list for one’s family – if one needs such a reminder.

If you place people into a network list, or restricted, they can only see what you post to those networks specifically, or public, respectively.

You can also create a new list, title it however you please, and place your Facebook connections into it as you like it. You can create lists for different schools you attended, a separate list for all of the celebrities/authors/movies you like – to group them all together, and even have a list for every separate company you have worked with.

For example, if you have a new business venture, and you don’t want to create a new page for that just yet. Create a list – for the sake of easiness we will call that the ‘business’ list. Now if you are separating all of your new contacts as business connections and your existing connections are actual friends, sorting posts is easy: select some posts for ‘friends,’ and others to business. When you start a company on social media, you will want to post daily, or more frequently, and perhaps not all of your friends are generally interested in your business.

Sorting out these lists does two important things: (1) it gives you credibility among your contacts by sorting them out into lists – that information gets around if you keep it up, and (2) it maintains the integrity of your social media relationships. The now-defunct Ocean Marketing group knows the value of maintaining good social media relations, use common sense, and your business will prosper.

With this simple advice, you can get a handle on all of your Facebook contacts. Make some lists and filter those people into them, then post to your heart’s content.

Geoffrey Beebe is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area.


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