use facebook interest lists to grow your page and social influence


A consulting client recently confessed to me that his Facebook news stream is overwhelming him and he’s ready to give up on the brand visibility strategy we’ve outlined for building his personal brand through social media. I asked him to make a list of the top 25 people he’d most like to do business with, be on stage with or have as a strategic partner.  He was able to make that list in just minutes, of course, because when he focused on his business goal, it was easy to identify those people most likely to be a part of that goal. This social media strategy technique saves him time daily.

Strategic Influence Building

I showed him how to put each of those top 25 influencers into a Facebook Interest List, which we called A-List Influencers.  Now he can filter his news stream each morning and quickly scan the posts of the people he most wants to connect with and add to their conversations, comment, compliment, create value and in general develop a relationship with these highly desirable contacts. Facebook will always revert back to the standard news feed view but any time he wants to check in on his A-List Influencers, he can do so with just a click.

Less can be more on Facebook by using Interest Lists strategically.

Interest lists are Facebook’s built-in tool designed to allow anyone to filter the Facebook news feed so that you, the user, can see just those people or pages that are most important to you. You can create many different lists.  For example, an entrepreneur might have a list called “Entrepreneurial Tips,” and add the pages that give them the best business advice and ideas. Then each morning they can filter their news stream for an “at a glance” way to quickly scan the tips and ideas from their favorite sites.

Credit: @istock photo, Muharrem Oner, fotosipsak

An author might create a list called “Book Review sites,” and add just those people or pages that talk about books. Each morning, our author could  filter the stream to see just those posts and interact with, comment on, share or otherwise join in the conversation on pages and with people who are most likely to be interested in her own work. Then she can better find and form relationships with like-minded people.

What Interest Lists Can Do for Your Brand

Interest lists not only help you organize the content you’re most interested in seeing on Facebook, but they also give you a way to demonstrate authority in a niche and teach others to follow you on Facebook for useful advice and information about your niche. By creating your own interest lists, giving them clear, keyword rich titles, and filling them with people and pages that provide valuable content and inviting others to subscribe to your list. This accomplishes several things.  Your list provides a digital legacy for you as:

  • a way for you, and anyone who subscribes to your list, to filter the news stream to see the posts of influential people
  • a resource with a desirable list name such as “A-List Leaders,” curated by you, for influential people to be included on. I guarantee that the people you add to your A-List Leaders Interest List will be happy to be on your list.
  • a one click solution for others to follow your list and see you, the creator of the list,  as a  valuable resource of information and connections
  • a permanent place both on your own list (always add yourself) and as the creator of the list as the list is shared with the friends of those who subscribe to your list

How to Use Interest Lists You’ve Created

Here are just few easy ways to increase your visibility with Facebook Interest Lists.

Share the direct link to your new interest list on your profile, your business page and on other social media sites such as Twitter.

Promote the link to your newest resource on the homepage of  your website. You might even consider creating several lists and adding a highlighted box on the side of your website with a headline such as “More Great Resources to Follow,” so others can easily find and subscribe. You can:

  • Share the link to your lists on your Facebook Business Page. Write a short description of the list so fans understand why this list is so valuable. Demonstrate leadership by sharing the resources available within this list.  You’ll grow your influence by sharing. Repeat this type of sharing whenever you add someone new and valuable to your interest list. Tag them on Facebook to let them know they’re included in your list.
  • Tweet the link to your Interest List, one tweet at a time, to each of the influencers on your list saying something like “@BrandYou, I find your social media content so valuable I’ve added you to my Social Media Hot Off The Presses list.”
  • Share the link to your list in presentations to clients.
  • Add the link to your Interest List to your email signature.
  • Promote the link to your new list in your email marketing as a valuable resource.
  • Create a graphic with the title of the list and add it to your website with a hot link to the live list.
  • Pin the graphic from your website to Pinterest.
  • Promote your list through an update on LinkedIn.

By adding someone to a desirable list, you’re starting a conversation and inviting others to join in.  You’re praising someone and you are associating your name with theirs, ambiently, in the minds of followers. You can make your lists public so others can subscribe or you can keep them private.  A consultant might want to create a list of clients to keep up to date on client activity, but may not want to share their client list publicly.

Your lists, and those you subscribe to, will also appear in the Interests section of your bookmarks on the left hand side of your news feed. Simply click the list’s name to see all the recent posts and activity from the Pages and people featured in the list. This is a time saving tool and a visibility tool.

Facebook Interest Lists are a simple social strategy tool to save you time and frustration and to help you maximize your own person ROI on Facebook.  Are you using Facebook Interest Lists strategically to increase your visibility and grow your social influence? I’d love to see your lists and invite you to post a direct link to your favorite Facebook Interest List here for everyone to follow.


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10 Responses to “Use Facebook Interest Lists to Grow Your Page and Social Influence”

  1. Derek Kaye says:

    Some fantastic insight here. I’ve seen the Interest List option but never really looked into it, yet alone thought of ways to use it strategically for brand placement. Love some of your suggestions – I’ll be implementing them!



  2. I’m glad to hear you’ll give Facebook Interest Lists a try, Derek. I think they’re a hidden gem in marketing.

  3. This is great advice Cindy. I plan to share it with all my author/marketing clients. I heard you speak at Book Expo and tell EV I know to follow and learn from you. (P.S. I’m the author of the Romance in Paris guide.)

  4. Thank you so much Caroline! I love finding ways to help authors. I’ve been a publisher (Rodale, Simon & Schuster) and an author. Authoring is harder :)

  5. […] Very influential. You’ve heard how Facebook can help you grow your business and your brand. Ultimately, this comes down to expanding your influence, says brand evangelist Cindy Ratzlaff. One great technique for doing this involves using Facebook interest lists to increase your page and social influence. Ratzlaff shows you how to build your influence strategically while getting the results you want. Brand New, Brand You […]

  6. […] Very influential. You’ve heard how Facebook can help you grow your business and your brand. Ultimately, this comes down to expanding your influence, says brand evangelist Cindy Ratzlaff. One great technique for doing this involves using Facebook interest lists to increase your page and social influence. Ratzlaff shows you how to build your influence strategically while getting the results you want. Brand New, Brand You […]

  7. NeilAdvani says:

    The one thing that almost all of these companies has in common is the fact that they are all online and involved in social media networks. If these are the big examples of companies that have a clear vision and are doing something right – we believe that social media has been a big part of that growth and development. From building a fan base to gaining clients and seeing a profitable growth in their products and services, social media has definitely helped these companies in a big way.

  8. With havin so much written content do you ever run into
    any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.

  9. Hi Patricia, I monitor for my top keywords using some free and some agency level programs. In the free range, I set up both google alerts and Tweetbeep alerts for my name, keywords, blog titles and concepts. This helps me see both who shares my stuff and who may be borrowing without permission. I tag my photos with keywords as well. But here’s what I really think. If people are going to steal your stuff, it’s hard to stop them. So I spend my time creating great stuff and marketing my ideas with proprietary language. If I own my own ideas, consistently, even the search engines know they came from me.

  10. […] (Note from Linda: Here is a helpful article about how to use Facebook lists to grow your business page.) […]

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