How to friend someone on Facebook (and put them in a list) Facebook 101 – Part 3

When it comes to communicating with multiple friends in one location, it doesn’t get much easier than Facebook.

You can add family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, your church and people you meet at events and conferences. But the problem you’ll run into is that a lot of times you don’t want to communicate with all of them at the same time with the same message.

In this way, Facebook really sucks.  Everyone is lumped together and their algorithm for sorting who my good friends are vs. my occasion friends vs. my co-workers ain’t the best way to determine who’s important in my life.  But there’s a way to fix Facebook so it is really useful to you and your farm or business.

Setting up your “friends” on Facebook requires some thought but you’ll get the most benefit out of Facebook if you use these simple tips on when “friending” people on Facebook.

1. Search for friends on Facebook

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Using the search box at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, simple type in their name and click the magnifying glass.

Now if your friend you are looking for doesn’t come up, there are ways to search for people. If you have the email address or phone number, you can also look up people (if they didn’t change their privacy settings).

You can type “People I know.”

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And use the advanced search that will come up on the side. It looks like this.

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2. Add Friends

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You can add a friend from search by clicking the Add Friend button

Once you find your potential friend, you can request the friend by clicking “Add Friend”. You should then get a message that says “Friend Request Sent.”

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Or if you are on their profile page, you can add a friend by clicking this button.

You’ll have to wait until they approve friendship before you’ll be able to see their status updates in your newsfeed, check out their full timeline or see other things that they may have blocked from the public.

3. Put them into a list

This is very important and it will make Facebook a much better communication tool and resource for yourself (now I know you are thinking I have a “Schindler’s List” but I don’t. But ha, ha, it’s very funny. Feel free to put me on a Schindler’s List if you want to.)

After they have approved your Friend Request, simply go to their profile and select the “Friends” button. A drop down menu should appear.

There are many different choices here.

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If the “friend” is a good friend and you want to keep close tabs on their activity on Facebook, you will want to select “Close Friends”. This will then add “Get Notifications” – you’ll be notified of most of their posting activity (Status Updates and Shares).

If the “friend” isn’t that close, then I recommend putting them in a list that you will create.

These lists will help you keep track of your friends instead of letting just the newsfeed do with with all your “friends”.

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You can add someone to a list simply by clicking the “Add to another list” in the drop down.

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With people that are good friends but not a “close friend”, then I would recommend creating an A-1 list. You can see how I added a friend to my A-1 list.

But if you don’t have an A-1 list, you can easily create one.

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Just scroll to the bottom of the list and create a new list.

Or you can use the “FRIENDS” navigation on the left hand side of the page (it should be near the bottom of our newsfeed page left hand side navigation.

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Click on “More” next to “FRIENDS” and you’ll be taken to the Friends page. On this page, you can create a list as well and start adding members.

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You’ll see I created an A-1 list and then started adding members.

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TIP – Now Facebook will still use its algorithm to determine who your friends are in the the custom list newsfeed but at least you’ll have a better chance of seeing your friends in a smaller list.

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After you’ve created your custom lists (like the A-1), then you can click on the pencil to the right of the list and add it to your Favorites section to the top of your left hand navigation. This way you don’t have to search for custom lists. BTW, I know this says remove but it’s because my A-1 is already in my Favorites.

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If you notice I have an Interests List called (Farmer Pages), an Interest List allows you to add both Pages and Profiles to the same list and follow it. We’ll discuss that more in a future post.

The lists will also show up on your Facebook phone app as well.  To find a list, just pull your newsfeed down (just like you do when you are refreshing the news) and you’ll see the custom lists there.  The more you use the lists, it will remember to keep those lists near the top.

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Next post we’ll go over how to post and what to post on Facebook.

If you have any tricks on using lists in Facebook just let me know and I’ll add them here.

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What should you be posting on Facebook Farm Page? Top ten tips on what you should post to Facebook.

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What does the other 98% think about farming?

So if you know that most of today’s U.S. population is disconnected from farming, then giving them an inside view is important. Notice, I didn’t say “educate” them on farming – it’s not what they want and definitely not how they want to hear it.

They want to be insiders on how farming works and they want to know farmers (farmers are still one of the most respected industries in the nation – check out the latest Gallup Poll) so they can ask questions directly.

When you look at it from their point of view, what do you think they would like to know?

How cows are milked? How hay is cut? What do dairy cows eat? Where do they sleep? How long after the milk leaves the farm does it take to get to my house? Are dairy cows treated well?

You can answer these types of questions easily. But instead of just answering, think of showing them and telling them a story around the answer.

If you’ve got your smartphone with you, then think of how you would answer questions on farm life using photos and videos.

Here’s a top ten list of things to post on your Facebook Farm page…

1. Post photos of farm life

Photos are half of all posts on Facebook and are the top shared posts. If you want your status update to be shared a lot, your best shot is with a photo.  Table Rock Farm and Hahn-Way Holsteins does a great job of showcasing a photo with insider information.

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Top Tip – use a photo program like picmonkey.com or Over app for your phone to put text or your farm’s logo on the picture. This keeps it from being misused or stolen and it helps your brand.

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2. Post videos of farm life

Videos are the next best thing to a photo and you can get more of the story of what you are doing. The only problem with video is that it takes more effort from the user to actually get the story. YouTube is the most shared website on Facebook so if you can put together a short video (2 min) then you’ve got a good shot at getting your message across.  Dairygood posted several videos on sustainability and dairy farming.

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3. Answer questions without them asking

If you ever want to know what people are searching for answers, simply use the Facebook search or a Google search and read the autocompletes. These are the top searches in your region.

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Type in your search and see what Google displays for you – make sure you log out of Google.

4. Get fans to engage and participate

You can ask people to help name calves, give them insight into how does modern farm equipment works, or just let them know what happened today on the farm.

This post by Dairy Carrie does a great job at getting people involved with naming a calf and showing how calves look when they are born.

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5. Give farm tours virtually

LeCows Dairy gives insight into silage, what it is and why they use it along with photos to engage people.  This takes time but the engagement is high and people love it.

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The Farmer’s Life also gets a question in this picture asking about what these tractors are used for.  It’s a great way to answer a question and engage someone not familiar with farming.

6. Ask them what they want to know.

Sometimes all you have to do is ask and people will let you know what they want to know.  Now you will always have people that will be distractors.  The main thing here is to engage when people really want to know vs. people just trying to get you to fight.  If that happens, you can check out this post on arguments and what to do.

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7. Share the best photos, videos, status updates from other farm pages.

When Redhead Creamery started its kickstarter campaign, they needed help from everyone – including other farm pages to spread the word.  Dairy Carrie stepped up to help and got the word out.  I’m sure Redhead Creamery will return the favor.  This should be the Golden Rule for all farmers on facebook.  Help spread the word and it will come back to you.

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8. Treat other pages like your page – post comments and share on their walls.

When Al Roker of the Today Show visited the Hatcher Family Dairy,  DairyGood tagged them in the post to let them know that they were talking about them on Facebook.  This also encourages the other pages to comment, like or share the post.

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Tagging other pages lets them know that you are talking about them.

9. Be active at least once a day

It’s hard to argue when you are getting information directly from the source.

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If you can post more than that, it’s ok. Just don’t go too crazy.

10. When you share on your page, make sure to share on your profile as well.

So should be a no-brainer, but many people fail to do it.  You can easily switch to your page and then back to your profile via the desktop version of facebook.  With the Facebook Page Application, you can do it on your phone as well.

Ray Prock of Ray-Lin Dairy is very good at pushing his blog posts through Twitter, his Facebook Page and his personal Facebook profile right after a post.

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BONUS TIP – Use hashtags to reach new people

Will Gilmer of Gilmer Dairy uses the hashtag #dairy to reach people who may be using Facebook’s hashtag search to find out more about what people are talking about when they talk about dairy.  Don’t use more than three hashtags per post.

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So what are your best practices for posting on your family farm page?  I would love to add them here.

How do you set up your Facebook Page for your family farm?

So why in the world do you need a Facebook page for your farm? You probably already have a website. Isn’t that good enough?

Well, a website is still very important. The most important thing in my book because it’s your home on the internet but a Facebook page for your farm is an easy way to get in front of people who might not even know your farm exists.

Millions of people are logging into Facebook all the time – just to see what is going on – and if your farm is there then they have a better chance to see it, maybe even pass along your great photos and videos of farm life (which they probably don’t know much about).

But if you’ve never set up a Facebook page before you might be worried that it’s a lot more complicated than setting up a profile. Actually, it’s not. If you’ve got your own profile page, then you’ll be very familiar with setting up a page.

So let’s begin.

1. Log into Facebook with your profile

Dairy MAX Facebook Page

Go to any Facebook Page in Search

I don’t recommend setting up a Facebook page without having a profile. You can do it, but I’m not a fan. I don’t think you’ll use it if you don’t have a profile, too. Plus you are probably going to need more than one administrator so you’ll need Facebook “friends” (wife, kids, husband, etc…) to control it.

Search for any Page on Facebook and then in the top right hand corner you’ll see, “Create A Page“.  Click it.

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Select either Local Business (regional) or Company.

2. Choose “Farming/Agriculture” from the drop down

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Select Farming/Agriculture from the dropdown

You need to make sure you do this, because it will help with Graph Search. Then put in the company name – Schindler Farms – for me.

3. Add Your About Information

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Fill in the description and add your website. Then select your easy to remember URL.

The About Page allows you to add great information about your farm. This description is crucial for their graph search and will help the page rank in search. Use keywords that will help your farm be found like “dairy farm producing milk from dairy cows”. Seems silly but these keywords are what people type into search to find you. Make sure you add your farm website. The Facebook web address is very important and it will be what you putting on all your flyers and business cards so choose wisely. Once it is set, it can’t be changed. If you don’t have the name you want, really review the different options.

After you set your name, they will ask you questions about your farm being a real organization, school or government? You can say “Yes” and then it will ask you about being authorized and official representation of this organization, school or government on Facebook? This is legally binding statement regarding the authenticity and representation of this Page. Click “Yes” on this as well.

4. Add a profile picture

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Add your profile pic – this doesn’t have to be your logo but it will show up very small in everyone else’s newsfeed

Images help people to see what the business is that they are visiting. Having good photos helps a ton but you don’t need to wait until you have only perfect photos. What people are looking for with farms is authenticity and scenery. Remember that their lives are probably well removed from the farming lifestyle so animals and landscapes are normal for you but not for them. Good photos get shared a lot and you’ll be wanting to add and change them out all the time.

Also this photo is going to be very, very small on many other people’s feeds.  It can get as small as 25 x 25 so if it’s your logo – be prepared that people might not even see it.  It might be better to use cows or faces.

5. Add your Farm Page to your Favorites

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Add to your favorite’s so you don’t have to hunt for the page later

This way it’s easy to access via the Facebook navigation. You don’t want to have to be constantly scrolling down the page and looking under the Pages tab to find your farm page.

6. Don’t add a Payment Method

You don’t need to do this right now – maybe down the road – but you can “Skip” this for now.

7. This is your Farm Page

It looks a little scary with the Admin Panel showing right now but you don’t need to concern yourself here. The main thing is understanding what you are looking at.

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Facebook page with Admin Panel Open

  1. Notifications on top left – this is what you’ll be paying attention to once the page is running and you are getting shares, comments and likes.
  2. Messages is top right – these are from people reaching out to the farm via Facebook. Other people will not be able to see these messages – just you and the people on the message.
  3. Get More likes in the bottom left – just advertising. No worries there right now.
  4. Insights in the center – these are your analytics for how the page is performing. How many people are seeing what you are posting and the demographics of the people who “liked” your page.
  5. Invite Friends in the bottom right – this is to get you to invite the people you are already connected to on Facebook to “like” your page.

With all this open, it’s kinda hard to see what is going on, so let’s close this panel by click the “Hide” button on the top right.

8. Add a cover photo

Facebook Cover Photo

Add a large photo. You can also have text here.

Again, like I said before, photos are very important in Facebook. Over half of all posts are photos. So let’s change out the cover photo with a large horizontal photo of the farm – get some cows in there or something along those lines.

9. Edit Page – Update Page Info

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Add in as much information as you can as this will help you in search.

This will get all of your pertinent farm information on the page. Even though it’s a long page, you’ve already gotten a lot of information filled out.

10. Change the Settings

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You can change your settings and notifications.

If you want to unpublished the page until you are ready to display, you can do that here. Things that I would bring to your attention are the Profanity Filter (you should turn that on to at least medium) and you turn off other people’s posts but that would limit your reach if people can’t talk on your page.

11. Add one more than admin

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Add another admin besides yourself.

While it’s great that you are committing to doing this, you’ll want a back-up.  The only people you can add are people you are friends with and make sure you trust them – this is a highly visible communication vehicle.

12. Now you can start adding content!

I would keep the page unpublished until you have a couple of posts in and are really ready to add this page to your daily marketing.  In a future post, I’ll talk about the different things you’ll want to be posting on and then how to handle comments from fans and others.  Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.