You may have noticed some of your Facebook friends have either created or subscribed to a new feature called "interest lists."
Interest lists are user-curated topical lists comprising people and/or pages. For example, Mari Smith created a list called Facebook Experts & Resources that includes 76 profiles (people) and pages (organizations, brands, companies) that Smith compiled.
Facebook users can subscribe to this list of profiles and pages and can view their latest updates in their personal news feeds.
When Smith created this list, she chose to make it public to share a valuable resource with her Facebook friends. (Lists can also be private or shared with selected friends.)
- From the list of recommended interest lists that Facebook suggests (see your list here)
- From their news feed (both pages and people can share lists with their connections)
- From a profile or page (as shown below)
What this means for Facebook users
You can create and/or subscribe to lists as a way of turning Facebook into "your own personalized newspaper, with special sections—or feeds—for topics that matter to you."
Right now, the lists that have been created are pretty generic, such as the one created by Ryan Seacrest. But as users become more familiar with interest lists, you'll see more specific lists, like "Dunnys" or "Magic Markers and Pens".
What this means for your nonprofit
If your nonprofits are added to multiple interest lists, you will naturally extend your reach way beyond your Facebook fanbase.
This means more Facebook fans, more engagement with your content, more traffic to your website, and more volunteers and donations (eventually).
What to do to benefit from interest lists
1. See if your organization or staffers have been added to any interest lists. Search interest lists based on keywords related to your cause. Look to see if your organization is already on one of the suggested lists created by Facebook. For example, Animal Causes or Cancer Causes.
2. Optimize your Facebook page for search. Edit your "about" section, and make sure the prevalent keywords are related to how people might search for your organization. Avoid jargon here, please.
3. Make sure your page is in the right category. Facebook users will filter by page category when looking for lists.
4. Focus the topic of your content strategy. Go back to your organization's messaging strategy, and ask yourself whether your Facebook stories are on topic. Try not to be all things to all people. If you're working for a breast cancer organization, then talking about research, advocacy, sexuality, and cancer news will be way too broad. People won't know what list to put you on. Instead, become known as the organization that has honest conversations about intimacy after a mastectomy. (Now there's a topic that will get people talking.)
5. Share lists with your fans. Interest lists are useful. Why not share them?
6. Promote interest lists you've been added to. Use email marketing, Facebook, and even your blog (if you have one) to promote the lists you've been added to.
7. Pin lists you've been added to at the top of your page.
8. Make friends with curators. Reread Dale Carnegie. You'll need old-fashioned people skills to influence list curators.
9. Post your list on the Razoo Facebook page so others can subscribe.
What do you think of interest lists?
John Haydon is the author of "Facebook Marketing For Dummies." A version of this article originally appeared on Inspiring Generosity.