How to Improve Facebook Engagement by Decluttering News Feed

Last Updated on April 26, 2012 by Wong Ching Ya

This post was inspired by one of our Facebook supporters:

I think Radhika hit the jackpot with her question – unsubscribe.

I don’t know about you, but to follow 200+ Facebook Fan Pages and 400+ friend updates daily without group management can be overwhelming. Last weekend, I spent half day tidying up my Facebook Lists, but never once in my mind I thought about ‘unsubscribing’. Why should I unsubscribe when I could join up to 500 fan pages, right?

I did not pry why Radhika wanted to unsubscribe from a fan page (hopefully it’s not Social @ Blogging Tracker) but her question alerted me: what seems to be a harmless ‘Become a Fan’ feature now has the tendency to worn us out bit by bit. Gaining back our focus and be in control of the news feed is the cure to social media overwhelm. Speaking of which, I eliminated some unwanted noise in Facebook, mainly applications and the hard work paid off! I’m having a better week in capturing page highlights and improving Facebook engagement with other contacts.

How to Declutter Your Facebook News Feed

To answer Radhika’s question about ‘unsubscribing’ from a fan page, we need to firstly identify our commitment:

1. To Stay as Fan but:

  • eliminate unwanted noise
  • pause and take a break from receiving updates


2. To Unfollow a Fan Page, completely.

To Stay as Fan but Eliminate Unwanted Noise

Some fan pages prefer to integrate Twitter updates as their wall posts. If you have already followed them in Twitter or FriendFeed, reduce the noise by removing the  Facebook application used to broadcast these updates in your news feed. Beware though, whoever is using the same application will no longer appear on your news feed until you retrieve the app.

1. Locate the fan page among the news feed. Hover the mouse over to reveal the Hide option. Click it.

2. You will be prompted with below selections. Choose whatever that’s applicable to you:

Here we will be turning off the Twitter application to increase visibility for other page updates. To bring back the application (or contact/fan page), look for Edit Options at the bottom of your news feed and click Add to News Feed as indicated:

Caution: Some page admins are actively responding to their Twitter comments in Facebook, so be sure to check the overview of the fan page first before you’re missing any chance to engage.

Secondly, the updates that sent to you via ‘Send an Update to Fans’ feature. Some may not realized but bulk-sending will direct this message to ‘Updates’ – a subcategory of Messages. I can’t thank Facebook enough for separating that from our private inbox. Joining 214 fan pages myself, I can easily receive 50 updates from page admins daily. Now you can have the option to unsubscribe from the hyperactive fan pages. It will remain your membership, just no more updates bugging you afterwards. Of course, the process is completely reversible.

To Unfollow a Fan Page

To quit from being a fan is easy, all you have to do is look for ‘Remove me from fans’ option at the bottom of the fan page itself. So when you hit the 500 mark for fan page limit, you’ll know what to do then.

“Wait, I heard about Facebook Lists?”

Bingo. If you’re not in the mood to decide or quit any Facebook fan pages just yet, why not monitor it over Facebook Lists. Similar to Twitter Lists, you can categorize your most-watched Facebook contacts and fan pages into assigned niche/names so you can easily navigate to check out their latest updates. That’s what I’ve been doing all along and here’s how:

1. Go to Account > Edit Friends

2. Click Create New List > Name & Group your Friends/Pages accordingly via selections

For Page Admins: Shall We Bother?

When a fan decides to pull the plug from our fan page, shall we bother? Some say it’s no big deal to lose just ONE fan. Besides, it’s a self-cleaning mechanism for a more focused fan base – he/she who cares, stays!. Sounds logical, but what if he/she WAS a loyal fan? Are we sending out wrong messages, pissing potential visitors off without consciousness? Plus, there’s no way to tell how many of our fans are opting us out from their Facebook lists or news feed due to (info) force-feeding. Yes, we should bother but not over-panicked. Review your fan page progress periodically can help to strategize your next move.

Now Is Your Turn…

How do you declutter your Facebook news feed currently? If you’re a fan page admin, kindly share with us how you moderate info-sharing to prevent suffocating your fans? In the mean time, would you help me out with this poll by voting (perhaps a Retweet as well?). Appreciate your support:

I’ll leave you with this video from Gary Vaynerchuk who’s not happy when somebody dropped an irrelevant wall post on his fan page recently. Visibility doesn’t mean opportunity anymore, right? You be the judge:

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