Back in March, I wrote a post called “Facebook Timeline for Pages: Why is this so hard?” To date, the post has been viewed 9,160 times, and continues to be the most-read post on my blog every single day. This tells me two things: 1. I was not alone in my frustration; and 2. People still think Timeline is hard.
Most of the issues I originally complained about seem to have resolved themselves. Milestones no longer (as far as I know) inexplicably disappear. I’ve gotten used to the notification process and Admin Panel. Are others still having trouble? In reviewing the search terms used to find my post in recent days, a common theme is apparent.
“I wrote something on a timeline page and it won’t show up.”
“When I post on a page it’s not visible to others.”
“Posts not showing up on timeline.”
There it is. While many of us have come to accept the fact that posts from our communities are relatively buried on our Facebook Page Timelines, the sad truth remains. I lamented about this very point back in March: “Posts by Others that are marked to be ‘Highlighted on Page’ are not highlighted in the default view of Timeline. In order to see these posts, users need to switch their view from ‘Highlights’ to ‘Posts by Others.’ Is anyone going to take that extra step?”
If the Facebook Pages I admin or the searches that lead people to my blog are any indication, it’s probably safe to say that users are not taking that extra step. Here are a few ways I’ve worked to bridge the gap and connect users with each other.
Repost questions with links to original posts, and solicit responses
This summer, a newly accepted student posted on my university’s Facebook Page, “Hii! =) I Got accepted here yaay.” When the conversation moved to questions about scholarship opportunities and weather in Michigan, I posted a link to the university Page and said, “[Student] is from Washington D.C. and has just been accepted to UM-Flint. She’s wondering what it’s like in Michigan and on campus. Can you help us answer her question?” The result was a fantastic string of supportive responses. And the student concluded with, “Awww I was kind of nervous…at first but not anymore. I’m really excited I’m an incoming freshman.”
Share users’ content
The highest level of interaction my university’s Page ever saw was the day I shared someone’s photo of a double-rainbow over campus. I credited the photo and thanked the sender. The photo received 289 likes, 37 shares, and 23 comments. The next day someone else posted a photo of the same double-rainbow. Yes, audience, you can share your photos!
Remind users that they can join the community conversation by checking out the “Posts by Others” view.
More than once I’ve posted things like, “Still finding your way around the new Timeline? Here’s how to find what people are talking about.” Or, “Did you know you can find what other people are saying about UM-Flint?” These aren’t exact quotes, but you get the point. Each time one of these posts went out, I received a handful of responses from people who were surprised and glad to have the information. If you tell them about the “Posts by Others” tab, they will come… or something.
Have you tried any of these tactics? Have they worked for you? Have you seen other great examples? Are you having an entirely separate issue with Facebook Timeline? Please share your experience in the comments.