I am not writing my normal type of post today. Instead, I’m going to get on my soapbox and do some griping. No, I am not going to gripe about our faithful readers. Our museum is absolutely thrilled with the response we are getting from our blog, which is now a little over two years old. My gripe is about Facebook and their algorithms for sharing posts such as ours on their social media site.
First, let me say that when we share our posts on the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum Facebook page, it does not get shared with ALL our followers on their Facebook news feeds. For example, here is a report that I can see which shows how many people have been “reached” by individual posts that have been shared.
The numbers in the red box show the number of people “reached” by that post on Facebook. At the present time, we have 1079 people who have “liked” us on Facebook, so when we have our posts shared on our museum page, there are over 1000 people with whom that post could be potentially shared. Yet, if you look at the top and the bottom post in the image above, you will see that those posts have “reached” only about 200 people, and those posts were published two weeks ago. I do not have proof of this, but it also seems to me that Facebook puts the “muzzle” on our posts for the stories that I happen to think were the more interesting ones (at least interesting to me). I am still upset that the bottom story about the Schaefers in Oklahoma, which was one of my favorite posts, still has only reached 226 people on Facebook.
By the way, the post in the middle that reached 1.3 K people was the story about the Hadlers. That post got a lot of attention from people in that large Hadler family, and several of them personally shared it on their own Facebook feeds. One important way for our posts to reach more people is for our readers to share it on their own Facebook sites.
Another thing that you will notice in the above image is the last column which always says “Boost Post”. Boosting posts costs money. This is one way that Facebook makes money, and I do not fault them for it. However, it also means that they limit how many people are reached by pages like our museum page, and then they urge us to boost the posts so that they reach more people……for a cost, of course. Now, if our museum was using our blog to bring in some income for us, it might make sense to boost our posts. However, we are not in the business of making money off our website or blog, so we are not going to spend money on Facebook to get no money in return.
So, as Martin Luther was famous for saying, “What does this mean?” Well, there is not much that we at the museum can do to solve this problem (other than what I am trying to do today). However, I think there is something you can do. I am going to explain a process that you can go through with your Facebook settings that may improve your chances of having our museum’s posts show up more regularly on you Facebook timeline. First, I will give you instructions if you are using a laptop or desktop while viewing Facebook on your internet browser.
On the top right banner, you should see a small arrow next to the question mark icon. If you click on that arrow, this menu appears.
The next step is to click on the “News Feed Preferences” item (shown in the red box). You should then see the following choices on your screen.
Click on the top item called “Prioritize who to see first”. When you do this, you will see a scrollable list of your Facebook friends and pages that you follow. Scroll down until you see the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum page (if you have previously “liked” our page). Click on it to get a “star” to show up like you see below.
This will prioritize our site as one that should show up on your Facebook timeline more often. While you are at it, you might want to mark some other people and pages that you prefer.
Next, I will attempt to show how this is done on an iPhone. With the Facebook app open, locate the place on the bottom banner that is shown by the arrow in this image and click on it.
Scroll down till you find “Settings” and click on it. You should see the following set of choices.
Click on “News Feed Preferences” (the red box). Then click on “Prioritize who to see first”. You will then see a scrollable list of your personal Facebook friends and pages that you have “liked”. Find the one that shows the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum. Click on it, and you should see a star appear. That will make it one of your preferred sites, and that should make it more likely for you to get our posts.
All of this, of course, is dependent on your desire to see our posts. If you prefer just getting our posts occasionally, don’t bother with this.
I am posting this article today completely aware that many of our followers on Facebook may not see this post for the same reasons that are described here. But I don’t know what else I can do. Maybe you have some suggestions. If so, please add your comments.
I think the most reliable way to always get our blog posts is to sign up to get an e-mail notification through our website, lutheranmuseum.com. If you would like to do that, you can go to the bottom right of the screen when you open our website. You should be able to see this menu if you click on the word “Follow”.
Click on “Manage subscriptions”. You should see a screen that has the following options on it.
If you enter your e-mail address in the space and then follow their directions, you should be signed up to receive an e-mail notification whenever we post an article on our blog. These instructions should be very similar on both laptops/desktops or iPhones (mobile devices).
Facebook is always changing how they do things. The process I have described here may not be still in effect in the future. Facebook is apparently not run by Lutherans. Otherwise, they would not change the way they do things so often.
I hope you find this helpful. At the very least, this post has given me the opportunity to vent some steam.