November 4, 2013

How to use Facebook interest lists for content marketing

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An easy-to-create Facebook interest list.

Create lists to share others’ updates

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, content marketers, educators, Web publishers, journalists, Facebook administrators.

John HaydonOne of the biggest challenges nonprofits have is finding content that will resonate with their community.

A little known but powerful way to curate content is with Facebook interest lists. (Here are Facebook articles about the topic.)

Interest lists, if you don’t know, are lists of pages that Facebook users can create and access from their sidebar, shown at top. It can consist of a nonprofit organization, a cause, a person’s public page or something else.

Below are four steps for using Facebook interest lists to curate high-quality content:

Use graph search to find relevant pages

1Before you start creating interest lists, ask this question: What Facebook pages do my fans actually like? This is where Facebook Graph Search comes in handy.

Below are six Facebook Graph search strings you can use right now (watch this video tutorial on using Graph Search).

  1. Pages liked by people who like [your page]
  2. Pages liked by women who like [your page]
  3. Pages liked by men who like [your page]
  4. Fans of [your page] and [another page]
  5. Restaurants in [your city] visited by people who like [your page]
  6. Pages liked by people who live in [your city] and like [your page]

Use Facebook Insights to prioritize your searches

2If you’re busy, like most professionals, you’ll want to just stick with the three most important searches.

Hop over to your Page Insights. Pay specific attention to the people who engage with your content (shown below).


Are women the majority of your engaged fans? Where are the top places they live? Answering these questions will help you prioritize the Graph Searches mentioned in step one.

Create interest lists of pages liked by your Facebook fans

3Once you know the pages that your fans like, create an interest list.

  1. Go to this page on Facebook to create your list (
  2. Click the Create Interest button at the top of the page.
  3. In the pop-up window, add one of the pages from your search and click Next.
  4. Name your list after your Graph Search criteria and make it private (shown below) or public.


Share content from these pages

4Once you create your interest lists, get to know the pages. Make time to regularly scan your lists for engaging content.

When you find a post on another page with higher than average engagement – and is relevant to your audience – share it on your page (shown below).


Unfortunately, you can’t schedule shares, so you’ll have to share these posts when your fans are on Facebook.

Quick tip: To keep this approach top of mind, add it as a task to your content calendar.

Go beyond Facebook

Don’t limit this curated content to Facebook.

For example, if you find an engaging video you think will perform well on Facebook, embed the video in a blog post. Or post it on Twitter. The point here is that your Facebook fans reflect your audience across all channels, not just Facebook.

Have you used interest lists like this? Or some other way?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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