Like Twitter, Instagram and many other social media platforms of its ilk, Facebook is often vilified for being a major source of procrastination and fostering time-wasting behaviors. And let’s be honest – it’s not entirely untrue! How many hours have we wasted, shamelessly spying on our friends’ and relatives’ lives (oh, is that just me, then?) or falling down the mesmerising rabbit hole that is Farm Ville? You know the drill: you open a browser, innocently intending to double-check the date of that hot event you were invited to, and bam – that’s it, four hours of your life, gone! It’s okay – you’re not alone and happily, there are ways of not only minimizing Facebook’s inherent time-suck effect, but also (and this is the exciting part) using this popular social media network as a means to educate yourself, get inspired and meet incredible people. Read on to discover 5 tips that will change the way you use Facebook – forever!
Often, the reason why we waste so much time on Facebook is simply because we follow too many people and subscribe to too many Pages! With an average of 250 Facebook friends per U.S. female and an average of 1,500 posts eligible to appear in a user’s feed every day (data from Digital Media Ramblings), it isn’t hard to see why so many of us get sucked into the black hole of social media procrastination. The simplest solution to this predicament is to cut down on the number of people in your friends’ list and unsuscribe from the Pages that don’t add value to your Facebook experience. Consider this: how many of your Facebook friends do you actually speak with on a regular basis? Whose status updates do you find yourself repeatedly ignoring? Which posts do you systematically scroll past when they pop up in your Timeline? Ask yourself: is it worth keeping these people and Pages around if you don’t enjoy what they have to offer anymore? If the answer to that question is no, then cut them out!
Ever wanted to filter out an overzealous friend or relative’s Facebook noise without hurting their feelings by unfriending them? You can! All it takes is a simple, three-step process: 1) locate a post from this person in your Timeline and click the little arrow in the top-right corner. This will cause a drop-down menu to appear. 2) Click “I don’t want to see this.” When you do this, that specific post will be hidden from your Timeline. 3) If you want to take it further and radically diminish the number of posts from that person, click “See less from [name of the person]”. This will ensure that you see fewer posts from that person, without removing them from your friends’ list! Bonus: You can do this with Groups and Pages, too! All you need to do is follow exactly the same three steps.
Now that we’ve learned how to minimize distractions and noise on our Timelines, it’s time to look at some of the positive aspects of the social network! As we primarily use Facebook for staying in touch with our friends and relatives and keeping abreast of the latest developments in each other’s lives, we don’t necessarily realize that Facebook is a brilliant learning tool, too. Indeed, whether you’re trying to learn a new language, beef up your professional skills or simply be more inspired and motivated on a daily basis, chances are there’s a Page for that! Simply search for your topic of interest in the Search bar at the top of the homepage and follow the Pages that are relevant to you. Bonus: Now that you have either unfollowed or filtered the notifications of the people and Pages you’re no longer interested in, the content from the Pages you do want to see will be much more prominent on your Timeline!
You can learn and get inspired on Facebook, but guess what? You can also meet interesting people and network with them! Just as there is a Page for your every learning need, there is likely also a Group, too. Consider this: if you’re a solo entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find like-minded people in your entourage and mingle with others who get what you’re going through. Joining a Facebook Group where people like you hang out is a brilliant way to get advice and support on issues that might trouble you, or simply make new friends! Bonus: If you’re an online business owner, Facebook Groups are a great place to get feedback on your products or services and to find prospective clients! Think about it: these are all people who share the same issues and predicaments. They likely also operate in the same industry as you. Therefore, they are probably the best equipped to give you advice on what you’re offering, and who knows – they might be so into it that they want a piece of it, too!
Whether you have ideas of your own that you think would be helpful to others, or a business that you would like to get more eyeballs on, Facebook is a brilliant option for sharing your views or your products with the world! If you’re operating on a non-profit basis, create a Page that your friends, relatives and fans can follow to get the latest news that you want to send out. This makes life easier for both you and for them: for you, because it saves you the trouble of having to contact people separately about a given topic or event; for them, because all the people who follow your Page can get the information they need in one place. Easy! If you’re a business owner and are willing to spend a little time and money, Facebook can be an excellent way to promote your products and build a solid online reputation. The social network’s advertising system is extremely well thought-out, and will enable you to get your posts out to the right audience for a reasonable price. Having a company Page will also give your clients and fans a rendez-vous point to keep up to date on your latest news. In short: Facebook can work hard for you, if you let it: simply filter out the content that doesn’t interest you and follow the Pages and Groups that are useful to you! Don’t be afraid to take advantage of its many perks for your personal life and your business.