Did you know that Facebook users in the U.S. spend an average of 40 minutes a day catching up on their friends and families, reading the latest news and watching fun videos? If you use Facebook on your smartphone or tablet, that means you're probably looking at it an average of 14 times a day – which is a lot, when you think about it.
Many of Facebook's 1.3 billion users also spend their time posting their own stories and photos, and sharing interesting links. In fact, a massive 27 percent of mobile Internet upload traffic is just to Facebook.
When you post something on Facebook for your friends or followers, you probably expect it to show up in every one of their news feeds. Isn't sharing with your friends the point of Facebook? But it turns out that really isn't the case, because behind the scenes, Facebook is picking and choosing which posts appear in which timelines.
Facebook claims this filtering helps your friends and followers see only the posts that interest them the most. But as Facebook tweaks this system, it seems fewer and fewer people are "interested" in seeing your posts. This is a bummer, especially for the more than 50 million businesses, brands, bands and celebrities who use Facebook for marketing and promotion.
Of course, Facebook offers the opportunity to pay for a "promoted post," which will be seen by a guaranteed number of audience members. But this tactic can be pretty expensive, depending on the size of your audience. Fortunately, there is a free option – but to make it work, you'll have to get your followers involved.
Basically, Facebook bases a user's interest in other Facebook pages by how often that user interacts with each page. As an example, if you head over to my Facebook page and click the Like button, you'll immediately start seeing my fun, helpful and inspirational daily posts in your news feed.
But if you don’t interact with some of my posts, you’ll see fewer and fewer, until they eventually disappear from your timeline. When I say "interact," that means clicking on story links, clicking the "Like" button, commenting on the post or sharing it with your friends.
On the other hand, if you regularly click on the posts (or like them, or share them, or comment on them), then Facebook will show you even more posts from that person or business. It makes sense, but it also means that if you haven't interacted with a friend or business for a while, then you are probably missing their latest updates, which you might actually enjoy. So what can you do?
Visiting a friend's profile page is a good way to let Facebook know you're interested again. Type the friend's name in the search bar at the top of the screen, or go to your Friends list in the left column. After visiting their page, you should start seeing their posts again. Better yet, click Like on a few posts or even leave a comment or two. That's certain to tip off Facebook that you are indeed interested in that page. Just watch out for these scam posts that people are spreading like wildfire.
You should also look in the left-hand column of your Facebook page, under your name and profile picture. Click where is says "News Feed" and change your feed from "Top Stories" to "Most Recent." This tells Facebook you want to see everything from your friends as soon as it's posted, rather than settling for what Facebook thinks you want to see. Just be aware that this setting tends to switch back to "Top Stories" on its own, so you'll want to check it every so often.
There's also the chance you "un-followed" a person or business at some point without realizing. In the upper-right corner of your Facebook page, click the upside-down triangle and select "News Feed Preferences." This shows you everyone you're following and have stopped following. It's a quick way to choose who should and shouldn't show up in your news feed.
Now, I can hear some of you saying, "That's great, Kim, if I want to fix my news feed, but what about my friends, family and customers?" That is the trick, because you can't use Facebook to let them know they aren't seeing you on Facebook.
If you're running a personal page, there is a workaround that uses Facebook. You can tag your friends in a post you think they'd like to see. When you're creating a status update, type the "@" symbol and then start typing a friend's name. A list will appear of friends who match that name, and you can select the one you want. Repeat this for as many people as you want to include, and then finish your update.
Everyone who's tagged will get a notification that they were tagged in one of your posts, and they will probably go look at it. Just make sure it's something that they actually want to see so they like it or share it.
If you're running a free business page, tagging followers in your posts isn't such a great idea, unless you have very few followers. If you have even a few hundred followers, you need another approach. You might need to send out an email or put something on Twitter to share your news with your followers. Even better, send them a message with an incentive – such as a contest or exclusive coupon – to visit your Facebook page regularly.
As a last resort, you could pay for a promoted post or two to remind your audience that your business is still around. In the promoted post, remind the reader to like, share or comment on the post. Your goal is to prompt some kind of engagement, so make sure the post is something your audience is going to connect with.
Thinking about using Facebook for more traditional advertising? Click here to learn about a type of Facebook ad that not many people have heard of, but that really works.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.