How to Use Lists to Navigate Privacy on Facebook

I was helping a client setup a Facebook fan page recently and found the experience a tad frustrating. What I don’t like about Facebook is how interlinked profiles and fan pages are.

This particular client wanted to keep her privacy settings as secure as possible on her profile. However, on her business page, she wanted the world to find her.

Well, that’s impossible on Facebook. The king of all social media won’t let you tailor your settings within one account.

If you’re thinking, “I’ll just set up another account,” forget it. Facebook doesn’t allow users to have more than one account.

So what’s a person to do? Use the lists feature.

You can liberalize your settings by simply categorizing your friends, family members, colleagues, and fans into lists. That way, each time you post an update, you can select how public or how private your information will be.

Lists are easy to create.

  • Go to your Facebook profile. Click the Home link (along the top-right of the page)
  • Go to the left-hand column and click on More next to Lists.

  • Select the list you want to edit or click Create a List and then name it.



  • A “Friends” prompt will appear, click it, then select which of your Facebook friends should be on this new list.


  • Once you create your lists, you can manage them by clicking on the target list, then clicking on Manage List. A window will appear offering options to delete the list, add/remove friends, and choose update types.

  • Now this is cool: You can hide your lists from public view on your news feed by hovering over the pencil next to your list and clicking on “Hide.”

From now on, when you type a status update you can select which list will view your post.

Incorporating the list features allows you to liberalize your privacy settings and rest assured that only your friends will see what you want to share – and no one else!

About the Author: Frances Caballo, owner of ACT Communications, has 22 years of communications and resource development experience. She has worked with small businesses and local, regional and national nonprofits at all levels of
management. Presently, she is the Social Media Editor and board vice president for Redwood Writers. She specializes in helping writers, small businesses and nonprofits with their social media marketing, external communications, and fund development needs. Frances is bilingual in English and Spanish. Find her on Facebook:, Twitter (@CaballoFrances), and LinkedIn.

 ©Frances Caballo 2011 – This post cannot be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.


  1. Linda Loveland Reid says

    Frances. Great working piece. I can wait for our private meeting where I can ask all the dumb questions that are on my list. It’s so important to know how to use this tool!

  2. Thanks Frances for more Facebook tips. Each day there seems to be something new about design, layout, privacy and features. Then just when I think I’ve got the whole thing down to a science, they change it! Good thing we have you to help us navigate.

  3. Julie A. Winrich says

    Thanks, Frances. This is very helpful and hopefully others will find it useful.

  4. I am with you about Facebook fan pages being frustrating! I love your graphics and how clearly you’ve laid out the screens. But I think I still need some hand holding, maybe a box of chocolates or a martini (if I drank). I can’t figure out how to manage my fan page and my profile on my fan page as separate my profile on my personal page. I know the answer is right in front of me with your graphics and instructions, but I’m missing something in the puzzle of it all.
    Thanks for pointing out this issue!

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