Yesterday Facebook announced a number of changes to its News Feed that have much bigger implications for businesses and marketers than the recently new Graph Search. During the presentation, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is “trying to give everyone the best personalized newspaper”.
The main changes that affect businesses are how visual content and stories are displayed in users’ News Feeds and the introduction of Following Feed.
The news that we had been wondering about was ‘are they going to change the main Facebook algorithm’ – we are pleased to say this will still apply, which is great news. However. here are some tips for taking advantage of this new News Feed to improve your business on Facebook:
Get more visual
Social Media networks are getting more and more visual nowadays and Facebook is trying to capitalise on that. The new News Feed features an enlargement and enhancement on how visual content is displayed. Each photo now shows much bigger and larger than before, making them stand out. This allows businesses and marketers to show more detailed photos and reach much higher levels of engagement with every piece of content. This is good news for businesses that are already focusing on visual content but it means having to rethink your strategy if you’ve been focusing more on text-based content.
Creating visually compelling content is now key to any business on Facebook. Be creative and turn your links and stories in to stunning images. Make sure you keep your copy short since now it will overlay images on the Newsfeed.
Focus on delivering engaging content
With these new changes, users on Facebook can now choose to see content posted only by their friends. To make sure your content is being shared and seen have a look at your Facebook Insights. It will tell you which content is more engaging and has a higher “virality”. Focus on delivering more of that content and on developing new content that is compelling, stands out and delivers real value to your fans. Content that is so good that begs to be shared. That action of sharing will put the content in the friends-only feed, increasing the reach of your content.
Have an eye-catching cover photo.
Whenever someone likes a new business page, you’ll see the cover photo for that business’s page appearing in the News Feed. According to Facebook, this change is designed to provide more context about your page, so make sure the photo is eye-catching and visually representative of your page. Also be sure to change it regularly to keep it fresh and relevant
Integrate your Pinterest and Facebook accounts
Content shared through third-party apps will begin to have greater visibility in the News Feed. This includes Pinterest, a rich visual network that is proven to increase sales. By integrating your two accounts you’re becoming more seen and increasing your chances to drive more traffic to your website and gaining new customers.
Get users to check-in to your business
The change on the News Feed makes check-ins more visible. When you influence your fans to check-in to your business you’ll be developing a new way for people to see your page in the friends-only-feeds. We love Facebook check-In and many businesses don’t take advantage of this option – if you have a physical location, be sure to take advantage!
Increase the Likes on your page
The number of “likes” has always been an important stat for your page and the change on the News Feed makes it even more so since the reach of a “like” is much bigger now.
Now when a user likes a business page, their friends will see a much larger image of that page in the story, including the page’s profile picture and cover photo. This will drive much higher engagement with fans friends on that story.
Invest in Ads and Sponsored Stories
If you advertise on Facebook you need to make it more visually appealing, Facebook can have better ad formats, and show richer, more visually appealing Sponsored Stories. While Facebook still did not speak to how these News Feed changes impact ads, we believe their images will show in a similar way: bigger and with more impact. It’s time to start thinking about investing in targeted ads and create compelling images to go with them.
Facebook said that the new News Feed changes would be available in limited release from the 7th March. You can access the new Facebook News Feed here.
What impact do you think this change on the News Feed will have on your Facebook business page?