Another Facebook News Feed Update Pushed Out Today

facebook news feed update for pagesFacebook News Feed Update #1 for 2014

Facebook rolled out another slight, but significant, change to its News Feed Algorithm today. You may recall they pushed out a Facebook News Feed Update last month as well. We’ll get back to that.

Today’s change of the News Feed has Facebook showing users less text-based status updates from Business Pages, and even more text-based status updates from their Facebook friends.

If you’re marketing your business on Facebook and are already stressing about your post reach significantly decreasing, don’t worry, there is actually some good news for Facebook Pages administrators.

Facebook will likely be serving up more status updates from brand or business Pages provided the updates include photo, video, and other media or that contain links.

In a blog post published yesterday, Chris Turitzin, Facebook Product Manager, News Feed Ranking guy, explains how Facebook came to this change based on testing:

“Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. In fact, in our initial test when we showed more status updates from friends it led to on average 9 million more status updates written each day. Because of this, we showed people more text status updates in their News Feed.

Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages. As a result, the latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends.

We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types. This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

Facebook’s New Marketing Strategy

Facebook has found some new competition of late. News discovery sources and websites. Apps like Flipboard, Pulse, and even RSS reader Feedly are giving Facebook a run for its money when it comes to active users and engaged eyeballs.

In fact just last week reported that Facebook could launch its own Flipborad-like news reader. This new product is rumoured to be called “Paper” and could be launched as early as a few weeks.

Some of you may remember back in December 2013 Facebook made that little change in their News Feed where they began showing more links and news articles and blog posts. So this additional tweaking their News Feed algorithm could be seen as implementing further steps in their fight with Flipboard and other mobile news apps like Circa.

New Facebook Marketing Strategy For Pages

So what does this mean for your content marketing strategy for your Facebook page? As always you should be posting content that is relevant and useful to your audience. You should create the story and the content that best fits the message you want to get across.

Your options include a status update (least preferable), photo, video, or a link to engaging and relevant content. The only change SMBs, brands, and Facebook Page managers need to make is how they link to content.

Facebook recommends sharing links using a link-share as opposed to embedding the link in the status update. This one seems very obvious to me. I’m sure it may to you as well. Either way it’s solid advice if you haven’t been doing this already.

Turitzin added that posts with links using link-share get much more engagement (likes, comments, shares, and clicks) as they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in the News Feed. Makes total sense – see the examples below.

Status Update With Link Embedded In Post:

Facebook status update with link embedded in teh status update.

Status Update Using Link-Share:

Status Update Using Link-Share

It’s easy to see how much more engaging a Facebook post using link-share is when compared to a post with the link embedded right in the status update.

The Wrap

It’s nice to see Facebook make this change and advise Pages to create relevant and useful content that users will be compelled to share within their networks. They’ve indicated that Pages should use photos, videos, and links to interesting content in order to be served into users News Feeds and have the opportunity to produce engagement.

If you’ve ever used Flipboard you can attest to how fun and attractive it is to surf through content with exciting images and article excerpts. Looks like this is the direction the Facebook News Feed is headed.

The internet, and social media in particular, are each highly visual driven mediums. Users have shown they prefer clicking on images with rich media and images. Our job as content creators and digital marketers is to tell our clients stories. It’s up to us to create those stories using visuals, digital media, and creative copy and use the internet and social media to spread the word and drive traffic back to the website, landing page, or into the brick and mortar locations.
How will this latest News Feed tweak affect your social media and content marketing strategy? I’d like to hear your thoughts and creative ideas. Start the convo in the comments below.

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