Facebook opens a window into News Feed, what Brands should care about?

There is a lot of buzz around the web after Facebook opened a window into News Feed yesterday saying “News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.”

Facebook never opened their mouth about the term Facebook Edgerank ever, but they revealed yesterday that the News Feed algorithm responds to signals from users, including, for example:

  • How often you interact with a friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or a journalist) who posted
  • The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
  • How much have you interacted with a similar type of a post in the past
  • Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post

facebook news feed algorithm

Isn’t that what we assumed Facebook Edgerank is? I have heard many marketers saying there is nothing new that they have said but at-least they agreed. Well that’s true!

I am truly impressed with what TechCrunch said “Facebook won’t necessarily be surfacing new content to the top of your News Feed, but content that is ‘new to you‘. This is expected to keep your News Feed fresh instead of continuously showing the same content to you.”

Making sense? Look at these results that Facebook derived from recent test with a small number of users regarding Facebook News Feed-

  • 5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories people saw from friends
  • 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw from Pages
  • Previously, people read 57% of the stories in their News Feeds, on average. They did not scroll far enough to see the other 43%. When the unread stories were resurfaced, the fraction of stories read increased to 70%.

What Brands should care about?

Now that Facebook has hinted few key ingredients of the News Feed algorithm, here are some key points that Brands should consider to be more effective and reachable-

1. Know your Audience

This is one of the key points that I have been trying to make my clients understand. Don’t only put stuff that is of your Brand’s interest, put content which your audience will like. Understand your audience, their age group, location, interests, what attracts them, what will keep them engaged and share posts/images accordingly.

See what Pam Moore (@pammktgnut), CEO Marketing Nut says about it-

There is NO magic # of posts you should be posting to your Facebook page, Twitter stream or Instagram each day. The only magic you must learn is what your audience needs & wants. Quit looking for the cookie cutter solutions because they don’t exist! Get in the head of your audience & give em’ what they want, when they want it, period!

2. Focus on more Shares than Likes

One post shared reaches to ‘n’ more users. It’s a simple logic. The more number of shares, greater the reach of that post as compared to others. Don’t ask for likes, ask for shares. Posts like ‘Share, if your agree’, ‘Hit Share!’ and other call to actions will work better. Look at the simple example mentioned below, two posts, very similar in terms of creative, copy, branding but have a huge difference in their engagement level.

oreo india social media

3. Use Post Targeting

Not many Brands on Facebook are using this feature, targeting your posts based on age, gender, interests, language, location, etc does shorten your reach for the post but that’s the effective way. If people will start hiding your posts because it’s irrelevant to them, next time they won’t even see the relevant posts.

For instance, If there is an upcoming launch event in New York about a new product and I see that post on my feed here in India, i may hide it as its irrelevant to me. And that is why Post targeting is effective and Brands like CocaCola uses them very effectively.

4. Don’t play with type of posts

If you get maximum engagement on photo, video posts; just because Facebook has other options like status, links or questions, doesn’t mean you have to use them. Find out what is the most popular post type for your Brand and be consistent about it, you can try other types occasionally but don’t screw it up.

Here is how Razer shares Video links in photo posts, isn’t that a great idea?

razer call to actions

5. Start using Facebook hashtags

If you haven’t started using Facebook hashtags for your Brand, start now. Facebook hashtags is one of the emerging features on Facebook and marketers suggest it will be a game-changer. Facebook hashtags makes it easy for a user to follow a topic of his/her interest. And most importantly, hashtag feed is not manipulated as News feed is; there is a simple algorithm there.

Soon there will be Facebook trending topics as brought up by Mari Smith (@marismith), Premier Facebook marketing expert. She said-

Facebook is starting to experiment with TRENDING TOPICS! Do you think Facebook is becoming too much like Twitter? Or, do you see value in hashtags and trending topics on Facebook as well?

Trending topics is just the tip of the iceberg of hashtag features and implications. I’m super excited about what’s coming. With over 1 billion active users on Facebook, we get to see the collective behavior much more effectively.

Well that’s all for this time, It will be great to know your experience about Facebook News Feed so far. Please share your thoughts below.

A social media and web tech enthusiast. I keep myself busy with building social media strategies, tactics, exploring new platforms and sharing the best of my knowledge online. I like to play basketball and football.

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