3 Hard Truths About the New Facebook Newsfeed

May 2013

By now, you’ve probably heard that Facebook is rolling out more changes to the way users are able to consume content. Perhaps you even have the ‘new newsfeed’ already?

If so, you will know that your Facebook fans now have the option to sort how they view content in their newsfeed. The choices include…

‘Most Recent’ (sorting chronologically, instead of by Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm), ‘All Friends’ (shows only content from friends, eliminating fan pages) and ‘Following’ (This is where all the brand content is – it shows fan pages and people you are subscribed to).

At first glance, these changes seem to make it harder for business owners to use their Facebook fan pages to reach potential customers. After all, even the people who ‘like’ your page would probably rather see updates from their friends and family – and now they have the option to sort their newsfeed that way!

So, what’s a marketer to do?

The answer is to focus on what you should have been doing all along: Creating great content. You were hoping for the secret formula? Well, there isn’t one. The truth is that it’s challenging to keep your audience interested, and it just got tougher. Here are 3 hard truths about the new newsfeed. The sooner you learn them, the better your fan page will do.

Your Appearance Matters.

Fans have always been drawn to photos and videos, but now Facebook is making them even more prominent. Visual content is displayed much larger in the new newsfeed – photos, videos and even the preview pictures in links to articles you post. Make sure you’re ready.

Now is the time to pay attention to the quality of the images you’re posting. With the larger size, low quality will be easier to spot. In addition to creating photo posts, make sure you’re adding images to all your blog posts. You’ll want to maximize the attention they get when you share them on your fan page. The cover photo is one of the most important pictures on your page. Now when people interact with your page and it shows up in their newsfeeds, your cover photo will be displayed. Use a great one.

A quick note about photo captions – short and sweet is the way to go. The new layout displays the words over the picture, so don’t muck it up by adding too much text.

You Won’t Be As Popular As You Once Were.

Now that fans have the ability to filter their newsfeeds, chances are a lot of them will try out the new feature. They might even like it. And that means fewer fans are going to see your posts, at least initially.

But look on the bright side. At KWSM, we believe that social media isn’t really about the ‘fan count’ anyway – it’s about incorporating a new way of communicating with your customers into your business philosophy. Social becomes part of the way you do business. If you owned a store and had a down week where not as many people visited, you wouldn’t close the doors, right? Likewise, you need to ride this dip out online. While you will probably see a drop in your reach as people play with the new tools, the fans that find your business – and your content – valuable will be back. And you should be there waiting with open arms, and great posts.

You Need Them More Than They Need You.

It’s true – but your goal should be to change that. More than ever, you need to be creating valuable content that your target audience can’t live without. Be a resource. Teach them something. Entertain them. Leave them wanting more.

Being relevant is a good start. Sometimes things happen in the world that everyone is talking about. (Christmas, summer vacation, the election, the Superbowl…) Get onboard. When a topic is on users’ minds, they are drawn to content about it. In the new newsfeed, Facebook groups similar content together in a bundle. So, if you’re talking about what other people are talking about, you could get more attention.

Also, now is not the time to play hard to get.

With the new ‘Most Recent’ feed option, fans can view posts chronologically. (Note: the ‘Following’ feed where your fan page will show up is also displayed in chronological order.) That means when you post has become more important. So study when your audience is most engaged, and work your schedule around it. Post when you have the best chance of being seen.

Lastly, give them something to talk about. If most people start looking at the ‘All Friends’ feed, then your avenue to that audience is having your fans share your content with their friends.

If your fan page posts are already getting lots of interaction from fans, you’re going to survive this new newsfeed just fine. After all, no one filters out stuff they want to see. So, keep making your posts valuable and engaging, and stop worrying that you’ll be ignored.

Want to try the new newsfeed for yourself? Click here to get it. (https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed)

Then join us on Facebook to tell us what you think!






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