Facebook news feed: all the news and how to exploit them for brands

Change the Facebook news feed: prioritize content from friends, family and Groups. Word of Mark Zuckerberg. The fan page posts? They will have less visibility.

2018 begins with a small revolution on Facebook , especially for those involved in social media marketing . Users’ news feeds will increasingly reward content from friends, family and Groups . A return to origins that rewards “relationships”. We study all the changes in the Facebook news feed and how to exploit them to structure an increasingly effective brand communication.

How does the Facebook News Feed work?

The main role of the News Feed is to provide the content that is most relevant to the user’s interests. For this reason, the Facebook algorithm – which determines the views of posts – is an eternal work in progress. To date, Facebook provides a ” relevance score ” to content, sorting or obscuring it to people based on this score . The main variables applied are the following:

  • The source:who or what posted the content on Facebook . Translated: The more interactions you have with an account or Page, the more likely you are to intercept their posts.
  • The content: the type of publication, in short. Some are crazy for images, some for videos, some for gifs, links or just text. The more times you interact with a type of content, the more you will be able to find it on the board.
  • The interactions: the more a post is commented or viewed, the more chances you will have of intercepting it, especially if your most important contacts do so. We can say that it is a mechanism that rewards the potential for diffusion of a content.
  • Time : the most recent contents are rewarded , but even the oldest posts can return to having visibility if “stimulated”. Give it a try: comment on an old photo of your friend. It is likely that he will reply to you and that other people will start seeing that post again. You can play beautiful jokes, but it can become a problem for Brand Pages, especially if the reactivated conversation reopens crises already governed in the past.

Basically Facebook, on a sociological level, is a machine that rewards similarities. It is difficult to really clash or confront each other if we are immersed in a community “similar to ourselves”. Nonetheless, it is still the largest social media in the West , with its 2.07 billion monthly active users , + 16% year on year. To be honest there is also another option: you can always choose what to see in your news feed. In fact, if you click on the arrow at the top right of your home you will be able to open the menu ” Preferences of the news section “. In this section you can always better manage your account.

What changes with the Facebook news feed update in 2018?

“With this update, we will prioritize posts that spark meaningful conversations and interactions between people.” Thus began Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed Facebook in a recent article that appeared on the blog . “To do this we predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends, showing them in the feed. These are the posts that stimulate discussion in the comments , those that people may want to share and those that could generate their own reaction – whether they are posts from friends […] or videos that stimulate a lot of discussion ”.

The “ video ” question was also recently opened and we talked about it here . It is very likely that the videos will still be among the most awarded content by the algorithm. It is no coincidence, however, that the main parameters that will determine its success are in line with the new updates.

By showing more posts from friends and family, Facebook will decrease public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or brands. Investors fear a drop in earnings, and last Friday Forbes reported a $ 3.3 billion loss on the stock exchange. But what do you need to know about it? And how should brand pages behave?

New news feed, new social media marketing?

So what is there to know to better manage the social media marketing of companies on Facebook ? First of all, an important clarification must be made: this new update implies a greater commitment on the part of companies in the advertising investment of their brand pages . It is useless to go around it. Over the years, the organic reach of the contents of the Pages has gone from 7/8% of the fan base to 2/3%. Let alone now. There are many ways to encourage the visibility of brand posts, but to ensure visibility it is necessary to think of an effective and constant media strategy over time .

In this regard, it is important to point out that it is not necessary to invest large budgets to get results. The important thing, in fact, is to commensurate the budget adequate to the chosen objectives. An editorial plan can be effective even with minimal investments as long as the media strategy is planned, managed in detail and constantly monitored. This involves a clear targeting and constant study of the performance of the advertising campaigns launched. The best way to communicate is always and only one: getting the right message at the right time to your target audience .

What a brand page on Facebook should know and do

In light of all these innovations, a brand must take into consideration several things, such as:

  • Content that pushes click baiting is penalized . Last year Facebook already introduced penalties to reduce the visibility of fan pages that regularly publish updates aimed at grabbing clicks.
  • The importance of conversation. Yep, that’s right. Being on Facebook is no longer enough, you have to know how to be there. Each content must know how to convey a message that can encourage engagement, but not only. The role of the community is increasingly important and conversations will reward the most “interactive” Pages.
  • Facebook rewards the “values” of the News section. Among these, information and fun appear , which happen to be the best performing aspects when it comes to involvement. As Facebook says, the goal “is to try to understand better and better what you personally find interesting and informative so that such news appears higher in your News section”. And he goes to great lengths to try “which Facebook posts you think are funny to make sure you don’t miss them.”
  • Key word: “Groups”. In the next editorial strategies we must therefore think about how to make communities and fan pages interact, perhaps even creating something new.
  • Test, test, test. Facebook is a very versatile platform and really provides a thousand possibilities to make fan page and user meet. Variety of advertising (in many formats), surveys, videos, images, stories and more. Growing a brand page means trying, analyzing, studying and trying again . The key is to experiment, always.

Will Facebook remove brand pages from users’ news feeds?

Recently, many experts have panicked. Following a test , fan page content was redirected to a dedicated news feed, “Explore”. The result? Likes, comments and shares have dropped at least four times the average result. In reality, Mosseri himself issued a statement in which he eliminated any suspicion. Fan page content will not (yet) be banned in a separate Facebook news feed . However, this does not mean that it is not advisable to remain attentive to the changes taking place. Social media are one of the largest open-air “construction sites” that have ever existed.

Users will decide the reliability of the fan pages on Facebook

In the ongoing battle against fake news , Facebook has found a way to ensure the truthfulness of the news. This was announced by Mark Zuckerberg with a post on his profile and has already caused some controversy. In fact, the users themselves will guarantee the reliability :

We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.

Facebook will collect user feedback through sample surveys, thus determining the “level of trust” of the information sources. This will impact the authority of the fan page and consequently also the diffusion. Mark assures that the news will not change the number of updates in the news feed on Facebook, but only the degree of trust of the same. It goes without saying, however, that Pages that speculate on fake news or click baiting will be heavily penalized. The update is already active in the United States, but will soon involve the international community.

The survey questions to ensure the reliability of the Pages are two:

  1. “Do you recognize the following websites?” (Yes / No)
  2. “How much do you trust each of these domains?” (Entirely / A lot / Somewhat / Barely / Not at all).

Will they be enough to ensure the cancellation (or at least the limitation) of fake news? And what will happen in the near future? Still early to say. But we can certainly say that Facebook will continue to be a reference point in the social landscape .

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