During the opening of this announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared how almost 50% of News Feed content today is photos and visual content. We’ve referred to this trend previously in our 8 Tips for Social Media Success series available on Sendible Insights. Logically, Facebook took this information and translated it into a new, visual-focused, News Feed design.

These News Feed improvements have serious implications on how brands are engaged with on Facebook, and what content these brands need to be posting for ultimate Facebook success.

“We want to give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper in the world.”
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

It should be noted that Sendible is not affected by any of the changes due to our intensive integration with Facebook, you can capitalise on these changes and make positive impact to reaching and growing your audience on Facebook.

Let’s answer some key questions:

How do these changes impact Facebook’s News Feed algorithm?

The central idea as mentioned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is for the News Feed to behave “like a newspaper would.” The ranking algorithm won’t change but there will be more sections, essentially, like in a newspaper.

The content that is shown in user News Feeds is based on EdgeRank, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. EdgeRank of an activity is calculated on various terms and an activity is not limited to a like, share, comment or tagging.  It is the algorithm behind all the updates which you view on your Facebook.

EdgeRank is comprised of three elements: affinity, weight, and time decay.

– Affinity is dependent on a user’s relationship with an object in the news feed.
– Weight is determined by the type of object, such as a photo/video/link/etc.
– The last variable is Time Decay, as an object gets older, the lower the value.

In order to optimize EdgeRank on the new News Feed, it’s important to know what has worked for your businesses in the past to help shape your strategy for the upcoming changes.

As noted above, Facebook said no changes have been made to the algorithm. However, the new Choice of Feeds feature and higher prominence on Rich Photos may change how you go about optimizing your posts.

 

What do these changes mean for marketers?

With the development of a photos-only feed, the weight placed on photos could rise even more, calling on the ever growing importance of visual content.

Companies will have to invest time in creating and sharing compelling visuals, or suffer the possibility of getting left behind on Facebook. – You can bulk schedule these images to go out at various intervals using Sendible’ social media management tool.

How does this change your content strategy?

– Focus on visual content

Prepare for the roll out of these updates by creating visually compelling content. If you’ve been previously posting text-based statuses and links, think about how

You can convert those ideas into visuals.

For example we converted our 12 tips of Christmas Campaign previously to a 500 x 500 Images:

 

This photo could appear in both a photos-only News Feed, and a “following” brand News Feed, giving it the opportunity to gain wider reach.

With the focus on photos, Facebook has also changed the way captions will display. Before captions were scripted underneath photos, captions will now overlay images in the News Feed.

This means that photos will be the primary way by which people engage with your visual posts. Any copy text you provide should be brief and succinct.

Your other content for example blog posts should be compelling and different. When it comes to creating viral reach: it’s all about sharing compelling content. Facebook is bombarded with content daily, and unless your content stands out from the crowd in terms of value and interest, it won’t gain the visibility it needs.

– Focus More on Your brand advocates

With the new Facebook News Feed, users will be able to look at content posted only from their friends. That means that even if someone likes and follows your business page, they may never see your posts because they filtered them out by looking at the content posted only from their friends.

Focus more on your evangelists and customers. Your brand advocates are the lovers of your brand. They are the people who find you remarkable, and share your updates with their own Facebook friends.  Whether they are customers, or just pure fans of what you do, these people will be influential to your success on Facebook.

– Location, Location, Location

Facebook’s changes makes check-ins more visible and clear in News Feed. By finding ways to encourage more people to check-in to your business, you’re creating more ways for people to see your business in their friends-only feeds.

You may wish to offer deals to the most frequent visitor or just simply make an announcement at an event or meeting reminding people that they can share their location.  The main reason is that these checkins will help your visibility on Facebook.

– More Likes equals More exposure

With the recent changes now when someone likes your page, a new story is created in News Feed that shows a snapshot of the page with your cover photo. This once again brings up how important your Facebook cover photo is, because every time someone likes your page, that cover photo will have the opportunity to influence and entice the friends of your new fan.

 Concluding remarks

If users have the choice of filtering out messages directly from the brands they like by looking at their All Friends Feed, chances are they’ll do it from time to time. The only time content from a brand page will get into a user’s All Friends Feed is if a user’s friends share content from that brand page.

 

Vishal Pindoriya

Vishal Pindoriya is a social media enthusiast, strategist and writer. He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world.

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