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Facebook News Feed Changes: How That Impacts Brands

Posted on the 03 February 2014 by Shellykramer @ShellyKramer

facebookFacebook is once again tweaking the algorithm that determines what we see on our News Feeds and that will have an impact on branded Facebook pages. In a recent report, Facebook stated that “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.” And, as a result, this explains why you may be seeing more text based updates from your friends and family.

It’s a different story for page owners. The test Facebook conducted indicated that brand pages that featured mainly text-based updates did not experience the same effect compared to regular users.

 What It Means For Facebook Page Administrators 

The good news for page administrators is that link and media based updates from pages will tend to get more exposure on the News Feed. According to the Facebook report: “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 from 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.” 

Aside from posting fewer text-based status updates on your brand pages, page administrators should post more media and link-based content. Facebook also recommends you use link share tools rather than embedding links in your text based updates. Using this strategy will provide a richer media experience for your consumers. This will most likely generate better engagement (Likes, comments and shares), which will directly benefit your brand. This makes me skeptical, I’ll admit. Not sure what the value is of using a link sharing tool versus copying and pasting (e.g. embedding) a link other than Facebook wants to show its value via sharing tools and counts displayed on the original content source. This makes me want to do just the opposite, but I’m a curmudgeon.

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Final Thoughts

Aside from killing Facebook Sponsored Stories last April, and tweaking what we see on our News Feed, it looks like Facebook is searching for ways to own or at least secure a big chunk of the news discovery space.  This is similar strategy to Flipboard and other social networks like Twitter and Google Plus. Facebook has been focused on showing more news related articles along with a “related article” box in the News Feed when you click “like” on a story.

As usual, we suggest you continue regular testing the type of content you share on pages you manage and, of course, be on the lookout for more changes, which are inevitable. Have you noticed any changes and/or are have you been testing in the last couple of weeks? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any results you’ve seen.

Facebook News Feed Changes: How That Impacts Brands is a post from: V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency

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