Last week, Facebook announced the most dramatic change to its design and functionality since the social network’s inception seven years ago. The change reinforces a trend we’ve been seeing for quite a while now, most recently evidenced by Facebook Graph Search. Great content really, seriously, truly IS king.
During Thursday’s press conference, Facebook’s team laid out three major points regarding the new design: bigger, higher-quality photos, multiple feeds, and a more seamless mobile experience. They also reiterated that Facebook was “trying to get out of the way” and let the new look focus on bringing your stories to life.
Great! But what does this mean for bringing your business’s story to life?
Basically, it boils down to this: post better stuff. What’s “better stuff,” you ask? Better images, more videos, humor-laced observations… the kinds of things that get people talking. You know, the posts YOU would want to read, watch, and share. Just because grumpy cats have little to do with your particular line of work doesn’t mean you can’t find a link from what you do and Internet meme sensations.
Facebook marketing isn’t just about getting people to your page to see your posts so they can click your links, get to your site, and buy something. (But if they are doing that, hey, that’s great!) It’s also about creating an engaging experience right there in that moment, so that down the line your brand will stick out in a user’s mind next time they need a product like yours. It’s about providing a service in an immediate way – whether that service is a recipe, a styling trend, a business tip, or something to make your customers laugh.
Post interesting things that represent your company and are in line with your brand, and you’ll build trust and engagement with your customers. And that is what is going to keep you relevant and visible on Facebook, regardless of all the recent changes.
We know what you’re thinking. “That’s all fine and good – but what are some actual steps I can take to keep my brand in the Facebook user’s sightline?”
- Consider not just sharing posts that link directly back to your website. Instead, try sharing some of your site’s strongest imagery or videos right on your Facebook page to help get a conversation started and visually show what you do. (This helps you come up higher in Graph Search results, too.)
- When you’re adding images – don’t load the captions with too much copy. Captions are now overlaid on images; you don’t want to hide your beautiful, creative content with lengthy photo captions. (Facebook notes that you may be able to opt-out of this feature in the future.)
- If you’ve posted some great content on your page and are worried people aren’t going to see it, try a sponsored story or promoted post. Try highlighting your most visually enticing posts.
- As of right now, ad unit sizes are not changing. Facebook admitted it doesn’t currently know how advertisements are going to fit in the news feed design.
- Encourage your followers to share your posts with their friends. When you create strong, visually appealing content that begs users to share, you might just find your brand popping up in more and more the “Friends” feed (as opposed to just the “Pages” feed).
We’d be remiss not to point out that these changes have not, as of yet, changed the EdgeRank algorithm Facebook uses to share your posts with your followers. In fact, posts that fall in the “Following Feed” will be organized chronologically, which, according to Facebook’s tech lead Chris Struhar, should assure content publishes that “they [your page’s fans] will see every post you make.”
News feed changes started rolling out to the public on Thursday, March 7, and will continue to spread to all Facebook users slowly in the coming weeks and months. Facebook’s team wants to get user feedback to tweak the design and functionality as needed. You can sign up to get these changes sooner rather than later by requesting to join the waiting list.
We’d love to know what you think about Facebook’s changes. What are some ways you’ll be changing your content to keep it Facebook fresh?