We all love Facebook don’t we? Well here are a few interesting facts we bet you didn’t know!
On average, a Facebook user’s News Feed is filtering 1,500 possible stories – however, after the Facebook News Feed algorithm does its job, only 20% of these 1,500 stories actually land on a users feed!
Our profession, by nature needs to ensure that any content we post falls into this 20%. The best way to do this is not by finding spammy ways to get through to people but by understanding how to deliver the message to the right people at the right time – not always an easy task!
A business strategy should be focused on creating content that Facebook users find entertaining, helpful or valuable.
This year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a huge change to Facebook’s News Feed – the biggest change in its seven-year history. He put it as Facebook giving the world the best, personalized newspaper.
With this in mind, Facebook was given a makeover comprised of three major parts:
– Visually engaged stories
– Choice of different feeds
– Mobile consistency
In terms of visually engaging stories, Facebook claim to understand the growing visual world and the first thing one notices about News Feed is the obvious enlargement and enhancement in the way visual content is displayed. Photos uploaded to ones News Feed are much larger than before and the purpose of this is to put spotlight on each user page.
Being able to choose between different news feeds is inspired by the idea that peoples news feeds should include a mix of stories from friends and family as well as news and information from businesses and the pages of public figures. There are a variety of news feeds users can create and follow including: News Feed, Most Recent, Close Friends, Music and games.
Facebook now has the same look across all devices, mobile, tablet and web creating a simplified and unified experience. Most important is that the left hand menu is accessible on all devices and its simple to navigate to the top of the news feed when you notice new stories have been posted.
How does Facebook decide what content appears in user’s News Feed?
Facebook have only recently announced that they would be sharing how content appears in a user feed on their Facebook for Business blog.
Facebook’s algorithm, EdgeRank, figures out which posts a user will be most interested in seeing. Its comprised of three elements
– Affinity. Depends on how closely a user is tied to the person creating the content.
– Weight. This is the value given to the comments and actions any given post receives. As the post is ‘Liked’, commented on, tagged etc it gains more relevance to the Facebook community.
– Time Decay. Exactly what it says on the tin. The decaying value of content as time passes.
As I mentioned earlier, the average Facebook user has 1500 stories a day that could flow through their news feed. Sifting through these, Facebook presents about 300 of these stories. There are a number of ways Facebook handle this,
– Facebook take a look at the last 50 people you interacted with and show some of their posts on you feed.
– When one of your friends posts a lot of stuff, you’ll be able to see these posts in chronological order. This hasn’t been finalized yet as Facebook still comes to terms when to apply this and when to not to.
– Stories you might have missed are bumped back up to the top of your news feed so users wont miss important information. Since this tool was introduced, Facebook have noticed greater engagement with users 5% more likely to engage with a post from a friend, and 8% more likely to engage with a post from a brand.
– Actions such as liking, commenting and sharing contribute to whether content will appear is a users feed. The more users who like a post, particularly users one is friends with, contribute to the likelihood that a post will appear in your news feed. On the other hand, Facebook is less likely to show a post that has been hidden or reported by others.
– Content one has posted in the past can be tracked by Facebook and is then presented on ones news feed more frequently. If one comments on photos on their feed more often than video updates then Facebook will show more photos in your feed.
With all this in mind, here are a few tips to help businesses land in their users news feeds:
- Research from HubSpot shows that photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes and 104% more comments than an average post. With this in mind, it is a better strategy, where possible, to use photos to promote content and links.
- Plan photo-focused ads. Previously posts with links primarily showed meta titles and descriptions, the new News Feed magnifies images and provides a better summary of the content. This leads to the conclusion that ads will soon begin to appear in a similar fashion. Important to note is that visuals used with advertisements should be strong; it is not enough to have persuasive ad copy anymore.
- After the launch of Graph Search, Facebook equipped itself with the ability to search for content based on location. These visual changes make ‘check-in’s’ more visible on the News Feed. By encouraging people to check in to your business, this is creating more ways for people to see your business. This could be further accomplished by offering deals to the most frequent visitor, via check-ins, to your business, similar to the FourSquare approach.
- The new Facebook News Feed allows users to see content posted only by their friends so this means that even if they like your business page, they might never see your posts because they have filtered them out by only looking at content from their friends.
A solution to this is to focus on your customers and evangelists (lovers of your brand). These people find you remarkable and share your updates among their Facebook friends – they will be instrumental in your success on Facebook.
- Finally, companies need to create more compelling content. It’s in a companies best interest to use Facebook as a way to promote more public-facing content, ie Blog content. This will help to get your best content more viral reach. Unless your content stands out from the crowd in terms of value and interest, it wont gain the visibility or virality it needs.
Content creators need to work hard to create remarkable content that is shared widely.