What Facebook’s Latest News Feed Tools Mean for Brands

Facebook’s News Feed is where members spend a majority of their time. It’s where people go to catch up on what’s happening with friends and find content they value most. The actions people take in News Feed help to determine what Facebook is most likely to show them in the future. As such, members control who they want to connect to, and what Pages and public figures they want to follow.

On Nov. 7, Facebook gave members more ways to control and give feedback on their News Feeds. While this will help to create a more positive experience for individuals on the social network, there’s one important implication that businesses should be aware of.

What’s New and How It Impacts Brands

Added visibility will now show individuals which of the people and brands they follow accounted for the most posts in their News Feeds each week. The main implication is that it’ll be easier for consumers to track oversharing or uninteresting posts from brands.

As such, members will be able to dial down the number of posts they see from a specific friend or brand, essentially filtering those individuals or Pages. This isn’t so bad when you compare it with the alternative: unfollowing. However, even that has been simplified — it only takes two clicks for someone to unfollow you from their News Feed.

On the plus side, Facebook made it easy for members to see who they’ve unfollowed in the past so they can choose to re-follow at any time. There’s no guarantee that they ever will, but the extra visibility could serve as a reminder of better times and prompt a second chance.

What You Can Do About It

Before we start worrying about second chances, let’s focus on how you can avoid being hidden or unfollowed in the first place. Here are a few tips for crafting fan-pleasing Facebook Posts.

Use Engaging Copy and Media

Across social media, heavy emphasis is placed on rich media like photos and videos. Not only do posts featuring them attract more attention, but on Facebook specifically they can help your message stand out.

Do keep in mind that there are best practices you can follow to prep your images for the News Feed. Additionally, lifestyle images tend to be more engaging. Facebook recommends sharing images of your customers enjoying your products or services.

When it comes to creating the text portion of your post, remember that less is more. Try to limit yourself to between 100 and 250 characters. Succinct posts tend to garner more engagement.

Create Opportunities for Conversation

When it comes to growing your online community, sometimes the easiest way to go about it is by asking for what you want. Facebook posts are a good vehicle by which to ask your audience to share their thoughts and feedback on your products or services. Doing so demonstrates that you’re listening and can help improve your business.

You can also take it one step further by posting content that shows you took customer feedback into consideration and applied it. This shows that you value your customers and their thoughts, and it’s a great way to build a more loyal fan base.

And while consumers are more likely to act if prompted to do so, don’t ask for something you don’t actually need. Calls-to-action should always provide value for those who participate. So before uploading a photo to your Page and asking people to Like or share it, ask yourself the following:

  • What value does it provide to those who interact with it?
  • Aside from a temporary spike in engagement, what does your brand take away from it?

Modify Watches, for example, regularly asks customers for input on product designs and names, and builds watch designs from this feedback.

Share Exclusive Information, Discounts, and Promotions

Facebook posts can do more than just help you gather feedback for your team. When used strategically, they can help drive sales or boost subscriptions. Providing access to exclusive content and deals is a great perk to offer fans, and a fantastic way to keep people interested in your Page.

In order to improve engagement with these types of posts, make sure they include a strong and clear call-to-action. Since this determines whether a viewer will act or not, spend extra time crafting your call-to-action and follow the best practices that we’ve laid out for you.

Plan Your Calendar for Timely and Relevant Posts

One of the simplest ways to stay in regular contact with fans is by coming up with ideas for what to talk about each month and incorporating that into your editorial calendar. These conversational prompts will help you post consistently while ensuring that your content is well planned and interesting.

In addition to general conversation topics, don’t forget about timely content. Audiences are much more likely to engage with posts when they’re related to topics that are timely, such as current events or holidays. Timeliness is also important when replying to comments on your posts. Again, this goes back to creating the opportunity for conversation and showing that you value your customers’ insights.

Keep in mind that these tips should be used in conjunction with targeting. Some posts are meant for specific groups of people, and if left untargeted, you might not see the level of interaction you had hoped for. It’s also a risk that the unintended groups will find the post irrelevant, and could hide you from their News Feeds or unfollow you entirely. Rather than risk the decrease in reach, target your posts based on gender, relationship status, interests, location, and any other key traits.