Facebook has yet again altered its News Feed, this time focusing on status updates. While the goal of the most recent change is to help show people more of the content they want to see, it will result in a decrease of the amount of text status updates from Facebook Pages.
Through testing, the social network found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. In fact, showing more status updates from friends led to, on average, nine million more status updates written each day. Because of this, the company began showing more text status updates in News Feed.
However, over time Facebook noticed that the same wasn’t exactly true for text status updates from Pages. With that in mind, the latest tweak to News Feed will treat text status updates from Pages differently than those from friends. The social network is working to improve its ranking algorithms so that it does a better job of differentiating between the two types.
As a result, the company promised that Pages can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates. The silver lining being that you might see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types. This shouldn’t be all that surprising considering the recent popularity of visual content in social media.
So, if you love to share links to relevant articles and blog posts, you’ll want to change up the way you go about doing it. For example, many Pages share links by embedding in the status update like the one below:
Going forward, the best way to do this is to use a link-share. Facebook found that these posts get more Likes, comments, shares, and clicks. They also provide a more visual and compelling experience for the people who see them in News Feed. As you can see, images associated with the post are shared above the text description, which is much more attractive than a text-only update.
If you must share a text update, try putting a new spin on it like we have. Instead of copying and pasting text into the publisher, create an illustration or image with the text included and share it as a picture. This can work for user tips, general inspiration, product updates, and even contest or event announcements.
We recommend using this tactic sparingly, as too much of a good thing can become, well, a bad thing. Additionally, if you decide to use an image, make sure it’s uploaded directly and not a link to an image hosted on another social network. In December, the company began distinguishing between high quality articles versus meme photos hosted somewhere other than Facebook as part of its effort to display the best content possible in News Feed. If you’re hoping to capture engagement with a timely meme, don’t expect frequent success through News Feed.
There isn’t a magic formula for success on Facebook. As the social network stated in its blog post, it’s difficult to tell you what kind of content to post as it depends greatly on who your audience is and what they want to see. In general, it’s recommended that you use the story type that best fits your message, whether that’s a photo, video, or link. If using the latter, make sure that you consider the tips mentioned in this article.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.