If you keep your eyes on the social media forums as much as I do, you’ll no doubt have seen reports about Facebook making changes to its newsfeed structure.
These changes will allow users to select which stories they would prefer to see on their newsfeed.
But what do these changes mean for Facebook business page owners?
The updated look features a more app like feel with navigation icons to the left of the newsfeed stream.
This look will be consistent across desktop, tablet and other mobile devices.
Facebook has begun the rollout for desktop to developers in the US, but the mobile rollout will come further down the road.
Making navigation simpler
According to Facebook the main reason for the redesign, is to make it easier for users to find what interests them. Mark Zuckerberg compared it to a newspaper – If users just want to see stories about Wall Street they would flip to the business section.
Likewise, if users only want to see stories about their friends they can flip to the “All Friends” view on the new Facebook newsfeed.
To navigate between newsfeed streams users can click on a drop down located on the upper right navigation under “Newsfeed.”
Facebook seems to think that the separation of news feeds does not necessarily lead to a negative impact for business pages.
Under the “Following” newsfeed, fans now have a place to go to see only those posts from pages they like and those they follow.
The thinking being that if a user physically clicks on the “Following” feed, they are actively seeking out consumer-orientated content and are much more likely to want to interact with it, versus having it placed in front of them when they are looking for content from their friends or family.
So in that regard, the separation of these newsfeeds could actually result in increased engagement for business pages.
Will users ever look at the business newsfeed?
But here’s my quibble – will South African Facebook users ever view the stream reserved for pages they have liked? I.e. – YOUR business page?
Facebook has assured advertisers that sponsored stories and posts have the ability to show up in any of the streams, including the “All Friends” and “Photos” feeds.
Businesses can take advantage by advertising posts featuring photos and videos, which now take up a larger portion of real estate on the newsfeed.
This is a plus point in some regard, but does it mean a rethink regarding Facebook marketing practises?
Likewise, standard ads on the right hand side appear to be more prominent on the new design.
From the images I’ve seem, the images seem to be slightly larger as well and when there is a call to action button it is very easy to see and click on.
But it still begs the question – will businesses benefit from the newsfeed update, or will they see a dramatic drop in reach as a result?
Facebook says “yes”
According to Facebook, the update does not affect Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. This means pages still have the same opportunity to make it into the general, default newsfeed (generally speaking posts reach 15-20 % of a page’s fans organically).
The EdgeRank algorithm takes into account three things; affinity, weight and decay.
- Affinity is the result of the user’s relationship with the object posted and the person or page doing the posting. The more often users have engaged with the page and with similar types of posts the higher the affinity becomes with that object.
- Weight is determined by the type of object; whether it is a photo, video, link etc. Photos tend to carry greater weight on Facebook because they generate a lot of engagement.
- Time decay comes into play as a post ages, the older the object the lower the value.
Tailor your content accordingly
Bearing that in mind, business pages will still have an opportunity to appear in the main newsfeed as they did before, but more emphasis will need to be placed on creating quality, EdgeRank beating content, and less on product and price.
The redesigned newsfeed has the potential to benefit business pages considering the larger images and more prominent ad displays.
Otherwise in the end it’s about posting relevant engaging content that will encourage followers and fans to interact.
Figure out what has worked for your page now, and start considering the impact of the newsfeed update.
Don’t be afraid to try new ideas. You’re going to need them.