July 7, 2016

Facebook Moves Brands to the Back of the News Feed Bus

    The main reason most of us log onto Facebook is to see what friends and family are up to. Your cousin’s new baby. Whether your friend across town lost her tomato plants in the hailstorm. That cute puppy video shared by your friend.

    Add posts from brand pages and “sponsored” posts, and you have a lot of stuff coming your way. More than you could actually read. I’ve seen stats that show the average Facebook user has 338 friends, likes 70 pages and spends 50 minutes a day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Not even speed-reading guru Evelyn Wood could keep up.

    For years, Facebook has tried to make sure that you see content that’s important to you. If a post gets a lot of likes, comments or shares, it floats to the top of your News Feed.

    Last week, Facebook announced that it is again tweaking its News Feed algorithm to make sure family and friends come first. What does this mean for those of us who post content on brand pages?

    Can the spam

    A lot of page managers treat social media like billboards. Doesn’t matter what you say, as long as a lot of people are driving past the client’s logo several times a day. But Facebook’s algorithm puts more value on news feeds that inform or entertain.

    If you’ve liked, commented on or shared posts from Brand X in the past, Facebook will make a note of that. Future Brand X posts move up. Same with the posts your closest friends like, comment on or or share.

    Clickbait wont' cut it

    “Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard …. And you’ll be shocked by what she found!"

    I’m not sure why, but those tactics seem to work in a lot of online advertising. But if you post that on your brand page, you could end up in the Facebook doghouse. Reading through Facebook’s blogs about good content, you see the phrase “authentic communication” a lot.

    “The strength of our community depends on authentic communication. The feedback we’ve gotten tells us that authentic stories are the ones that resonate most. That’s why we work hard to understand what type of stories and posts people consider genuine — so we can show more of them in News Feed,” wrote Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP, Product Management, News Feed. “And we work to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading, sensational and spammy, to make sure people see those less.”

    So keep it real. Pay attention to how people are reacting to your posts. And keep the conversation a conversation, not a lecture.