The revamped News Feed design that was released recently is the latest development from Facebook as it prepares to be more relevant to consumers and marketers. It makes you give your current Facebook strategy a second thought. The new design makes quite a few changes to the way News Feed was functioning till now with quite a few focused on content. This means that you need to ensure that your Facebook strategy involves visual content.
So, what are the problems the new News Feed design brings? We’ve listed some of the key areas you should consider if you want your Facebook marketing initiatives to succeed when the design rollout completes
- Post more visuals
The new News Feed design is a veritable flood of striking images (according to Facebook, photos account for nearly half of News Feed content – up from 30% a year ago). A mere month of introducing Timeline for brands lead to a 65% increase in engagement for visual content (whoa!). This statistic will see a boost with the latest importance given to visuals.Load up your content wagon with top quality images and videos. Be prepared. Make the content gripping so that it stands out from the rest. If you are a ‘text-based status and link’ brand, think of how you can turn that text into visuals. Such text converted images can appear in the ‘Photos’ only and ‘Following’ feeds. Also, publishers don’t need to upload full images for story links. As per a Facebook source, they will now show thumbnail images from story pages in the size images are directly uploaded to News Feed. Facebook recommends publishers use images that are at least 552 pixels wide.Another area you need to focus on now is your cover picture. Cover pictures were not showing in the News Feed till now. This is about to change so invest more attention in your cover pictures.
- Make your ads more image-centric
Though Facebook didn’t elaborate on the impact this re-design will have on ads, in an interview by MIT Technology Review, a Facebook representative said that the idea of making things more rich and immersive includes ads also. Regardless of whether this update will affect ads, picture your ads from a visual viewpoint.Earlier, posts with links displayed Meta titles and descriptions; the new design enlarges images, makes the title clearer and gives better content summary. Facebook’s answer to the question about ads gives an inkling of their possible future plans.It is time to begin thinking of ads with appropriate accompanying images. Only attractive ad copy won’t do the trick for you anymore on Facebook.
- Make your text crisp and short
Facebook has also changed the way photo captions are shown. Before, captions were shown under the photos. Now captions will overlay photos in the News Feed.So photos will be the key engagement point for people. Your text should be short and must arrive at the point quickly. Your copy must be informative while also telling users about their action.
- Generate more attractive content
The most shared articles are being floated up by Facebook. You can now use Facebook to promote public content like blogs and try to get more reach.The root of any viral content is – sharing persuasive content. Today, Facebook is overflowing at the rim with content and your content has to stand out among others to gain viral reach.This is how Facebook will show the most shared articles along with the brand’s logo:
So now you have your work cut out creating interesting content that will be shared extensively.
- Pay attention to Brand Loyalists
The new News Feed design makes it so that users can only see posts shared by their friends. So even if someone likes and follows your Page, they may not see your posts like before because of their News Feed filter that lets them see content posted only by friends.As a solution, pay more attention to your brand loyalists. They are the ones who love your brand and share your posts with friends. Whether these people are your customers or they just like what you do, they’ll be instrumental in your brand’s Facebook success.Know what these fans like and share similar content with them. If you share content they love, they will share it with their friends also. This will help expand your reach into their friends’ News Feeds.
- Prevail upon users to check-in from locations
Actions surrounding locations have increased on social media. Google+ saw the integration of Google+ Places. Facebook’s recent Graph Search came with the ability to search for location-based content where the results are often local. Facebook check-ins are more visible and clearly displayed in News Feed:
Offer incentives to customers to check-in from your business establishment. With the clarity/visibility of check-in stories plus increased check-ins of incentive driven customers, you will figure more in people’s friends only feeds. Such check-ins will help you gain more visibility on Facebook.
- Link your Facebook and Pinterest accounts
The content you share through third party apps like Pinterest will have more visibility on Facebook now.
Using Pinterest alongside Facebook helps you use the increased appearance of Pinterest images on Facebook to drive more traffic to your Pinterest page. This can help you drive sales since Pinterest creates a more sales-friendly environment.
- Build Page Likes
The new News Feed design makes Page likes more important than before. Earlier, a like meant an increase in brand reach. Now a Page like creates a new story with the brand’s default and cover pictures. This story can influence your fan’s friends better (so make sure your photos are good).
- Make your ads more image-centric
- Importance of Pictorial Presentation
- Work on your textual content
- Focus On Users
- Build Your Brand
The new News Feed design rollout is going to take a few more weeks. You’ll need all that time to work out a new visual-focused content strategy – so get going!
Can you think of any other ways in which the new News Feed design will affect your content strategy? Tell us in the comments box below…