Updates to the Facebook News Feed & What Marketers Need to Know
As a digital marketer, are you wondering how the Facebook News Feed works, what are the recent updates, and what factors determine your reach and engagement rate?
In this blog, we’ll discuss recent updates to the Facebook News Feed algorithm, how it affects you as a digital marketer, and how you can increase your Page’s visibility on Facebook.
Facebook Will Now Use Time Spent Reading or Watching Content as a Signal That a Certain Story Was Important to The User
In June 2015, Facebook launched a new update that would take into account a user’s time spent reading a story or viewing video in the News Feed to determine whether or not that content and user profile or Page was relevant to them.
They made this update, because just since someone didn’t like, comment or share a story, doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy the content. So based on the fact that a user didn't scroll straight past a certain post in the News Feed and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, Facebook infers that it was something you found interesting and may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future.
Last month, Facebook has updated its News Feed ranking again. This time, the updates to the Facebook News Feed involve showing content to users based on how long they have watched or read a certain article in the mobile browser. Meaning, the longer you spend viewing a single article after you have clicked-through from Facebook, the more Facebook will think that content is relevant to you and will show you more content similar to that. Content refers to video, instant articles and articles loaded in the mobile browser from the Facebook app.
So how can you as a marketer use this new feature to your advantage? By creating engaging, quality content, of course! Whether it’s a video or a post, make sure you are creating content that delivers what the headline promises because Facebook monitors how long the user stayed on your page reading your article.
Facebook Recently Added Diversity to Page Posts
Facebook understands that people that enjoy reading articles from a wide range of publishers don’t necessarily enjoy seeing articles from the same source back to back in the News Feed. So what Facebook has done is make an update to reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.
How does this affect you and your Page? If you tend to publish 5+ posts a day, this may be a little difficult for you. You may want to consider guest blogging. You can also try sharing multiple pieces of content per day from different sources, along with different Facebook accounts.
Facebook is Taking into Consideration the Type of Content in a Post and Whether or Not a User Likes That Type of Content
Facebook uses several factors to determine whether or not a user likes a specific type of content. Is it a text post, a photo, a video, or a link? If users typically engage with videos, then Facebook will likely show them more videos at the top of their News Feed than any other type of content. Did you ever notice when you stop scrolling to watch one of those enticing Tasty videos, that you tend to see more and more of them in your News Feed? This is Facebook's algorithm at work!
So how can you use this to your advantage? Use your Facebook Insights tab to help you determine which type of content your fans are most interested in on your page. Are they engaging more with your posts that include a photo? A link? A video? Do a little bit of research and post more content that gets more engagement to be sure that it gets seen by your fans and their friends.
Facebook Takes into Account How Often You Post
If you, as a business Page admin, haven’t posted an update in weeks, the post that you do eventually post will likely rank low in a user’s News Feed.
Here’s how you can use post recency to your advantage as a digital marketer. Make sure you are posting often so you always have at least something to show your fans. However, you also need to make sure that content is exciting and will create engagement, because a post with a higher engagement rate (likes, comments, shares) will rank higher in the News Feed even if they are posting less often than you. You also may want to take advantage of Facebook ads in this case and considering boosting posts.
Now that you understand the updates to the Facebook News Feed, it’s time to start creating engaging content and attract customers through Facebook to combat the changes to the News Feed, or even use them to your advantage!
Tags: Social Media