Facebook focuses on content with news feed and advertising updates

Published on August 26, 2013

Facebook story bump illustration

Story bump takes older, interesting stories and moves them to the top of the news feed

Facebook has just announced another round of changes to its news feed algorithm and advertising products that are important for brands to understand.  On the surface, the Facebook news feed and advertising updates appear to be good for brands and less suppressing than edgerank has been in the past. Whether or not your brand will benefit from these changes comes down to one key point: do you post content that people care about?

News Feed Algorithm Update

News feeds are not sorted chronologically. The goal of Facebook’s algorithm is to show users the most important or interesting updates first. Facebook considers posts interesting if they: have high engagement; are made by people/pages with whom the user actively engages; are talked about by people with whom the user engages regularly.  With its new additions of “Story Bump” and “Last Actor,” Facebook is hoping people will find their news feed more interesting, and therefor, spend more time on the social network. More time on Facebook = more probability that a fan will see your content.

Facebook believes that the changes will increase organic reach of brand content. However, if your content isn’t interesting or engaging to your fans, it will still be at risk of being suppressed. Being proactive and understanding the needs and wants of your fans is essential to being seen on Facebook.

Facebook Advertising Changes

In addition to the feed changes, Facebook has made significant changes to their advertising program. Facebook is actively cutting its number of advertising units from 27 to about half that number, and improving the remaining products to better meet marketing goals.

The biggest change here is the new page posts. The improved ads have larger photos that better showcase products and services. As a result, ROI on page post link ads are up 53%. More importantly, ROI on the new page post ads are 26 times higher than standard ads! If page post ads are not a key component of your Facebook advertising campaign then you are missing out on key consumer interactions.

With the ever-changing landscape of social media and the increasing emphasis on content, it is more important than ever for brands to have their social media programs buttoned up. Having a clear understanding of what consumers want and offering value are what it will take to get noticed.