What Do The Facebook Changes Mean For Companies?


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Here’s a rough first-take on the changes Facebook just rolled out.  First off, more changes are expected to come soon, so don’t get too comfortable.  There has been a host of them already, but here I will outline the change that is the most important to those who manage a Fan Page for a brand or organization:  The News Feed.

The biggest change is how a user’s News Feed is presented, which can seem like a minor tweak since no page functionality has been added or lost.  Not true.  According to Facebook, over 90 percent of user interactions with brands come from the News Feed.  This makes any change to what gets displayed a very big deal for brands.  One study shows that most brands only reach around 7.5 percent of their Fans with any given post, so losing any ground there can make a big difference to your social media marketing success.

Relevancy matters more than ever. The new changes no longer give users the option to display their News Feed as Top Stories or Most Recent.  Top Stories are automatically displayed in the top of the News Feed when users initially log in, followed by Most Recent posts.  While it is still very early in the game, this will most likely mean that users will be shown fewer posts per login, and those posts will be more filtered by Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm for determining relevancy.

What does this mean for you right now?  It means that engagement is more important than ever.  You will not be a Top Story by simply broadcasting news or statements to your audience.  You have to inspire responses by asking questions or soliciting feedback.  A post with more interactions will be seen as more relevant by EdgeRank, and will be more likely to appear in your Fans’ News Feeds.

Use more media in your posts.  Pictures, videos, and to a lesser extent, links, seem to have a greater importance to EdgeRank, and may help increase your impressions.  The fact that posts which include media also have a greater level of engagement only adds to their value.

The take?  Now more than ever, you have to work a little to get your message across.  This is not a bad thing though.  Each impression you get now will most likely be a more relevant (and therefore valuable) exposure for your brand, and as users are exposed to less irrelevant, spam-like brand posts, they will likely become more receptive to your highly relevant, engaging posts.

Stay tuned for more info on the changes as they roll out, and as we learn more about how they are changing the way your customers interact with you.

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