Just two days ago, Facebook announced a major update to their News Feed.
The News Feed is the first thing people see when they launch the app in their smartphone or iPad, or visit Facebook.com from their PCs or Macs. In fact, you have landed at this article after seeing it on your own news feed.
But because of these changes, B2B marketers may now need to adjust their tactics to make sure they continue to get maximum attention and response.
You probably use Facebook as one of the marketing channels in your campaigns, or just to boost brand awareness (we do). You probably also have a brand page. So to understand the big changes, let’s dive right in and see what’s new:
With the new design, the small thumbnails or uploaded photos in each post will now be blown up to fill the screen, creating what they call a “photo story”. This applies to videos as well as content being shared by friends.
Old News Feed:
New News Feed:
User now have the ability to select what feeds they want to read. Before, if you didn’t like a post, all you could do was bring down a little menu next to the post and “hide” it, or “Report story as spam”.
Now, they’ve added several new views to choose from. These include “All Friends”, “Photos”, and even “Music”.
This change brings good news and bad news.
The good news: Users can click on the “Following” view to see updates from your brand page, and any other pages they liked.
The bad news: No they won’t.
It’s hard enough to get users to read your stuff. Now they can turn simply stay on “All Friends” and you’ve pretty much had it.
First, forget posting a simple status update in text anymore. People scroll down their news feeds fast enough already. They could very easily miss your “Remember, promotion ends in three days!” post. Now that the news feed displays photos and video at an even larger size, you should add a high resolution photo to every post and make sure it will stand up to being blown up in size.
And while we’re talking about photos; when you’re dealing with content marketing, don’t treat the thumbnail as an afterthought. The right image will go a long way to getting clicks.
That small stock photo of “happy Asian businessman” you thought you’d add to your post? Well, it will now appear right in your reader’s face, three times the size. Will they click on your story after seeing that?
“Look at me! I’m connecting with my clients” (image from iStockphoto)
Don’t dedicate your entire Facebook brand page to pushing your latest white paper or case study or promotional offer.
Instead, do what Captain Picard would do and engage. Listen, interact, and share good content that lets people know that behind the brand, there’s a real human being. As C.C. Chapman says, “Share or Solve; Don’t Shill.” It’s ok to put up a post that doesn’t have a call to action. It just needs to connect with the reader. Just make sure it includes a nice photo as the thumbnail.
The Facebook changes announced will gradually roll out to all humanity over the next few weeks. Zombie apocalypses take longer. Learn more at www.facebook.com/newsfeed
Alex Tan is the Editorial Services Director at Ying Communications. He spends too much time checking Facebook to see if anyone has commented on his posts. He also writes about himself in the third person. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org