Facebook announced last Thursday that they will be rolling out updates to their interface over the coming weeks.
Here’s what’s changing:
—More prominent media display in newsfeeds (larger images, videos, link thumbnails, apps, etc.)
—New sub-feeds that users can toggle to via the left-hand menu bar:
All Friends: a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing
Photos: a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like
Music: a feed with posts about the music you listen to
Following: a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.
—Consistent look and feel across screen size—mobile and desktop
Here’s what is means for you:
The reduction in clutter and mobile-first user interface changes are exciting for users and brands on Facebook. Full brand Facebook marketing strategy impact will certainly evolve as users respond to the new changes. Initially, here are our thoughts around potential impacts to your brand’s social media strategy and execution.
Update Your Content Strategy
Engagement is key to expanded brand presence in the new sub-feeds.
The only way a brand can appear in the All Friends feed is if a friend shares a brand post. “Share” is a Call To Action (CTA) that normally has a high barrier to action, as it is a multi-step process that removes a user from newsfeed scrolling, so compelling content with strategic sharing CTAs should be incorporated.
Compelling visual content is even more important.
More photos means opportunities for brands to appear in both the main newsfeed and the Photos newsfeed. Facebook recommends photos with a minimum width of 552 pixels to capitalize on the new, more vibrant format planned. We will aim to create images so enticing they are “swipestoppers”.
Give added thought to your Cover Photo.
Stories/sponsored stories will now pull in the lower portion of a brand’s cover photo, along with their profile image. Previously, Cover Photos were most exposed to new Likes for your brand, but this update means that your Cover Photo could be shown to your existing fans again as part of a story. Updating more frequently to display seasonal or promotional related imagery could be an option.
Think about video, which is also an overarching trend for 2013 social media.
With the new prominence placed on display of video content in newsfeeds, Facebook seems to be setting the stage for a larger video play. Start creating video content to be ahead of the game.
Continue to monitor EdgeRank.
Facebook claims there are no updates to their newsfeed algorithm, EdgeRank, that determines what content is seen by users. But, we think the updates will have an impact on what content performs best. Make sure your social media marketing team is constantly monitoring this to apply the most recent insights to your content strategy.
Update Your Facebook Ad Strategy
Facebook says there are no major updates to their ads, but we feel there will be some impact.
Promoted posts are even more important.
To secure reach and newsfeed placement, your Facebook content strategy should include a regular mix of Promoted Posts to make sure that your message gets across to users.
Use compelling Marketplace Ad images beyond just a logo or product.
Approximately 40% of new Facebook real estate is dedicated to feed, so a compelling image associated to your ad in the right rail is key.
Utilize Sponsored Stories more in your media mix.
Again, continue to focus on the newsfeed- where the average user spends all of their time on Facebook.
What do you think of the new Facebook newsfeed updates? Let us know in the comments!