Some people love it, some people hate it – and some people love to hate it.
Your favorite social network is changing again, and this time for the better.
In an announcement last week, Facebook unveiled their new News Feed FYI blog to “highlight major updates to News Feed and explain the thinking behind them.”
Did you know that on average every time someone visits their Facebook News Feed, there are on average 1,500 potential posts for them to see?
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1,500 – that number includes posts from friends, family, co-workers and business/nonprofit/brand Pages!
So how to make sense of all the noise and continually improve the Facebook experience to show you what is most relevant and timely – all tailored to your individual wants and needs?
Enter Story Bumping and Last Actor.
1) The first Facebook change to the News Feed is Story Bumping.
I like this one, because it works for people that are not on Facebook all day.
Say my mom goes on Facebook in the evening, and there is a post that received a ton of engagement earlier in the day that Facebook has deemed relevant to her (revisit the EdgeRank algorithm to learn why some things show up in your News Feed and not others).
Story Bumping allows older posts from earlier in the day – ones that are very popular, receiving a high number of comments, shares and likes – to be “bumped” up to the top of a user’s News Feed later in the day.
How much earlier in the day and how far back the posts will go depends on quite a few factors – how many friends you have, how many Pages and people you follow and how many times a day you check in to Facebook. (For more on this, read my posts on EdgeRank.)
Facebook tested out Story Bump with a select of daily active users last month, and saw encouraging results – a 5% increase in engagement overall, an 8% rise in stories seen from Pages (great for your nonprofit Page!) and a staggering jump to 70% in stories read overall!
Now it’s active on almost all desktop users with mobile coming soon. Exciting!
2) The second change is called Last Actor.
Last Actor calculates and regards the last 50 actions that an individual user has performed on the site.
Actions include writing on a friend’s timeline, liking a Page, sharing a photo, commenting.
Of course, Last Actor takes into account EdgeRank to determine what actions are the most relevant to your life – Are you writing on your boyfriend’s page and sharing a photo from a restaurant you frequent?
This change is meant to make Facebook more responsive to real-time, of-the-moment actions that users are partaking in, giving more weight to people and pages the user has most recently engaged and interacted with.
So, what do these changes mean for your social media marketing strategy?
1) Understand that Facebook is not now and will never be Twitter.
Facebook will never show you posts chronologically. Yes, each time you login on mobile and on the desktop you can select the “Most Recent” function, but Facebook isn’t designed to show you posts this way.
Chris Cox, Facebook’s Vice President of Product has often said that there’s a “vital difference in operation” between the two sites.
These operational and philosophical differences require different strategies. Don’t push out content to Twitter and NEVER push tweets to Facebook.
Automated content doesn’t perform as well as content you post on each individual site and tailor to each audience. There are no short cuts.
2) It’s even more important than ever to get your supporters engaged.
Actively ask your fans to go to your page and like, share and comment at least once a week.
Explain the new changes to them, be excited, ask them for their participation and their thoughts on how to get more Facebook engagement.
This is a great job for Online Brand Ambassadors!
3) You need to get aggressive and try new things.
The old way of throwing something at the wall and hoping that it sticks no longer works (it never really did, but even less so now).
Swallow your pride and experiment with Facebook ads and promoted posts.
Try posting at new times of day if the old times are not working.
Figure out what resonates with your community using Facebook Graph Search and share it frequently.
4) Always remember that it’s not about you.
It’s not about you and what you want to share on Facebook. It’s about what your fans and supporters want to read and to share, when and where they want to read and share it.
Don’t try to change your online community – change your strategy.
More new features on the horizon from Facebook:
- Introducing Embedded Posts – add publicly shared Facebook posts to your website or blog
- New Cover photo guidelines – no more 20% text rule
- Facebook plans to sell TV style ads in the future
- New feature called “On This Day” being beta-tested
- “Trending Topics” feature being explore by Facebook
What do you think about Story Bump and Last Actor? Are you looking forward to the new Facebook changes?