A whopping 77% of B2C companies use Facebook to acquire new customers, according to HubSpot. Furthermore, the retail industry utilizes this strategy more than any other. As a retailer who uses Facebook to promote its products, you should know about the most recent update to Facebook newsfeeds.

Facebook Tweak for Small Business

Until recently, most companies used paid advertising in Facebook to garner ‘likes.’ With their new feature, Facebook has revealed that it is no longer enough to just be ‘liked.’ Facebook users can now set up their home pages so that only a certain list of friends and companies or groups show up at the top of their feeds. Any news since a user’s last login will appear at the top of the feeds. Therefore, rather than the most recent news, users will now see what is most relevant and important to them. For you as a company to show up on their top feed, users must deliberately include your account in their list of people/groups to follow. So how do you get your company on that list?

Two words: Shareable Content

The key is SMO; Social Media Optimization. The key to social media optimization is to create shareable, likeable content. According to Kenneth Change of the New York Times, ‘likes’ experience something similar to the snowball effect. Because humans have an innate need for acceptance and social validation, they are likely to ‘like’ posts that friends and others have already ‘liked,’ regardless of the quality of the content. As you create shareable, likeable content, more customers will want to ‘follow’ you, and top stories may appear on a user’s newsfeed even if you are not on their priority list. To increase your SMO you can do a few things.

Starting at the basics, all shareable social media posts have catchy titles and a visual component such as an image or a video. When images are included in posts, they make the posts shareable across multiple platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram.  If your post is about a trending topic, be sure to include words in your title to hint that it is about a particular popular topic. Titles that tend to catch readers’ eyes often start with ‘How to’ or ‘Top 7…’

Generally, these titles work because they lead to posts that are informative. The aim of the majority of your posts should be usefulness and practicality, not necessarily promotion. As you continue to produce and publish content that helps your customers, they are likely to return to your site and become loyal visitors. If you are posting promotional content, make sure that it is both entertaining and engaging; Ankit Oberi of Entrepreneur, calls this ‘reactive content.’ This type of content elicits positive reactions from readers. One strategy for positive engagement is to hold a contest, such as a photo contest with your products or a contest to see who can share the most content by using a certain hashtag.

When creating informative or entertaining posts, always make sure that the content aligns with your company’s values and beliefs. This will help you define your brand and cater to a specific niche of people who value the same things, and who will ultimately become your most loyal customers. If you already know who your target audience is, invest some time in doing more research on this demographic to discover their interests and other values. Be sure to stay up-to-date with current news regarding your target audience’s interests so you can be the first to provide customers with the most relevant information. This way, you can gain more loyalty from readers while retaining it as well.

As personalization is becoming increasingly easier for web and application users, it is now more important than ever to produce high quality, shareable content. By following these tips you can make sure your company stays at the top of all news feeds!