Last week, Facebook announced a brand new redesign of the News Feed. During the event, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg discussed how the new News Feed was created to give users a richer Facebook experience on the Web and via mobile devices. The main updates include:

  • Elements that create richer stories in the News Feed, such as larger images and detailed content
  • More control over what users see in their News Feed, with separate feeds for friends, music, photos, and pages they follow
  • Consistency on mobile devices, making the Facebook experience seamless from the Web to mobile

Facebook is gradually rolling out these changes, and if you want to get on the early waiting list you can sign up now to have your Facebook News Feed switched to the new look and feel. But until then, there are a few things you should be doing to make sure that your fans, and their friends, see the best and most usable content from your brand.

Focus on Bolder Images

Images have played a major role on Facebook since the launch of Timeline and the purchase of Instagram. In fact, 50% of News Feed stories are now photos. And to make the most of images, Facebook has increased the size of the pictures across the site. So, what can you do to get the most out of the new image sizes on Facebook?

  • Images attached to articles will also appear larger in the News Feed. So, if you currently post your business blog articles on your Facebook profile, you should make sure that each blog also has a relevant and engaging photo. That way, when fans share your posts from Facebook or from your blog, they will also see an image that represents the article instead of your logo or other images that might be on the page.
  • Create and post photos instead of only posting updates. For example, do you have an inspirational quote, a compelling stat, or a new product or service? Instead of posting just a text status update, consider posting a snackable photo that conveys your message, but in a visual format.

Put Your Best Profile Picture Forward

Not only are images that you post more prominent on the new News Feed, but your profile image and cover photo are also now front and center on new fans’ News Feeds. In other words, each time a new fan likes your profile page, a snapshot of your cover photo and profile picture will appear in your new fan’s News Feed so that their friends will see your photo, along with an option to “Like” your brand directly from the image. So, how can you make sure you create the best first impression of your business?

  • For your profile image, consider using a square version of your logo, as this will fit best within the dimensions. Also, avoid displaying unnecessary content in your profile image as it takes up valuable space and may not display large enough for fans to read, especially when viewed on mobile devices.
  • When selecting an image for your cover photo, make sure that the image is an accurate representation of your business page. For example, if you run a bakery, consider a display of your best-selling sweets. If you run a dentist office, you could use an image of your staff with happy patients, with their permission. Facebook also has a few guidelines for cover photos, so make sure to follow them so that your image doesn’t get flagged or removed.

Add Detailed Content

In addition to larger images, shared articles in the News Feed will also display more content in order to create a robust News Feed filled with information and details. Here are a few key details you should consider to promote your business page.

  • When a fan checks into your business on Facebook, their friends may see an update with the check in and your location. The new News Feed will include a larger, more detailed map, so it’s critical to have your physical address listed on your business page.

  • In addition to adding your physical address, you should also make sure your page is complete so that consumers can find your business when searching with Facebook Graph Search. This includes selecting your categories, adding your business hours, and completing your “About” section so that consumers who click on your business page from a shared article, a checkin at your location, or a Graph Search result can see exactly what your business does.
  • When a you share a link from your website or blog on Facebook, more of the article description will appear in addition to a larger image. In order to get more clicks on your article, make sure that the meta description for your blog post is detailed and enticing so that fans who see your post will want to read more.

Build a Strong Fan Base

By creating multiple News Feeds for specific categories, Facebook has given users much more control over what they see. Users will be able to sort their feeds by groups, such as: All Friends, Most Recent, Music, Photos, and Following. This change is significant as it makes it more important than ever for your business to build a quality fan base and to distribute quality content. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Promote your Facebook page across your online presence. Your blog and website, at the very least, should feature Facebook “Like” or share options at the top of the page or every article. You can even add Facebook buttons to any emails you may send to current customers and leads. Also, consider reminding customers to “Like” your Facebook page with in-store signage or flyers.
  • Once you get customers and other consumers to “Like” your business on Facebook, make sure to give them a reason to stay connected. For example, you can offer deals and promotions through Facebook, give your fans a first glimpse at new products and services, create engaging contests and promotions, or show your loyalty and involvement in your community or charitable organizations by posting images and videos.

What do you think about the new changes to the Facebook News Feed? Do you have any additional tips on how you are preparing for the update? Let us know in a comment!