Yesterday Facebook unveiled a reimagined newsfeed experience that has enormous implications for every brand with a Facebook page. Here are five of the big shifts you should have on your radar.
Edgerank Is Dead
Facebook has given up on trying to filter your content for you in favor of serving separate feeds to users. Think of it now as friends, photos, events, pages, and a firehose of everything you're connected with.
Expect to see dramatic fluctuations in reach and engagement as you figure out when your core audience is engaging in a longer (desktop or tablet) session. It's very likely you'll start posting more often to different time zones as you try to catch users relaxing in the evening or sneaking Facebook time at work.
Note: Facebook has not explicitly stated that Edgerank has been killed. There's just no functional reason for it to exist in a multi-newsfeed experience.
3rd Party Video Finally Gets Some Love
Facebook is now featuring videos from third parties (think Vimeo and YouTube) on equal footing with Facebook videos. That means full-width content and in-newsfeed playing.
Your video thumbnail is now a full size opportunity to convince your fans to watch and share your videos. For brands already pushing the envelope of newsfeed content, this will be an easy and rewarding shift.
Images Are Even Better
The rise of the visual web isn't new news but it's great to see Facebook making strides to make the newsfeed experience even better for photos. Your images might not be better but Facebook is committed to doing a better job of displaying them.
For brands with limited visual content, this should be the final wakeup call. If you can't produce compelling brand imagery, Facebook no longer represents an organic opportunity.
Links Matter Again
You've probably seen the updated tiles in your newsfeed from friends connected to Instagram or Pinterest. Now Facebook is rolling out the larger thumbnails and excerpts as a default link and application action treatment.
If your brand has a lot of great content on a blog or community site, now links to that content will show up in a big way without sneaking links into image captions. Judging by the content on a lot of brand pages I've seen lately, most weren't optimizing links for newsfeed anyhow. Congratulations, waiting for things to get better just paid off.
Cross-Device Design has Arrived
Facebook just gave the web design community something wonderful. Now when you're talking to a crowd about the importance of a device-agnostic web experience you can just say, "like Facebook" and even the staunchest troglodyte will nod in understanding.
The next step for brands is to sit down with your community managers and content team. Ask them to start answering two questions before posting something to Facebook:
- Why will our fans care about this content?
- Why will they share this content?
Best practices of strategic paid support, tight copy, bright images, and time-of-day optimization still apply.