Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook changes impact on brand Fan Pages

Facebook has done it again. And we can certainly see that they aren't terribly worried about preparing their users for change. They like to just jump into it. And this is not the end of the changes. The f8 developers conference starts on Thursday, and more changes will likely be announced.
"All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven't visited Facebook for a while, the first things you'll see are top photos and statuses posted while you've been away. If you check Facebook more frequently, you'll see the most recent stories first. Photos will also be bigger and easier to enjoy while you're scrolling through." - A Facebook spokesperson

News Feed

  • Curates friends’ posts

  • Uses number of factors to decide whether they deserve top billing in News Feed

  • More prominently display pictures

  • New settings to give users post-by-post control over the feed


Ticker

  • Real-time updates

  • Fewer email notifications


Facebook is deciding what's important for you to see.
“Just as we aim to show you the most relevant updates in your News Feed today, we use a variety of signals to decide whether a story might be interesting or important. For example, this may include changes about your employer, school, relationship status or city, as well as things like the number of likes or comments on a post. For example, if a friend's post gets dozens of comments or likes, it’s likely to be a top story.” - A Facebook spokesperson

Users can control what becomes a top story by interacting with their own feeds.

“You can click on a top story and tell Facebook that it’s not relevant to you, or you can mark a post a top story,”

Likely future changes

  • A media platform

  • More e-commerce integration

  • More visibility to Facebook Credits

  • May also include an HTML5-based mobile platform (access to video on iOS)


What does this mean for brands?

Honestly it's a little early to determine the overall impact, however, early analysis is that prominent appearance in the News Feed of fans will rely more and more on engagement with content. The more frequently fans Like or Comment, the more likely it is that more of fans and friends of fans will see content in their News Feed. This isn't new. What is new, however, is the placement. Will content be in the Top Stories or in the Recent Stories (below the Top Stories)? The change to Recent Stories is important because early indications are that everything to which a user is subscribed will appear, whereas prior to the change it users needed to update settings from the default, otherwise all they ever saw was Top Stories.

How can brands help push content to the Top Stories?

  • Ask for the "Like" or comment.

  • Post compelling calls to action or engage in conversation

  • Load more photos & videos

  • Don't over-post on a daily basis.

  • Post seven days a week


More information as it becomes available and as we see the impact of the Top Stories on brand pages.

 
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