3marketingHubspot‘s new 35 page eBook focuses on Facebooks new news feed makeover, giving a wealth of information. From all this, we want to give you a summary of how to align content strategies in accordance with the new possibilities on Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last week the biggest change to the Facebook news feed in its seven-year history and emphasized the importance of giving the world the “best personalized newspaper in the world.”

That inspiration led to the creation of a multi-news feed, visually engaging, Facebook makeover that will come in three major parts:

  • Rich, visually engaging stories;
  • Choice of different feeds;
  • Mobile consistency and experience.

According to Facebook, “This change is a visual redesign of news feed only and does not change how we surface the most interesting stories to people.”

While it has been made clear that Facebook won’t be making any changes to its Edgerank algorithm, we disagree that it won’t change how content gets surfaced on Facebook. If users have the choice of tuning out messages directly from the brands they “Like” by looking at their “All Friends Feed”, chances are they’ll do it from time to time. The only way content from a brand page will get into a user’s “All Friends Feed” is if a user’s friends share content from that brand page.

Take a look at Hubspot‘s eight marketing takeaways to adjust and improve your Facebook content strategy accordingly:

1. Publish more visual content

Facebook’s new look is flooded with enhanced images of every variety -- an entire feed can be viewed solely comprised of these vivid photos! Just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content (photos and videos) saw an increase of 65% in engagement. This metric is bound to increase even further with the upcoming rich photos emphasis. Prepare for the roll out of these updates by creating visually compelling content. If you’ve been previously posting text-based statuses and links, think about how you can convert those ideas into visuals.

2. Plan photo-focused ads

While Facebook did not speak to how these news feed changes impact ads, according to an interview published by the MIT Technology review, when asked how the new design will affect ads, a Facebook representative said, “The idea of making things richer, more immersive, includes ads.” Furthermore, the article states, “Speculation about the changes include the possibility that Facebook will add additional mini-feeds segmented by content (such as one just for photos), as well as bigger, more targeted ads.” Only time will tell, but it’s important to start thinking about your ads from a visual perspective.

While previously posts with links primarily showed meta-titles and descriptions, the new news feed magnifies images, makes the title clearer, and provides a better summary of the content. Facebook’s response to the question about ads begs us to believe that ads will begin appearing in a similar fashion. The main takeaway here is to start thinking about the visuals you can pair with your advertisements -- strong and persuasive ad copy won’t be enough in this new age of Facebook.

3. Keep your copy short

With the spotlight on photos, Facebook has also changed the way captions will display. While previously captions were scripted underneath the uploaded photo, captions will now overlay images in the news feed. This means that photos will be the primary way by which people engage with your visual posts. Any copy you provide should be brief and succinct. It has to provide any key information the user needs to understand the image, take action on your CTA, or want to share the value it describes.

4. Focus more on your evangelists

With the new Facebook news feed, users will be able to look at content posted only from their friends. That means that even if someone likes and follows your business page, they may never see your posts because they filtered them out by looking at the content posted only from their friends.

Your solution to this is to focus more on your evangelists and customers. Your evangelists are the lovers of your brand. They are the people who find you remarkable, and share your updates with their own Facebook friends. Whether they are customers, or just pure fans of what you do, these people will be instrumental in your success on Facebook. Find out what these evangelists are most passionate about, and share content that directly targets them. Whichever it may be, that is the content that your evangelists will share, too. And that action of sharing will put the content in the friends-only feed of all the evangelists’ friends, increasing the reach of your content.

5. Create more compelling content

The way Facebook is now surfacing top-shared articles reminds us of a LinkedIn Today-like method for featuring top content. This means, it’s in your best interest to use Facebook as a way to promote your more public-facing content - such as blog content, for instance - to try to get your best content more viral reach. But here’s the secret when it comes to creating viral reach: It’s all about sharing compelling content. Facebook is exploding with content daily, and unless your content stands out from the crowd in terms of value and interest, it won’t gain the visibility it needs. As shown below, Facebook will, in a news-like fashion, aggregate the most shared content from a publisher, and include the company logo alongside that. As a content creator, you’ll need to work hard to create remarkable content that is shared so widely.

6. Integrate your Facebook & Pinterest strategy

Content shared through third-party apps will begin to see greater visibility in your news feed, including Pinterest. In fact, 98% of people surveyed with a Pinterest account said they also have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. Even more important, Pinterest drives sales directly from its website -- of people with Pinterest accounts, 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest.

By using Pinterest in tandem with the Facebook Pinterest app, you can use the enhanced appearance of Pinterest images in news feeds to direct more people to your Pinterest page. This can help drive people to purchase, as Pinterest creates an easy environment for driving sales. Use this information to integrate your Facebook and Pinterest posting schedules for greater returns.

7. Influence users to check-in to your business

Location has been gaining more importance on social. On Google+ we saw the integration of Google places, and when Facebook launched graph search, it came equipped with the ability to search for content based on location. In addition, results in graph search are often local. For example, if you search for the word “coffee,” Facebook’s graph search will likely return results on coffee shops near you.

Facebook’s changes makes check-ins more visible and clear in news feed. By finding ways to influence more people to check-in to your business, you’re creating more ways for people to see your business in the friends-only feeds.

8. Continue Increasing likes of your page

While the number of “Likes” your Facebook page has accumulated has always been important, the new news feed makes these “Likes” even more meaningful.

When a user previously liked your page, the excitement on the business site was around the increase in reach they could provide through their new fan’s friends of fans. There was no immediate benefit, but the new Facebook design makeover provides a benefit immediately.

When someone likes your page, a new story is created in news feed that shows the pages default and cover photo. This, once again, brings up how impactful your Facebook cover photo is, because every time someone likes your page, that cover photo will have the opportunity to influence the friends of you new Facebook fan.

The takeaways revealed in this guide are only the beginning stages of Facebook’s evolving news feed. Many questions still remain around potential impacts on brand pages, adjustments to the Edgerank algorithm, and where exactly users can see brand posts. (Source: www.hubspot.com)

By Hiba Assi