Get Visual

New-NewsFeed

Last week Facebook announced major changes to its news feed that leave brand communicators scrambling to find the best way to adjust. Apart from enhancing the aesthetics of the news feed, the most significant modification will allow users to choose from several streams: Top News, Friends, Pages (brands), Music, Games and Photos. The split of brand content and friend content could give businesses separation anxiety. How often will users seek out the new pages feed? How will organization keep their communities engaged with updates? Scaling up the ratio of visual and audible posts in the content strategy will likely be the most effective solution.

Get-Visual

Photos have become increasingly popular content on Facebook, leading Facebook to give them more real estate on the site and, now even their own news feed. Community managers have been aware of the shift in the popularity of visual content for awhile now, but the categorized news feeds, and the potential for overlooked content, will force them to prioritize rich media over basic and wordy posts.

facebook-newsfeed-photo-increase

As photos continue to grow in popularity, the “Photos” feed will be a place where users spend much of their time while on the site. This feed isn’t segregated between friends and pages, so brands have an opportunity to be a part of this one-stop shop for the most popular content on Facebook. That means brands must be able to communicate their messaging and story through visual content in order to be in front of more users. As more and more brands adopt this strategy, the photo feed may run the risk of becoming cluttered. We don’t know much about how in-feed ads will be affected, but one can assume that putting ad dollars behind important visual content will be crucial in helping it rise above the fray. Another feed where brands can frolic and play with everyone else is the music feed. The fact that Facebook has added this as a stand alone feed could mean they expect big things to come in the audio arena. It may not be a good fit for every brand, but those that are creative enough to figure out how to convey their messages and story through music will likely find an unfiltered outlet to do so. While this thinking may be a little further “outside the box,” it could be a good way for brands to communicate their culture and personality. Not to mention, it will give you an excuse to expense that Spotify Premium account. The days of brand and friend content in the same news feed appear to be numbered, but the opportunity remains for brands to engage through richer content. It’s another challenge presented by the ever-changing Facebook, but brands with smart, creative communicators will continue to adapt and thrive there.

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