How does facebook’s newsfeed design impact brands?
A new design calls for a new advertising strategy
In its ongoing evolution Facebook announced its latest change today, the redesign of the user Newsfeed.
Facebook was quick to assure us that the redesign of the user Newsfeed is a pure design change and does not impact the Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, which uses a variety data to decide what stories are feature on a users newsfeed.
The visual redesign of the newsfeed focuses on bringing a richer visual experience to a user’s newsfeed. The redesign can be broken out into 3 major components:
1) Visual richness: bigger images on the news feed.
2) Multiple feeds: friends, photos, groups, pages (“Following” feed) etc.
3) Mobile consistency: consistent user experience with Facebook from web to mobile.
If you have been following the recent changes that Facebook has been making, the 20% text rule for cover photos and images for sponsored posts, the Newsfeed redesign does not come as a huge surprise. Rather it just puts the recent advertising and cover photo rule changes into context as Facebook was clearly preparing brands for the Newsfeed redesign by nudging them to move to a visual heavy content strategy.
Impact of the New Design
Shift from text heavy to visual heavy posts: This did not come as surprise to us at FUSE as we’ve already seen through our analysis of Facebook pages that visual based brand posts get a significantly higher engagement rate than text or link posts (and have been preparing our clients by developing content strategies with an emphasis on visual content). But Facebook is clearly creating the environment to encourage brands to switch to visual based posts, if they haven't done so already.
Increased importance of the cover photo: The brand pages cover photo will now be displayed in organic and paid Page Like stories. Combined with the 20% text rule, it is going to become imperative that brands translate their brand story into a visual format that is attractive to their fans. A cover photo of low quality or “unattractiveness” will hurt a brand more than it used to.
Introduction of the “Following” Feed: Brand posts will be housed within this feed and shown in chronological order. We do not have much insight into this change, but we know that users will have more control over what appears in their feeds and it is safe to assume that popular/relevant brand stories will continue to show up in the main news feed. The positive aspect of the “Following” Feed is that a user will be able to find all of the brand posts in one place.
With all these changes in place it is important for brands to develop content strategies that focus on providing their fans with engaging content. Content that ties the brand to their fans interest/needs and provides them with engagement value. What engagement value is your brand providing to your fans?
Images from Facebook Studio
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After I turn off iPhone’s infamous Marimba alarm clock at 6AM I find myself on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and… ah heck, I’m on the Internet for a good while before I get out of bed.
It’s not the salivating dessert shots or daunting DIY crafts that creep me out - it’s the fact that I just don’t belong.