How brands, organizations, and candidates can make the most of Facebook’s News Feed updates
Facebook is adjusting its News Feed to better align with the company’s mission of connecting family and friends. Here we share a few of the most important tips for navigating these updates.
Paid advertising remains important.
With these changes, paid Facebook advertising is becoming increasingly important. We’ve seen organic reach drop dramatically over the last several years, but now meaningful content distribution will require ads. These three techniques can help you use paid promotion to connect with your audience:
• Leverage successful content with paid promotion. Use content and posts that already resonate with your followers and boost them on Facebook’s platform to reach a wider audience.
• Reach people’s personal networks. People are more likely to see content from close friends and family, and using advertising to target folks connected to your followers can help spread the message and get your content to the right audiences.
• Increase investment in promoting other channels. Ensure you’re communicating with followers on other channels like email, mobile, or other social platforms through a small paid acquisition budget. Facebook is one means of communication, and increased cross-channel overlap can help ensure your message reaches your audience.
A strong community management strategy will be crucial.
This is also a great opportunity to reevaluate your community management strategy. We recommend the following best practices to make the most of your organic content.
• Use engagement to help with persuasion. Consider creative ways to prompt people to interact with persuasion content to ensure it expands its reach. This will matter more for any election spend in 2018 as opposed to fundraising.
• Employ person-to-person digital organizing. Campaigns in particular need to empower volunteers and supporters to use their digital networks to take action. Status updates from your supporters will carry more weight in the News Feed, helping to spread news, reminders to vote, and other content. This could include leveraging Facebook Groups to create more direct connections with supporters.
• Encourage followers to personalize their News Feed. The News Feed will be changed by default, but users can set certain pages to always appear in their feed. If they want to see content from you first, they can do so by telling Facebook to prioritize your content. Email or even a small flight of ads can help drive your most passionate supporters to take this step.
• Reach core users via email. Some brands are encouraging their most dedicated viewers to connect with them on Facebook via email. There are a few ways to do this:
- Send an email out to your most engaged email readers encouraging them to follow, share, and adjust their News Feed preferences to see more of the content you know they enjoy.
— Include this ask as a portion of currently scheduled email. This can be presented as a cross-channel effort. For example: “Like hearing from us? Make sure to follow us on Facebook…”
• Leverage engaged Facebook users. On popular posts, pin a comment with instructions for how to continue hearing from your organization on Facebook or direct them to a webpage that outlines instructions. This is a way to inform current Facebook followers of steps they can take without that being the primary focus of a post.
This isn’t the first change Facebook has made to its News Feed, and it certainly won’t be the last. But with a strong integrated approach and clear expectations, you can ensure your message still reaches the people who need to hear it the most.