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Facebook’s News Feed Change: Tips for Publishers

It’s here. Facebook made the big change to its news feed. Many saw it coming, especially Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner.

(If you haven’t seen his breakdown of the Facebook News Feed change, it’s a must.)

But, we understand. Like Kimberly said in her blog this month, “I get why Mark Zuckerberg is doing it. He wants Facebook to be a place for people to connect with friends and families. Makes perfect sense.”

And while we understand, we also know getting our content in front of our audience just got even harder.

You’ve probably read a lot of articles already about the changes, and the tips I’m providing likely aren’t new. But, if you are wondering how to optimize your content for the new changes, here are a few thoughts.

Pay to play 

Social media pros have been saying this for years, but it’s now more vital than ever to build a budget into your social media strategy.

Do you have to put money behind every post? No. Who can? But if you don’t have a social media budget, it’s time to talk to your leaders about getting one.

Post only your BEST content

If you’re picky about what you post to your organization’s Facebook page, that’s great. It’s time to be even more strategic.

Content that performs low in engagement will hurt your reach in the future, so make sure you’re putting out the highest quality content, which is the content you know your audience wants to see from your pages.

While brainstorming this blog, Chase said, “You have to know your audience, or you’ve got no chance.” He’s right. Don’t guess what you think your audience might like. Make informed decisions by analyzing the hard data you’ve collected from your social media accounts. Use that to drive your strategy.

Comments, comments, comments 

The updated News Feed algorithm puts more importance on conversations, so you need to get your audience talking.

Ask your audience questions and post content that encourages them to comment on your posts.

…But don’t “engagement-bait”

Yes, you want to get your audience to comment on your posts, but beware of the engagement-bait. Facebook penalizes pages that “systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed.”

This includes vote bating, react bating and share bating. It’s not the best strategy to build a loyal audience, anyway.

That being said, we have definitely asked CSU’s fans to vote for their favorite season of the Oval using reactions. If you’re asking your fans to engage, make sure your posts still align with your brand (aka, don’t force it just to get comments).

Use Facebook Live and videos

I’ve noticed (as I’m sure a lot of social media managers have) Facebook encourages users to try its new features by placing those posts higher in News Feed and in front of more people.

Remember when Facebook came out with the 360 panorama trick? I saw panoramas in my newsfeed for months.

When Facebook first released Facebook Live, users would get a notification when pages they followed went live. People, a whole notification. When Facebook comes out with a cool new feature, take advantage of it: use it, use it, use it.

Lately, we’ve seen our Facebook Live and video posts perform really well. With the new change to News Feed, there’s a chance you’ll see more Facebook Live videos and regular videos coming from CSU’s Facebook page because we know Facebook wants us to post them.

“See first in News Feed” 

Facebook allows people to choose what content they see first in their personal news feeds, including content from pages.

Consider coming up with a clever and playful way to ask your fans to choose to see your page’s content first in their news feeds.

Stay strong out there, friends

It’s a big and scary change. Just stay true to your brand and your fans. We’re all in this together!