November 10, 2011

What Facebook’s hybrid News Feed means for engagement

  • Buffer
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Ticker and News feed

5 tips to help you take advantage of Facebook’s twin feeds

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

John HaydonFacebook’s enhanced News Feed and Ticker has changed the engagement game for Facebook Page admins. And those who know the rules of the game will be able to get more results simply by shifting strategy.

Facebook now has two News Feeds

Facebook users now have two News Feeds in one — the Ticker and the main News Feed (see image above).

The main News Feed is similar to what we’ve been used to, but “Top Stories” and “Recent” stories are more prevalent. The “Ticker” on the right is a Twitter-like feed of stories published by a user’s Facebook friends. These News Feeds present content in very different ways:

  • The Main News Feed – This includes stories by friends and Pages you’ve liked. “Recent” is simply posts in reverse chronological order. What appears in “Top Stories” is entirely determined by Edgerank.
  • The Ticker – This includes only stories by friends. Your Page only gets exposure if a user is “Talking About” your Page.

How the two News Feeds impact Facebook Pages

According to EdgeRank Checker, soon after Facebook tweaked the News Feed, impressions (the number of times a story is displayed throughout Facebook) were down 25%, but likes and comments were up by 9% and 21% respectively.

This makes sense because when a user engages with your Facebook Page, the Ticker pushes it to all of their friends. Likes and comments can also increase if users see your Page story in their main News Feed.

How to shift your strategy

There are at least five ways you can tweak your current Facebook Page strategy to take advantage of the new News Feed:

    1. Increase your post frequency. To make up for the overall decrease in impressions, post more frequently. Make sure you use Insights to determine how many posts per day work best for your Page.
    2. Create even more engaging content. Posts that have a high EdgeRank will now remain in the News Feed longer.

  1. Get fans to stay connected. Deepen and broaden your relationships with fans so that they share your Page content consistently. You can do this by rewarding fans or using a content calendar.
  2. Push engagement with other channels. Use your email list or Twitter to drive engagement on specific posts.
  3. Get more airtime with Facebook Sponsored Story ads. You can create an ad featuring one of your Page stories to get you even more attention near the News Feed (ads are displayed right below the ticker).

How have you changed your Facebook Page strategy?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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