Facebook: Content Is Still King

by Katie Kearsey Content – better yet, content curation – is king. You might say this mantra is old news, but it doesn’t make it any less relevant. In fact, content curation, or the organizing and sharing of content in a way that is meaningful to your audience, is becoming increasingly important in light of the recent changes Facebook has made to its newsfeed and page insights tools.

Facebook recently changed the home newsfeed, splitting it into Top Stories and Recent Stories.  Top Stories are updates that appear for users who are more likely to engage with a particular post given past engagement history and whether or not the user has flagged it as a Top Story.  All of the other less engaging stories that don’t make the cut fall into the Recent Stories section. Users have the option to identify these as Top Stories, but the amount of time they’re displayed in a user’s newsfeed is significantly less than it has been in the past.  Therefore, Top Stories are at the center of the user’s attention, while Recent Stories are the ones that are flowing through the newsfeed at a quicker rate.

Facebook also announced an overhaul of its page insights analytics tool and added metrics to gauge the health of a page.  Currently referred to as “People Talking About,” this feature will enable users to more clearly understand that some pages have higher engagement ratings than others.  Pages with higher ratings are generally the ones that produce the most interesting, compelling and/or engaging content.  These numbers therefore have the potential to influence users by determining whether or not they decide to “Like” a page and join the community.  According to Mashable, the tool will also enable brands to better understand a variety of user activities on a page, including likes, comments and answering questions.  Brands will therefore be able to develop a better analytical grasp on whether or not their content is effective.

Changes to Facebook’s newsfeed have had a number of positive and negative effects so far.  According to the data compiled by Edge Rank Checker, the number of likes has increased 18 percent and the number of comments has risen 17 percent, but the average number of impressions per post has decreased by 33 percent.  It makes sense that the recent changes have resulted in higher engagement levels and lower impressions because people are seeing fewer irrelevant posts in their newsfeed, but the ones they are seeing are very well targeted.

The remaining question for brands is therefore who will sink and who will swim in a world where content creation and curation on Facebook is becoming increasingly important.  For brands, it is no longer about amassing the most “Likes,” but rather it is about constantly engaging fans in a meaningful way.  It is about developing a community of fans that consistently marks your updates as Top Stories and responds to and engages with the amazing content your brand has to offer.

Here are five tips and reminders to help you and your brand stay afloat amidst the changes:

  • Get some perspective. Good content keeps you reading, but it is great content that engages you and inspires you to share.  What do you read that you find interesting? What kind of content would you be most likely to share?
  • Develop a monthly plan and timeline to decide which key trends and topics you’ll be focusing on. This will keep your content relevant, specific and targeted.
  • Closely monitor fan reactions to gauge their levels of interest and engagement.  Explore the new Facebook page insights tools, and use the good “old fashioned” method of watching to see what your fans enjoy talking about the most. Capitalize on it.
  • Keep in mind both the general purpose (i.e. why you started your Facebook page) and the specific purpose (i.e. why you’re posting something in particular) when developing content.
  • Take advantage of all of the engagement options Facebook has to offer.  Providing users with pictures, videos, polls and questions gives them added incentive to engage with your already stellar content.
What are some of your methods for ensuring that you produce the best possible content to engage your fans? Please share in the comments below!