The news feed is arguably the single most important element on Facebook. When you initially log into your account, you’ll see a “feed” of various “news” stories posted by other users. As a marketer, though, there are certain complexities to Facebook’s news feed that you need to understand; otherwise, you won’t be able to fully utilize this social media network to its full potential.
How Posts are Prioritized in Facebook’s News Feed
It’s a common assumption that the most recent posts made by your friends and Pages that you follow are prioritized first, with them being displayed at the top of your news feed. However, the social media giant recently announced that it was prioritizing news feed items based on the time spent reading or watching content. In other words, if a particular video is being watched all the way through (e.g. from start to finish), it will rank higher in the news feed than video that is only being watched halfway through.
So, what can you do to encourage followers to read and watch more of your content? The answer is simple: produce content that’s engaging and relevant to your followers. Check to see what type of content your followers are liking, sharing and commenting on, and try to mirror these topics with your own content marketing strategy.
Fewer Commercial Posts in News Feed
Something else to consider when promoting your products and/or services on Facebook is that you’ll naturally generate less exposure in the news feed when compared to personal, non-commercial posts. Facebook announced a while back that it was reducing the number of commercial posts that appear in users’ news feed. So if a post is commercial in nature, such as a product advertisement, it will be seen by fewer users.
With Facebook displaying fewer commercial posts in the news feed, business owners are often forced to use the network’s paid advertising platform, Facebook Ads. With Facebook Ads, you can rest assured knowing that your commercial posts will be seen, although you’ll have to pay for the traffic.
Facebook reportedly reduces the frequency of consecutive posts appearing in users’ news feed from the same source. In other words, if you publish three back-to-back posts, your followers may only see one of them. Unfortunately, there’s no “trick” to get around this formula. You can always publish content from different Pages or profiles, or you can spread your content across multiple days of the week, but other than that you are at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithm.