Facebook News Feed Update: 5 Things Brands Need to Think About

Becky Doles

Facebook News Feed

On March 7, Facebook introduced the first large-scale change to their News Feed since the site launched. The change will focus on creating content-specific feeds on the main page giving users more control over what they are viewing at any given time.

How this affects brands and marketers

Since going public, Facebook has made steps toward increasing the prominence and placement of advertising products it offers to brands. While the new changes to the News Feed will undoubtedly change the user experience – making it easier to segment and browse content, the resulting efficiencies will also carry over into the realm of paid advertising.

Large images mean more real estate

Large images as a default in the News Feed mean more real estate for paid ad placements and give brands and marketers a larger canvas to tell their story. If Instagram photos are also brought into a new Photo feed, this could up the importance of Instagram shots published to Facebook pages. Also, make sure you’re following the 20% text rule with your images if you plan on sponsoring them at any time.

Brevity becomes important

With Facebook now using a text overlay on images, the importance of being succinct in your description comes to the forefront. A long description could ruin the perfectly-framed shot.

New ad formats and placement

Facebook has been experimenting with expandable video units and this new change to the News Feed could see them make their way into the space where most engagement happens.

The addition of dedicated feeds also brings the opportunity to place sponsored content within those specific feeds – possibly increasing engagement and targeting in an effort to provide even higher levels of engagement. In this case, you may choose to run a number of Sponsored Stories, but use different variations for each based on which feed you target them to.

Think mobile first

One of the things that jumped out during the Facebook News Feed announcement was the influence of mobile on the new design – that’s not by accident. Facebook is seeing mobile usage continue to grow. For brands to connect with their audiences when and where they are, they’ll need to think about how content and experiences are displayed on mobile and how the content they’re linking to works on a mobile device as well. Creating a great post that links to a page that isn’t a great mobile experience kills the hard work.

Help educate your fans

Facebook’s latest rounds of Privacy Policy and Design changes have spurred backlash from the community – which will eventually die down. However, initial lack of understanding could have an impact on user behaviors including usage and engagement. It’s important for brands to help educate their fans about the new changes and let them know how to easily find content from them.

Bonus tip: the dark post is your friend

Dark posts are a relatively new option for pages to publish and sponsor content without that content actually living on the Page. Facebook recently extended availability of dark posts to 100% of users globally. This is incredibly useful when A/B testing creative and copy to see which performs better while not cluttering your Page.

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Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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