Top Your Fans’ Facebook Feed Using the New AlgorithmPublished: August 7, 2013
Facebook’s ever-shifting interface calls for more changes to your social media strategy this week.
The two officially announced changes refine the way news stories pop up in users’ feed. Here’s a look at the changes, and how to take advantage of them to get your content seen.
1. Story Bumping
You’re probably already seeing the effects of story bumping on your computer. It has already been in effect for almost everyone on the desktop version of Facebook, but it’s still being added for mobile devices.
What it is:Story Bumping places the most popular posts in your feed toward the top of your feed, even if you missed it.
What it means: Your most viral posts will have a longer shelf life. People who weren’t online when you posted will now get a second chance. And, if the engagement continues, so can your exposure. In testing, this new feature led to an 8% increase in the number of business page stories seen.
Taking advantage: The posts that are already getting attention might now get an even further boost. Keep choosing content that works, and you will be able to reel in a wider net of viewership from your fans.
Also, this helps ease the burden on timing. If you are seeing two or more waves of fans, you only need to target your first major wave to get your content out to the following waves. (Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean to target your early morning fans; late night engagements should carry over to the next day, too.)
The new Facebook Insights offers some helpful tools: You can now see which post types generate the most engagement on your page, in addition to getting an in-depth look at how each post is faring. Look for patterns, and keep doing what works.
2. Last Actor
What it is: Another change announced this week was the introduction of Last Actor, which places stories from the last 50 people you’ve interacted with higher up in your feed. That brings anyone you’ve expressed a recent interest in to the top of your feed.
What it means: For starters, it means that when people engage with you, they’re more likely to see you in their feed again soon after.
Taking advantage: If you can catch your fans’ attention once, that will position you to be seen again.
Before a major campaign, kick off with your strongest content. If you can get people engaging early, you can earn a spot toward the top of their feed with your next few posts. So, start strong, and you’ll have a wider audience for your follow-up.
And there’s another major advantage to this feed update: Last Actor gives you a chance to engage more frequently and more directly with your “best audience.” In marketing, it’s important to spread your message to new business, but it’s more profitable to maintain your most loyal clientele.
The Facebook algorithm should already be helping you connect to people who are looking for your content, but now you have another chance to reach out to that strong potential fan base.
But be careful here, too. You don’t want to bombard your fans. With the privilege of getting your follow-up posts at the top of your fans’ feed comes the responsibility not to repel them with that follow up. Don’t start strong, then post so much or such trivial content that people find you grating. That will just set you back with a lot of “unlikes” from the fan base you’ve already earned.
Plus: New Tools
Facebook is also pointing out your most engaging posts. Among your controls at the top of your fan page, you can see your recent posts at the top left. Your more engaging posts will now have a star to the left, and they will be highlighted in yellow. (Facebook is also sending out occasional notifications, trying to encourage you to boost your viral posts with paid advertising.)
So, just keep in mind that those highlighted posts are the ones that might be lingering in people’s feed— and that you have a small window following those posts to re-engage those fans who liked those posts.
The main takeaway
The basic rules haven’t changed. Your goal is still to provide interesting and relatable content. Posts still have to earn their spot at the top, but now they have a chance to linger there, depending on how you follow up.
Have you seen any changes in your fan interaction with the addition of Story Bumping and Last Actor?