Veronica Tang | @tang_veronica Exciting changes are coming to the world's largest social networking website. Facebook recently announced a major change on its news feed. The newly designed feed's layout is visually richer and much more consistent across different mobile platforms. It also gives more control to the user by giving the option to filter feeds into multiple specific streams depending on their interests: photos, close friends, videos, games, music, etc. Mark Zuckerberg used the term "personalized newspaper" during the launching to describe the new change.
The big question remains: will the newly designed news feed benefit marketers?
The answers are both yes and no. A bigger feed means more emphasis on visuals, both pictures and videos. For creative brands and businesses, this bigger news feed gives more space to play with. In the future, brands might be able to explore a video advertising possibility on news feed. If your company currently does not utilize visuals on Facebook, you need to change your strategy to remain competitive. Additionally, brands can now target specific subfeeds that resonate closer with their image and industry for better engagement rate. For example, hotels can target users who have travel subfeed while restaurants and bakeries might want to target users with food subfeed. However, the filtered news feed also means users can opt-out from updates made by brands and producers.
Facebook, on the other hand, believes that these changes are favorable towards brands and businesses. In their blog, Facebook highlighted the importance of having an eye-catching, relevant cover photo. Now, if your friend likes a business on Facebook, the sponsored story generated is much more vibrant and inviting. Instead of appearing in the right side bar, this sponsored story will be displayed prominently in the new news feed with the page's cover photo as the background. Like button is also positioned more strategically in the updated feed.
Last but not least, users with less than 5,00o friends or followers are now able to promote their friends' post for $7. If you have friends doing charity causes, holding fundraising, or just needing help with their personal business, you can either lend them a hand ... or a $7. The choice is yours.
Promoted post is a feature initially rolled-out last year for businesses or brands with 400 to 100,000 fans. By promoting a post, brands can display their special message or promotion in their fans' news feed over a three-day period. When fans share, like, or comment on a promoted post, the stories will appear on their friends' feed too.