As of August 2013, the typical Facebook frequenter sports an average of over 141 friends, with a large chunk of the company’s primary demographic (18-24 year old’s) boasting a significantly higher accumulation (510 per user).
Facebook and its double friend request mechanism allows for an influx of content, prompting interaction and engagement among its users. On any given day, the average user’s News Feed attracts 1,500 possible stories.
Upon filtration, however, a mere 20% of the aforementioned 1,500 stories actually reach the eyes of the user.
Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon..
Facebook, the world’s largest social networking platform announced that it’s altering the way it deciphers the posts you come across when you log in. The most recent photos, integrated links, videos and status updates, will be available — as usual — but now old, engaging posts that might have been overlooked the last time you checked your Facebook, will be bumped to the top of your feed.
“Our main goal is really to make the best personalized newspaper for our users,” said Facebook News Feed engineering manager Lars Backstrom on Tuesday. And the way to execute this sentiment is by putting the “best stories at the top where you’re most likely able to engage with them“.
They are calling this new algorithm, “Story Bump”.
HOW IT WORKS
Facebook has come along way since its inaugural days where the tech company distributed content (statuses, videos, images) on user feeds through the use of dials. Today, a systematic algorithm does the heavy lifting, highlighting the stories it assumes account holders will find most interesting on any given day.
“The process assigns each new story a score, placing the highest scoring stories at the top of the feed.
Scores are determined using a number of factors, such as the relationship you have with the user who posted it, the number of comments, the number of shares, and the number of likes that the story has accumulated.”
WHY IT SHOULD MATTER TO YOU
After a recent test conducted by Facebook on Story Bump, it was reported that the dynamic News Feed resulted in an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories testers saw from Pages.
And if your organization is invested in advertisements, an 8% increase in engagement can prove to be extremely substantial to potential reach.
Whether a small brand with a fast growing following or an industry leader with millions of brand advocates worldwide, to sustain upward progress and ensure an ROI on your daily social media output, the focus must be on creation of shareable, scalable, engaging and compelling content.
For dull brands that lack innovation within the social media ecosystem, their message will continuously be replaced (on news feeds) by content more interesting and engaging.
KEEP YOUR BRAND CONTENT ON TOP BY:
Educating – Empower your audience by providing shareable, uplifting resources. These include weekly tips, productive/industry-relative quotes, a link to current events that align with your company’s objective etc. Your fan base will recognize your brand as a source of information and will willingly visit your page for updates and share posts with their connections.
Creating An Emotional Attachment – Brand loyalty is built when a unique relationship is cultivated between your brand and members of your target audience. When consistent with your company objective, infusing emotion into your culture ensures your target audience that selling isn’t necessarily a top priority. Showcasing your company culture and embracing the community your industry inhibits creates this attachment and builds brand equity.
Prompting Fan Engagement – Allow fans to showcase their creativity through Fill in the blanks, Photo Captions Contests and answering thought-provoking Questions ensures continuous engagement on your posts! Remember, question-based posts get 100% more comments than standard text-based posts and shorter posts get 23% more interaction than posts that exceed 250 characters. So keep ‘em short and inquiring!
Using Images !! – Dress up compelling, informative text with a compelling graphic! It’s by far the most engaging format of content on Facebook today, even receiving more likes, shares and comments than its counterpart, video. Photos eat up more space in your readers’ News Feeds and they are easier and quicker to produce than video.
By consistently integrating these simple steps into your day-to-day Facebook posting, you’ll reap the benefits of the Story Bump algorithm designed to reward user creativity…
… and in the process, avoid drifting into obscurity.
What’s your opinion on Facebook’s new algorithm, “story bump”? Will it affect your current Facebook strategy?