What Facebook’s Customizable News Feed Means For Marketers

As digital marketing came into being, businesses started using the social channel – Facebook for advertising and acquiring more customers. This resulted in the platform moving from ‘socialising network’ to almost an ‘ad network’ in the eyes of the user.

To establish themselves back to their main aim of serving easy socialising, Facebook has been consistently optimizing their News Feed algorithm.

While these changes have definitely made the platform a lot more user friendly, it has made marketing on the social channel a lot more challenging.

Let’s start by taking a look at how users can customize their Facebook News Feed.

Customizing your Facebook News Feed and what it means for you as a marketer

1. Ability to choose what you want to see first

The best thing that Facebook introduced to their algorithm, was letting the users choose what they want to see first on their News Feed. A user can set this to choose which page or person’s posts he wants to see on his feed. The platform lets one choose up to 30 people or pages that they can choose to see first amongst the volumes of content other pages and their friends choose.

facebook preferences
Select who you want to appear on your News Feed first

When you see a post, hover over the ‘like’ button and select ‘show posts in News Feed’. That’s all you need to do to customize your feed!

facebook customize feed
Choose the pages and profiles you want to see posts from first

What it means for marketers?

Businesses now will need to focus on creating contextual messages and posts while reaching out to their target audience on a regular basis. If they seem even the slightest bit spammy or pushy for a sale, you might end up being the one they don’t want to see posts from.

2. Ability to get notified as per interest

Another change that Facebook brought in was giving users the ability to choose what they want to be ‘notified’ about. So instead of getting notifications every time a business page you like posts, you can choose to not get your notification centre cluttered!

Facebook turn on notifications
Turn on notifications of posts you would like to see more frequently and not miss

With this feature, users can choose on getting notified of activities like live chats, live videos, events and offers from businesses they are interested in. all they need to do is select what you want to be notified of.

What it means for marketers?

This is almost like asking your target market to subscribe to your business newsletter or opt-in to your email list. You will need to give them a value proposition that makes them want to make this commitment. Marketers will need to look for ways to promise adding value to the users to be able to reach their notification centre.

3. Ability to customize your mobile feed

Similarly, users can optimize their mobile feeds as well. All they are required to do is tap on the arrow next to a post of a friend or a business page, click on ‘News Feed Preferences’ and set them as per your liking.

What it means for marketers?

Mobile is the number one source of traffic for most businesses. People are constantly on the lookout for more information on things that interest them and that is usually, on the go. So marketers will need to optimize all the content they share on Facebook, to deliver a seamless mobile experience. Also, it is important to make the content piece consumable and attractive to get attention even amidst the various checkins a user’s friends have made!

4. Ability to define your interests

A user can easily save all the pages of his interest on Facebook. It is like a curated list of content you like, are more likely to share and refer to in the future. If not from your news feed, you can also search for your interest and subscribe to other people’s lists. All you need to do is scroll down to ‘interests’ on your profile, hover over it and click ‘more’. You can also choose the privacy of your lists.

 

facebook interests
Create lists of pages and people you like to visit frequently

Bryan Nagy explains all about Facebook interest lists in a post here. Don’t forget to give it a read if you want your own list! 😉

What it means for marketers?

Marketers will need to fit into the interests of their target audience to land in their lists. From compelling campaigns, to marketing collaterals like ebooks, checklists, etc, and of course, the regular posts you share, marketers will need to keep it all interesting to convert their audience into eventual customers.

5. Ability to select your favourites

Favourites are like bookmarks on Facebook. These comprise of pages, groups, interest lists, friend lists, apps, etc that you tend to access the most. This is similar to interests in a way that only those things land up here that have actually got the audience hooked.

facebook favourites
View on desktop for your favourites

What it means for marketers?

To reiterate what we have been saying so far, marketers will need to become their ‘favourite’ to get to their favourites. And the only way to do so, is to consistently add value to your audience – when they know your business is focussed on enhancing their experience and catering to their needs better, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.

Facebook is focussing on creating a seamless experience for its users and businesses will need to strive for the same. It is all about creating personalized and contextual experiences for your target audience now and not just about attractive prices with a large list of features!

Do you think this will change the way marketers use this social media channel?

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