Facebook has announced three changes recently that alter users’ news feeds, and I believe they’re all a move in a similar direction that indicates what users are doing on Facebook, and, ultimately what it means for businesses marketing on the site.
Let’s take a quick look at the changes:
Facebook has a new “Unfollow” feature in the drop down setting menu on posts in users’ timelines. It’s a renamed “Hide all” option, which allows users to hide posts from a particular friend in their timelines, without unfriending that person.
The social network is also showing users related articles, after they have clicked on a link to an article in their timelines, like this:
So, what does this all add up to? Well, in my mind it just shows that once again, content is king. All three of these changes belie the fact that social media users want to see news feeds with useful information about the things that interest them – that’s why you can hide the feeds of people whose content doesn’t interest you, that’s why Facebook wants to show you related articles, that’s why there’s a growing emphasis on showing users articles in general.
Facebook’s blog post about the changes says, “Today’s update to News Feed ranking recognizes that people want to see more relevant news and what their friends have to say about it.”
Just as Google’s recently announced search engine changes are a move toward ranking content best that answers a searcher’s questions, Facebook is giving priority to posts that link to content that matches a users’ interests.
What does this mean for social media marketers? Links to articles outside of Facebook now matter more than ever. By Facebook’s own estimation, traffic to media sites from the social network leapt up 170 percent over the past year.
Small business owners should capture some of that referral traffic by adding quality content to their Web sites and sharing it on Facebook. One of the best ways to do this is through a blog on your site that can answer reader questions, explain aspects of your business, and answer questions customers may be searching for.
Content marketing isn’t just a buzzword, it’s the heart and soul of social.
If you need help with blog writing, social media management or other content creation, let’s talk about what Harness TechED can do for you.