Facebook is Giving Users What They Want, But Will They Want You?

Brands and business will all race to start asking their audience to add their page to the “see first” section of their feed, so you'd better start early.

This week, Facebook made a significant update to users’ News Feed preferences that could give users more control over the content they see in their News Feeds.

With this update, a user can easily choose which friends or pages they would like to follow or unfollow, which friend or page they would like to see first in their timeline, and they can now discover new pages based on previous preferences.

What does this mean for you, the marketer? How do you keep your content at the top of your users News Feed, or better, in your users’ News Feed?

Start planning your “See First Campaign”

Brands and business will all race to start asking their audience to add their page to the “see first” section of their feed, so you’d better start early. This could be promoted in a Facebook cover photo, or in email marketing, or it will likely be seen as a call to action in larger marketing campaigns.

Note that if you want to promote this request via a Facebook post, and you’re not supplementing that post with an ad buy, it will likely be seen by only 1 to 3 percent of your total Facebook community. So, a post encouraging users to “star you” should be supplemented with a Facebook ad purchase to be sure it’s viewed. And when you’re encouraging a user to add you to the “see first,” it’s best to start with why, which leads to the next tip.

Start with Why?

Ask yourself, often, when planning your Facebook content, why should someone care? Why should they not hide you from their feed? Are you offering tips, advice, interesting content that they aren’t finding on other pages? Do you know your audience well enough to know what will get them to stop scrolling? In other words, determine content that adds value to your users’ lives that’s also relevant to your brand strategy.

Curate and Create Real Time Content

If brands and businesses really want to act like publishers, they need to think beyond the content calendar. That means you should be providing real time content, news, and information around the events and happenings that are most interesting to your audience that they can’t find elsewhere.

Post Better Content, Less

If you’re thinking you’re not posting enough, you’re likely wrong. Data shows that the brands that have fewer, but more quality posts, get better overall organic reach. The optimal amount of posts is something you can track over time in your analytics, but as a rule of thumb, work harder on less content.

Remember, You Can’t Buy Love, or Likes

This new update is further confirmation that buying likes or relying solely on page like buys without the quality content to support it is an unsound Facebook strategy. Conversely, a hidden benefit in this update for brands  is the fact that your page might be suggested to a user without a page like budget.

Nicole Larrauri is Managing Partner of EGC Group, one of New York’s fastest growing marketing and digital agencies. Nicole is a featured contributor to Agency Post, was named a “40 Under 40” honoree, and was listed among the “Five People to Watch in Advertising” by Newsday and LIBN.