The only thing that seems constant about Facebook is change, like the old saying goes. And (in case you hadn’t heard) the recent changes they made to the algorithm they use to determine how to display content in users’ News Feed is no different.
Once again, Facebook has made some substantial changes – no surprise there, right? But this time, they’re being much more transparent with users, and so far, the results seem a lot more positive than with updates in the past.
The two changes that got the most attention were called Story Bumping and Last Actor.
Story Bumping is Facebook’s way of making sure you see content that is new to you and highly relevant, even if it’s a little bit older, chronologically speaking. So – if you have a friend who posts a highly engaging post at 10:00, but you miss it because it’s not in the top of your News Feed, Facebook will take notice that it’s getting a lot of engagement and will push it higher in your News Feed, even though it’s chronologically older.
On the other hand, Last Actor means that Facebook will look at your last 50 engagements at any given time (and this is a window of time that rolls, so it’s continually updating). They’ll use information about those engagements (likes, comments, shares) to give more importance to pages and people that you’ve interacted with most recently, figuring that content is more likely to be relevant to you.
While Facebook changes can often seem arbitrary, I think these changes really are rooted in trying to give all of Facebook’s users – brands and individuals – a better experience. They’re trying to take what’s likely to be most relevant to users and make that content more relevant in users’ News Feeds.
What Does This Mean For Brands?
First and foremost – this means that in case you didn’t realize that engagement was important before, it’s just become even more important. In terms of Story Bumping, content that appears more relevant due to engagement is going to be pushed up to the top of users’ News Feeds. And in terms of Last Actor, the more people engage with your content, the more they will see that engagement in their News Feeds.
How to Create Highly Engaging Facebook Content?
#1 – Have a variety of content
Some people are visual; others are more verbal (and still others are more auditory). Make sure your content reflects a number of different styles of information-gathering and learning. Use humor, graphics, graphic quotes, info graphics, how-to tips, and other kinds of content to appeal broadly to a variety of learning styles.
#2 – Use specific calls to action
Many studies have shown how useful it is to have a specific call to action in your Facebook content. (Again, use a variety of kinds of content). But alternate among asking people to “Like,” “Comment,” and “Share” your Facebook content to encourage your audience to take the actions you want them to take.
#3 – Use a content calendar to create anticipation
One way to encourage your fans to seek out your content on a regular basis is to make certain pieces predictable and highly anticipated. Many people love the #ThrowbackThursday meme for this reason. Have one specific feature each day of the week that people can look forward to, and they’ll be more likely to actively look for (and engage with) that content.
QUESTION: How will you make Last Actor and Story Bumping benefit your Facebook marketing efforts? Leave a comment below!