What Facebook’s New Redesign May Mean for Small Business

Facebook just announced a major redesign today to their News Feed.
To get an idea of what you’re in for, check out this quick release from Facebook: http://newsroom.fb.com/News/581/A-New-Look-for-News-Feed

or check out these videos:

 

Here are just a few of the highlights of the redesign:

  1. Stories that are visually rich will be displayed at a larger size
  2. A consistent user experience from desktop to mobile
  3. FINALLY the ability to see every post as it happens (previously some posts were left out)
  4. The ability to sort through various categories in your news feed

Those last two points may be key to marketers and business owners.

A long-time struggle people had with Facebook was the fact that not every post showed to every person who they were friends with or had liked their page. Perhaps only those who suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) had this issue. Either way, Twitter and Google Plus stood out as being an unforgiving fire hose of information. Now it appears Facebook has admitted defeat and have finally given people the ability to see ALL “Friends” and “Following.”  This mean when a user sorts their news feed by one of those two categories, they will be shown a chronological display of everything that has been posted. “All Friends” shows just that, all posts by all of your friends (be careful what you wish for). “Following” will display all post from all public figures and pages that you have Liked.

The downside to people seeing every post you make, is that people will see every post you make. This means as marketers we have to be more sensitive and relevant to the fact that people have opted into your page and shouldn’t have a deal or offer shoved down their throat every two seconds. People may be more likely to unlike your page to escape the cheesy sales pitches.

Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what people want to see. It appears to me that by being able to see everything chronologically will change that. I’m sure Facebook is keeping the “Top Stories” function and this is where EdgeRank will still have a play in marketing. It was becoming a science of Facebook marketing to determine what types of posts when would show up better than others. While this may still hold true, some things are changing.

Pictures, videos, links and some 3rd party apps (Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) will display larger if they are more visually appealing. Recent EdgeRank studies were showing plain text posts to produce more reach. So it will still become a debate on how to market: Be visually appealing vs. Play the EdgeRank game. A main thing with this visual redesign that wasn’t covered was how is this going to affect advertisements? If the right hand side of Facebook is cleaned up, will this mean that sponsored stories and posts will be the ad trend of the future? It’s still early to tell and Facebook hasn’t given the fine details of their design, but we shall see soon.

How soon?

Everyone is getting this redesign through a rapid rollout to web users first, then mobile. If you’re an early adopter (and why shouldn’t you be, it’s best to learn something before everyone else) sign up for their waitlist: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed

As a social media nerd, I’ll be keeping an eye on how this progresses. Stay tuned to future presentations and posts on this blog or if you’d like to chat privately, I’m available for personal consultation.

Facebook is always going to change, people are always going to complain about change, but this is one change that should please the majority.

How do you feel about Facebook’s new redesign?
Let me hear it in the comments below!

-Derek Wyatt
Co-Founder of CAKE

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