Facebook's News Feed Changes: Implications for Ministries and Non-ProfitsBy Diana Marsh
Facebook has begun rolling out significant changes to its news feed for both mobile and web format. What are the implications for non-profits and ministries?
According to Facebook’s blog, they’re doing this “to reduce clutter and focus more on stories from the people you care about. You see all the stories you saw in your News Feed before, but with a fresh new look.”
Basically, news feeds will be cleaner, more visual, and offer more filtering options. Facebook's 1 billion users will have four new news feeds:
• All Friends – Shows you everything your friends are sharing
• Photos – Features nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like
• Music – Features posts about the music you listen to
• Following – All the latest news from the Pages you like and people you follow
What are the pros for non-profits and ministries?
- Bigger photos and ads - When you promote a post that features a photo, that photo will be appear much larger than it ever has before (bigger and better imagery means more eyes on your graphic posts). Brands should use the highest quality photos possible optimized for mobile and web browsing (600×600 pixel images are the advised size and photos should be no smaller than 200×200 pixels).
- Following feed - Pages may or may not see an increase in engagement and likes now that they live on a single feed.
- Longer link blurbs - The brief summary you can add and edit when posting a link will be longer. Users can now have multiple feeds for various categories which may give help brands target specific interests.
- Potential for rich media - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he expects that brands will soon be able to advertise via video and “rich media” meaning it's likely brands will be able to be more creative and use paid video content in news feeds.
- More real estate for in-stream ads - News feeds are now bigger and the right and left rails surrounding the feed are smaller, meaning more real estate for in-stream ads.
- Brand activity may get lost - If users create feeds to display their friends Facebook activity only, brand activity will get lost in subfeeds.
- Less creative content may be pushed into oblivion - Because brands now have the ability to post larger images with richer creative content, brands without the ability to create rich creative content may be pushed into oblivion.
- Sidebar ads will be less effective - The presence of ads in the right rail on Facebook is significantly less. This will be challenging for brands that depend on the sidebar ads as a more economical way to reach users.
How can you ensure your non-profit or ministry dominates Facebook's new News Feed?
1. Post Amazing Photos
Facebook's new photos only feed means that you need to carefully consider every photo you post to represent your brand so that they stand out in the crowd of images being posted by other Pages. Make sure they are even more remarkable and relevant to your targeted audience.
2. Promote Your Best Photos
Go to your Page Insights and filter your Page posts by photos, and rank them by virality. Every couple of days consider promoting one of your top 10 photos to fans. This will give your top photos even more likes, comments, and shares, which will, in turn, generate more organic viral reach.
3. Give Your Page A Makeover
Whenever Facebook receives rolls out a significant update, its 1 billion users tend to explore a lot more, which can lead to a fresh new spike in visitors to your Page in the short term. Consider uploading a new cover photo, fill in gaps in your milestones, and weed out boring content, increasing the likelihood that visitors will engage even more with your Page content.
4. Be Useful and Present
Beecause users can now view all Pages they’ve ever liked in the “Following” feed, unlikes will see a short-term spike. Make sure that you publish content that is useful and create useful discussions within your posts by replying to commenters. Don't just push out content, truly be active and engaged with fans.
5. Build a Stronger Fanbase
Leverage your email list, your website, your blog, and all other social media channels to build a stronger, more engaged Facebook fanbase. Always promote your Facebook Page as a secondary action for new donors and subscribers.
What do you think of the new Facebook news feed?