Facebook is constantly reinventing itself, and you can't blame them. To stay stagnant is a death wish in an industry that changes so rapidly. That said, some of the changes benefit users and some brands. The most recent newsfeed change is one that I believe tips the scale for the user, giving them more control over what they see on Facebook. A user will soon be able to toggle between different newsfeed streams - Photos, Friends, Most Recent, Music and Following (brand/media pages). Great customization for the user, not so great for brand pages who currently get a coveted spot between posts from friends and families. I predict that the Following newsfeed will probably be the most underused feed, because at the end of the day no matter how clever a post, it's still from a business versus a friend.
Should brands shut down their pages quite yet? No. Brands can still actively engage with users but they must find ways to get into as many newsfeeds as possible. If they rely just on the "Follows" newsfeed they're likely to see their engagement levels drop pretty dramatically.
Here are recommendations for staying in the "feed":
- Include images in your posts. With the popularity of Instagram and Pinterest, it's becoming more apparent that visual does well on social. As a brand if you post an image with your post, you can then secure a space in the Photos newsfeed.
- Post regularly. If you want to appear in the most recent news feed, you need to post. Simple enough.
- Create engaging content. Get people to engage with your content and it will appear in the Friends newsfeed.
- Consider advertising. It's not been clearly defined yet, but from early talks it sounds as if ads will get your airtime in all newsfeeds, including the Friends newsfeed which will most likely be the most popular.