Facebook News Feed Overhaul Will Delight Consumers, Require More from Marketers

By Digital Air Strike

Images Reign Supreme

With over 90% of information going to the brain being visual, and the brain processing visual information up to 60,000 times faster than text*, it is no surprise that image-centric social sites such as Pinterest and Instagram have been so wildly successful.

Nor is it surprising that Twitter and Facebook are rushing to make images more central to the experience of their users. To remain competitive, Twitter recently enhanced the way it presents photos in its stream, giving them increased visibility. Facebook has released data showing that images get 53% more like and 103% more comments than text-based posts. Yelp, arguably the most social of the consumer review sites, recently made photos more prominent on its iPad app.

Taking all this into account, it is no surprise that Facebook’s News Feed overhaul will place a significantly greater emphasis on images. Indeed, the News Feed has been significantly widened in order to accommodate them, while immediately visible text is being reduced. There’s even a separate feed dedicated to photos.

Simpler But More Complicated

A chief complaint among Facebook users is that the News Feed, and in fact the entire user interface, is cluttered. To help users navigate the massive amount of content delivered to them daily, by friends and brands alike, Facebook users will now get to choose from eight different feeds: The entire News Feed, All Friends, Most Recent Posts, Close Friends, Music, Photos, Games, and Brands they have liked.

Newsfeed guess eight feeds

So How Can You Reach Facebook Users?

Now that Facebook users will be able easily to opt out of feeds that contain posts from brands that they have liked, it will be more important than ever for brands to come up with compelling content – specifically in the form of images – that will entice consumers to view the feed for brands and businesses they are following, the primary location where brand content will appear. Another way brands can help ensure that their content is viewed is to increase their fan base, because fans who engage with great content will share it, and this will bring it into their News Feed where it can be viewed by friends. Dealers who invest in increasing their in-market Fan base will have an advantage.

Brands Following

What About Facebook Ads?

If consumers are now more difficult to reach, then Facebook Ads will be more important than ever before. Given that Facebook needs to drive ad revenue in order to remain in business, this reality is not so surprising. Images will become an even more important factor in ads. While they have always mattered, compelling ad copy on its own has in some cases been enough to engage consumers and get them to click. Now, in addition to coming up with great advertising content and copy, including images, for ads to gain the maximum amount of traction audiences will need to be segmented and carefully targeted.

Bottom Line for Dealers

The new News Feed is a big win for consumers and a mixed bag for businesses – this brings both challenges and opportunities for dealers. More than ever before, dealers need a managed strategy in order to get the most out of their Facebook marketing. Dealers who do not adapt to these changes will risk becoming irrelevant on Facebook and those who do can outpace the competition.

The Official Facebook Video

You can expect to see the News Feed rolled out this coming week for many users. In the meantime, watch the official video to take a tour.

*Based on research conducted by 3M corporation