Facebook recently announced it is adding a new signal to their News Feed ranking. They are now considering how much time users spend viewing stories and posts as an indicator of their interest in the topic. Prior to this update, Facebook heavily considered actions such as likes, comments and shares as indicators of interest in certain topics and therefore bumped content up in user’s news feeds based on those interactions. According to Facebook, “just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story in their News Feed doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them. There are times when people want to see information about a serious current event, but don’t necessarily want to like or comment on it.”
The latest update isn’t considering time spent as an isolated factor. Instead, it is looking at your overall Facebook interaction and ranking posts higher if you spend more time on them compared to others.
Facebook says they do not anticipate significant changes in distribution as a result of this update. However, it does highlight principles brands and retailers need to consider when engaging on social media platforms. The update doesn’t eliminate the value of likes, comments and shares for brands because they are still useful indicators of engagement and interest. However, in terms of utilizing social media for reach, brands and retailers need to make sure their posts and ads are interesting enough to be sticky.
Much like the rapid growth of content marketing caused by Google updates, the Facebook update is pushing brands and retailers to create engaging content for their social media sites to keep customers interested.
Here are some ways to make your content sticky and keep users engaged with your Facebook posts.
- Mix it Up: Make sure the content you post on Facebook is new. Don’t just recycle ads and content from your website. If users have already seen it they won’t spend any time on your posts.
- Highly Visual Posts: For brands with visual products, consider using high quality, editorial images that will grab users attention as they are scrolling through their news feeds. Create themes or “guides” such as a spring fashion guide to keep their attention and increase the amount of time they spend on your post.
- Listen: Take some time to read through the comments, questions and conversations consumers are having around your brand on social media. Use this information to create engaging posts. Answer common questions that arise and create content geared towards the topics they are discussing
- Foster Engaging Conversations: Get conversations started in the comments sections of your posts. The more interesting the conversation the more time users will spend viewing your post.
- Relevance: When possible tie your Facebook posts and ads into relevant and current topics. Sporting goods stores can create posts about major sporting events, fashion brands can create content related to Fashion Week etc.