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As of this morning Facebook announced three updates to users’ News Feed preferences in order to provide more personalized content.  These updates are available now on iOS and be will available on Android and desktop over the next few weeks.  What many brands may not realize is that this is the prime time to pay attention to how they interact with their customers on the social networking site.

This is a small step that continues to advance Facebook’s overall goal to retake the lead in the social networking world that it once revolutionized. It allows users to see the stories that matter most to them.  In order to do this, Facebook sorts stories based on with whom users interact–like a family member, or a business’s Page–and which kinds of content they like and comment on.

The updates users will see on their News Feed preferences page will be the following capabilities:

  1. Select which specific friends and Pages users want to see first in their News Feeds.
  2. Discover new Pages based on content with which they’ve interacted in the past.
  3. Select which friends and Pages users want to follow and unfollow. Users will also be able to see who they’ve unfollowed in the past and can choose to re-follow those people or Pages at any time.

What does this mean for brands? Well, in order to make it to the tops of your customers’ News Feeds, you’ll need to…

1. Let your customers speak for you with user generated content. Brand testimonies, reviews, and the like build authenticity. Today’s consumers expect the highest level of credibility and believe that they should invest their time and money in companies based on reviews and recommendations from their peers. Offering authentic, relevant, and helpful content generated by both the brand and consumers will create a community-like feel by facilitating a dialogue.

2. Use the power of images to inspire your customers. Over 67% of consumers say that their buying decisions are more influenced by high quality visual content than by product information. Images of products or services used by real customers in real life scenarios hold more power than stock images. Through visual commerce, brands can begin sharing and tagging pictures of top influencers.for more Page recognition.

Even with tactics like these there’s potential for brands to become limited in their ability to reach new consumers.  With Facebook’s discovery platform, users will have the opportunity to find new Pages to follow.  This section is populated with Pages that Facebook recommends to users based on their behaviors and actions by their friends. There is definitely an opportunity here for Facebook to launch a promoted discovery program, in which brands pay to boost their postings for higher ranking among the users’ News Feeds.

In the end the power is left to the consumer.  It is the brand’s responsibility to generate authenticity and produce engaging content. By partnering with Facebook’s’ News Feed, brands can utilize user generated content and visual galleries to inspire current and potential customers.

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