Is it just us or have you noticed that by the time you hear of a new Facebook update there’s a new one within a week to discover? It would seem that the new Facebook newsfeed update wants to put shake up social media marketing, yet again, this time giving users more control of the information they see, and the information they simply don’t want to see. This may not seem like a significant update, but their latest feature called “See First” wants to make sure users never miss a specific account’s newsfeed posts again. As marketers, this will be a new game changer that shouldn’t be ignored!
Before we jump into this new feature, think about some of the changes Facebook has made in recent years. The introduction of the “Like” button in 2010 was a way for users to share with the Facebook community interactions they enjoyed seeing/reading from friends or companies they followed. The data collected based on these user’s likes were tracked by Facebook and later used to finesse their newsfeed’s algorithm to tailor content for each unique user based on what they thought the user would most likely be interested in seeing. It made suggestions of new possible friends or company pages to connect with based on your interests and interactions. For marketers as well as print and internet advertisers, this gave new insights into the minds of a large online community unlike ever before.
It’s fairly simple how the See First tool works (so far only desktop and iPhone users can utilize the new feature – Android users will see the new design rollout soon, according to Facebook). From a desktop, users can choose who appears at the top of their newsfeed by selecting See First under the “Following” button from a specific personal or business page. Posts from these accounts show up first with a star until the regular feed continues below it. In contrast, you can also choose who to “de-prioritize” – meaning you can tell Facebook whose content to bury, unfollow, see less of indefinitely or “pause” seeing someone’s updates temporarily. For iPhone users, Facebook suggests See First users based on previous interactions with that page or group, for example articles or accounts they may have liked, links that were personally shared to their page, etc. The app will also give you recommendations on whom to unfollow – thanks Facebook; we can’t think for ourselves! There may not be an exact science to being able to aggregate an online user’s exact tastes and preferences, but Facebook isn’t going to stop trying.
With the number of registered Facebook subscribers topping 1.4 billion users worldwide, you can image the type of data that can be utilized when trying to track the habits of consumers. Facebook has found a way to capitalize on the booming success of its content viewership by requiring businesses to create “worthy content” in order to be seen by Facebook users. The latest changes to their newsfeed algorithm restricted the organic reach businesses achieved – something that has affected everyone across the board. Unless marketers and advertisers pay for advertising through specific posts, many of the once-standard social media marketing efforts go unseen for many. With the new See First feature, it’s just one more obstacle we will face when trying to get brands more visible on a platform that continues to dominate who/what reaches consumers.
While we wish there were a secret formula to share on how not to get lost in the sea of newsfeed posts, there simply isn’t one. At McCauley Marketing Services, we don’t look at social media as something we should dominate but integrate it in a way that doesn’t lose the essence of a particular brand. Get creative in your social media marketing efforts but stay true to your brand. Instead of trying to “beat” Facebook at their constantly evolving game, focus on providing the most authentic and best representation of what you offer and why you should be relevant to Facebook’s users; the rest will follow! And by all means, track and analyze the data from your Facebook insights so you can make necessary adjustments. For more social marketing updates, tips or if you’re interested in learning how to take hold of your marketing strategies and campaigns, contact McCauley Marketing Services (MCS) with any inquiries you may have. Be sure to also connect with MCS on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.