The New Facebook: Socially-Driven Publishing Platform

Content marketing has reached the Facebook headquarters.

With last week’s latest update on the design and functionality of the newsfeed, Facebook shows that they understand the power of relevant content, and also that they get the disturbing noise non-purposed, cluttered content can make.

On Facebook, and on any other online platform today, it’s not all about the content. It’s about the relevant, timely, organized content. Now, both people and brands have a newly designed platform on Facebook to distribute content, in a more relevant way to their audiences.

Relevant Content Becomes Prominent

Content Centric Facebook NewsfeedStarting with their new slogan, Facebook clearly marks the intent of the big change: “Goodbye clutter. Hello bright, beautiful stories.” Content gets organized and structured so that the users can find and focus on exactly what they need at a certain moment.  And content doesn’t just mean text. Rich media will take central stage. Pictures, videos, slideshows, coupled with text will form the new Facebook newsfeed.

Also, the size and emphasis on stories’ headline has increased. It becomes a key element in attracting the reader into the story, and should be skillfully crafted, thinking like a magazine editor.

These newly enriched visual elements can be instrumental for your brand’s page to attract the appropriate audience, and then retain them with informative, engaging content.

Newspaper-Style Categories

The updated newsfeed interface now makes it very easy for the users to select a certain topic and see stories only related to it. For example, they can click on tabs such as Music, Sports or News and get related content, from both their friends and brands, on each theme. This becomes a personalized media channel – essentially a socially-empowered customized newspaper.

Facebook Newsfeed Across PlatformsSome critics are concerned that the multiple feeds will shut off brands and will hide them from the users. But I believe people will cut out only those brands that post promotional material. So, it is up to you, the brand page owner on Facebook, to decide which type of content you will create, to fill the users’ themed “newspaper” – or tab.

If you only plan to post promotional materials, then yes, you should be worried that people will turn away from you. But if you offer engaging, informational content, people will actually look for you and read your stories.

Users (continue to) Have All the Power

It may look like finally users now have all the power, with the help of tabs and selecting only the content updates they want. But they also had the same power before. They could unfollow brands, or make their content not visible in updates. However, if there was any doubt, now there is none. The users, all those people we either call friends or targets, continue to have the power of deciding which content they see.

So, to get your brand to appear in a certain personalized tab, you need to provide valuable content, relevant for your target audience. Nobody wants to watch commercials or read any promotion in disguise. Users have the power to – and will – click away from your page.

You have a publishing space, your Facebook page, the 21st Century digital newspaper page, now make it a valuable news source from your field.

The New Publishing Platform

With this latest update, Facebook is joining the online publishers’ bandwagon, transforming the networking site into a rich media publishing platform, empowered by social interactions.

The importance of the social factor is represented by the special tab called “most shared”. Facebook, although turning more and more into a publishing platform, remains inherently social, bringing forward the stories that users most interact with. The opportunity for your brand here is clear: the more valuable content you create, the more chances you have that Facebook will place it on the “most shared” tab, in front of everyone else’s.

Lastly, Facebook stated that splitting content per themed tabs will hopefully increase the time spent on one particular feed, if the user finds the relevant information for their interest. So, instead of being worried that users will turn away from your brand, with the appropriate content, users will actually spend more time consuming it and interacting with it. That directly translates into more engagement of the user.

For you, the question is not if you’ll take advantage of these platform improvements made by Facebook, but how do you plan to use the updated newsfeed for your brand page?

Photos source: CNN.
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