Facebook Grouped News Feed Stories: What Marketers Can Do

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it was starting to group News Feed stories by topic, aggregating similar conversations together.

In case you haven’t seen this yet, the example to the right was provided by Facebook, and it simply shows how several friend updates mentioning the same topic will now be aggregated together in a person’s newsfeed  instead of appearing as separate updates.

Since very few have covered what implications these new stories have for marketers with brand pages, I’ve sat down with several members of the Ignite team to brainstorm how this new feature may effect a brand’s content strategy on Facebook, and what the marketer benefits of this new feature may generate.

News Feed Content Strategy

When creating content on a brand page, remember the following:

  • Consider Timely and Relevant Content: For a user to have newsfeed stories grouped, enough of their friends or pages have to be talking about it.  This means that content that is timely (awards shows, movie/music releases, events), is just the type of content that several friends or pages are likely to talk about at the same time.  If you are a brand, this means that you need to know what type of timely content matters to your fans, as well as what topics they are likely to discuss with friends.  See the example below to see how NPR created a relevant update that was then grouped with other updates from pages and friends.

  • Check for Facebook Pages: It’s important to know that for a story to be grouped, it must have an existing page on Facebook.  In the example above, Kanye West was mentioned by 6 total friends within a user news feed. Because Kanye also has a page on Facebook, the newsfeed story quickly shows how many friends posted about Kanye West, and includes a nice little link to his page.  Brand page managers should routinely check to see if pages exist when selecting what timely content they should mention in updates.

Brand Benefits of Grouping

So how can a brand benefit from this newsfeed change?

  • Brand Relevancy & Fan Engagement: The primary benefit of these newsfeed stories is that they make it easier for brands to become more relevant to existing fans.  For instance, if a user sees that 2 of their friends and a brand they have liked are having similar conversations, that branded page becomes more relevant.  This is a great opportunity for brand pages to re-engage with fans who may have “liked” their page but have little engagement.
  • Page Growth: Due to the nature of these stories, page growth is more of a benefit for the brands, people, or pages that are the actual object of discussion.  In the Kanye West example above, the user that received this grouped update  received it because she had enough pages (she had already liked) and friends discussing it.  The link included in her newsfeed may entice her to start liking Kanye West on Facebook, but there are no other opportunities for her to discover any other new pages.

What do you think of this new change? Please share in the comments below!

Ignite Social Media