Is the latest Facebook update telling brands to break the text barrier?

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
Text-only status updates won't cut it for Facebook content anymore, following yet another New Feed algorithm update that favors photos in posts.

It seemed like companies with editorial strategies were catching a break with Facebook’s latest News Feed algorithm that gave priority to news publishers, but the social network just came forward with another update that suggests brand Pages won’t get as much visibility with text-only posts. Marketers who need to get the most visibility in target audience’s News Feeds might have more success by embedding links to brand content in status updates and adding original commentary.

Text from friends versus text from brands

Facebook provided this example of the wrong way to create social content with the new algorithm.

According to a press release from Facebook’s News Feed Ranking Product Manager Chris Turitzin, users tend to engage more with text-based social content that comes from people in their networks, but not necessarily from company Pages. As a result, the social network is adjusting its ranking system to give people more of the content they want and less of the posts they don’t respond to as well. In this case, it means brands’ status updates will get less airtime if they only feature text, but more visibility if they use other types of media.

Making posts more visual – the simple way & the sophisticated way

In a post-updated Facebook era, brands should make posts like this to get the most visibility in News Feeds.

Use Facebook to share blog headlines? There’s a quick way to turn the standard article-sharing post into a more visual experience.

“The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share,” Turitzin wrote, referencing the image to the right. “We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.”

Another option is to use Facebook to share more visual and interactive content. Companies with graphic strategies and video included in their mix should leverage this media in their social mix.

Although Facebook’s algorithm is new, the sentiment toward text-only brand posts is not. Brafton previously covered a study from SimplyMeasured that found social content receives the most engagement when it features visual elements like photos and videos. On the other hand, status updates relying on text, questions or plain hyperlinks received far fewer Likes, Shares and Comments.

Marketers must be agile enough to act on these trends before algorithms impact their social media ROI. Through content analytics and social listening, marketers can identify which types of posts approaches leave their target audiences wanting from those that spark the most engagement.

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  • Right 2 Revenue

    This could really damage Hootsuite