On August 22, Facebook made some announcements related to the features offered for small businesses on Facebook. Facebook announced that in the coming days that three product updates will be released. The updates are geared towards managing brand pages on the go, creating ad images, and more freedom to create and test Facebook ads to ensure that they are visually compelling prior to launch.
Facebook has announced an alliance with Shutterstock images, a technology company that focuses on providing high quality images for purchase for creative use. In the coming weeks, marketers will be given access to millions of images from the Shutterstock library. The best part? There is no additional cost. Shutterstock’s images are commercially licenses and available for use in all Facebook ad formats. Facebook will be leveraging Shutterstock’s API and search capabilities to integrate and make the image library accessible and searchable directly through Facebook’s ad creation tool.
Here is a preview of how the new search will look:
Right inline with the integration of the Shutterstock image library, Facebook has also tweaked their image uploading features by allowing users to select a range of photos, images from previous ads, or Shutterstock images. The change will enable page managers to create a group of Facebook ads at one time with multiple images for a single campaign, and test the images to gauge the performance.
Here is a preview of how the new tool allowing multiple image upload will appear:
Facebook also announced a number of updates to resolve bugs related to their Android and iOS Pages Manager app. There are a number of bug fixes, performance updates, and Facebook has also rolled out some of the most-requested features into the Pages Manager app. Some of these features include:
- allowing admins to upload multiple photos for a single post
- edit existing admins of any page that a user manages
- add new admins to any page that a user manages
- tag people in comments
- stay up to date on other pages through the Pages Feed
- within the iOS app, users can create new Facebook Pages and events as well
On August 23, Facebook announced revisions to it’s algorithm resulting in significant changes to the content being displayed in Facebook user’s news feeds. The overall goal of Facebook’s recent modifications are to ensure that organic content displayed in a user’s news feed is the most interesting to that particular user.
In developing the new algorithm, Facebook performed surveys with thousands of people to assist Facebook in determining what defines a high quality post. The survey included questions such as:
Is this timely and relevant content?
Is this content from a source you would trust?
Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
For the results of the survey, a new learning system was built to detect content that met the definition of high quality. More than one thousand factors are used in the system such as:
- how frequently content from a page is reported as low quality (determined by a user clicking “hide this page’s post from my feed)
- how complete the page profile is
- are there any overlaps within the fan base and other known high quality pages
Facebook has acknowledged the complexity of the algorithm and the continued need for refinement, and will be seeking feedback to further modify the algorithm.
Once the algorithm was developed, Facebook added it to their News Feed ranking algorithm as another factor to calculate the score of a News Feed story. The new version of the algorithm was tested with a small segment of Facebook users. The results were encouraging for anyone managing a brand page:
By showing the high quality posts higher up in News Feed, Facebook saw a significant increase in interactions (likes, comments, shares) with this content
People in the test group also hid fewer stories overall
The algorithm update will be launched to all users in the coming weeks. As a result, page managers should be prepared and understand what the impact could be. If your current page has good engagement, the result should be very positive and your page will likely see increased reach. The change will be relatively small if you are following the basic guidelines for social media strategy on Facebook which include producing high quality content and optimization for engagement and reach.
Here are a few guidelines on creating Facebook Page posts to get the most out of Facebook’s new algorithm updates:
Make your posts timely and relevant
Build credibility and trust with your audience
Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
Think about, “Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?”