Facebook just gave away control of its News Feed

lessons from our LAB

July 10, 2015

Facebook just gave away control of its News Feed

James Grant helps create and implement innovate engagement strategies so that clients around the world can connect with their audience online and build relationships of value in trust in creative and effective ways.

Well, that’s not completely honest; it gave away a portion of control of its News Feed. To whom you might ask? To the end user. And it may be one of the smartest things they’ve ever done. Just today, Facebook announced that it is changing its algorithm for its News Feed and now users can pick a few dozen friends and pages to mark as ‘priority’ to appear at the top of their News Feed.

Ever since Facebook has introduced the concept of the News Feed, it has maintained a covert algorithm that changes almost constantly to optimize the user experience. In the past few years, businesses have discovered the value of the space within the News Feed, and have incorporated News Feed advertising into their digital marketing. Ads in the News Feed tend to drive more clicks and bring in higher quality traffic - but they do so, at a cost.

Until today, Facebook has maintained control of what is served to the end user in the News Feed - modifying mostly based on user behavior. Users would be served more posts similar to the ones they like, comment, and share on. The user has also had the ability to manually block pages, people, and posts that they no longer care to see.

Naturally served posts, up until this point, were controlled by Facebook and its algorithm, but now users are being given the opportunity to let people and pages bypass the algorithm completely. Facebook has incorporated the ability to let users pick and choose which pages and people they consistently want to hear from. To enable these settings iphone users, and desktop and android users in the next few weeks, click under 'More' in the app then in the Settings tab click 'News Feed Preferences'. This starts the race to win over not only loyal customers, but brand advocates.
The way companies have won over fans, and now need to find devoted brand advocates, is not something new to sociality. It’s almost like the same quest people make for a lifelong partner. They date around, meet new people, and aggregate a large group of friends and contacts. Eventually they choose a partner to form a meaningful relationship with, a person they are devoted and genuinely interested in. Therein lies true long-term value. Gone are they days where you want to be a customer’s ‘friend’; now you want to be their long-term partner through true brand devotion and advocacy.
Finding loyal brand advocates is not an easy task. It’s not about finding people who can buy your product or service. It’s about finding people who are craving and committed to your product or service, and are devoted to your company. But how do you find these people? How do you create these people? Who are they? Where are they? This ties right back into one of our core values here at StringCan Interactive, which is finding smart personas to cater your marketing efforts towards. We are committed to helping companies work smart to find their perfect match and to build long-lasting relationships of value. Facebook opened up the race for brand devotees, now it’s your turn to go run it!
Image by Jon S via Flickr CC

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