Facebook has officially announced a new element of the news feed that they’ve been experimenting with for awhile: “Showing Stories About Topics You Like.” Facebook now places a strong emphasis on displaying content that has been tagged with Pages that you already like.
Facebook used the following example:
Fans of Dwight Howard, but not necessarily of the Bleacher Report, would see this object. Again, Facebook has been experimenting with this type of news feed distribution for awhile. However, typically when Facebook takes the time to make announcements such as this we see drastic changes in the data.
What Can You Expect?
We expect to see additional exposure for Pages that are being tagged more frequently through objects similar to the one above. While the Dwight Howard Page isn’t controlling the message in this object, they are getting additional exposure.
Brands that are talking about popular objects should get more exposure due to “piggybacking” off of popular content. We believe that if multiple brands attempt to piggyback off of one tagged Page, the larger and more engaging Page will get the space in the news feed.
In the example above, the Make Your NBA Jersey Page tagged the NBA in their post. This object, which is filled with links to sell fake jerseys, was displayed to fans of the NBA. We’re hoping that Facebook is using more aggressive spam prevention tactics to reduce the likelihood of this occurring.
How a Brand Can Take Advantage
There are two ways of looking at this change. First is from the perspective of the brand being talked about. In Facebook’s example this would be Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard’s Page is the Content Originator. They have the benefit of drawing additional exposure without even posting to their Page. Dwight Howard’s Page is creating original content and contributing to the internet, which in turn results in in-bound social links. Facebook is taking a step to reward being a Content Originator. This means brands should continue to focus on contributing value and asking for tags when your content is talked about.
The other perspective is to examine the Bleacher Report Page. They posted a link to hot content and tagged the sources. Facebook rewarded them with additional exposure to fans that are not their own, but Dwight Howard’s. Facebook most likely uses an algorithm to determine which Page would be shown if multiple are talking about the same piece of content. Our bet would be that the larger and more engaging Page would be preferred. This Page is experiencing “free” Viral Reach in this example.
Brands should tag Pages that they’re talking about if they want a better shot at additional Viral Reach. As always, Facebook disdains spammers—this recommendation should not be used with that intent. Surely we will see many Pages with dozens of tags for each post, and we do not recommend this approach. We suggest using tags only when it makes sense.
We expect that brands who are Content Originators will benefit the most from this change. This type of change will favor brands that are making noise and causing other brands to talk about it.
Brands that talk about other Page’s content: we encourage you to tag them in the content as well—this may provide additional Viral Reach for your Page.