How should you approach the Facebook News Feed changes as a news organization?
Facebook announced in January that it would de-prioritize links from news outlets in the News Feed.
In a post on the company's media blog, Mark Zuckerburg said that in recent years the News Feed has been crowded out by posts by businesses and public pages.
From Zuckerberg's post: "Since there's more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what's in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other."
Before we think about strategy, let's define a few things in this News Feed update.
What is an engaging post?
Facebook said it will prioritize posts that spark "conversations and meaningful interactions between people."
Posts that receive more comments will be valued over something more passive, such as a like or a click-through to our websites. We encourage digital journalists to engage with our audiences and focus on what content has the most shares on a post. It’s important that our digital sites accelerate their social media efforts around comments and shares.
A strong correlation exists between posts that receive a high number of shares and comments as well.
Editors can get this data in Facebook's Insights analytics.
Interacting with a page
Posts will still appear in the News Feed in different ways, which are consistent with how the News Feed operates now:
• People who follow a page who choose to see the page first (this feature
has been available)
• When friends or family share a post, which has always been a key part of
how links spread throughout Facebook
Now that we understand what the News Feed changes mean, how will this impact our traffic?
Facebook says a page's reach, watch time, and video traffic could drop. Posts that receive more interaction, shared by friends and family, will still surface, as well as posts that readers share to their friends and family (as outlined above).
For any pages that receive little to no interaction on posts, their traffic could drop significantly, however.
Facebook traffic has been dropping for a while, more specifically in the fourth quarter of 2017. Parse.ly reported that Google referrals surpassed Facebook referrals in the second half of last year.
Digital-only sites such as Buzzfeed receive more than 50 percent of their traffic from Facebook. There have already been some casualties of the News Feed changes, including a brand called Little Things, which shut down recently.
In an INMA webinar Jan. 16, Grzegorz Piechota at the University of Oxford said the biggest impact will be on posts shared on a news page.
With the knowledge that the changes could negatively impact traffic, how