2018 could be the year Facebook banishes news from its feed

Will News disappear from Facebook news Feed ?

Publishers have a lot to gripe about when it comes to Facebook, from the platform choking off their referral traffic, dominating digital advertising and giving them whiplash with its constantly changing video strategy. But what if it got even worse?

In 2018, Facebook could take a step further and separate news from the Facebook news feed. It’s not a crazy idea. The platform tested a newsless news feedcalled the Explore Feed, in six countries outside the U.S., causing a major publisher freakout. (Facebook said it didn’t expect to roll out the test further.) In the past year, Facebook also launched Watch, a TV-like video tab; and prioritized Facebook Groups, communities for people who share interests or characteristics — also underscoring the idea of separating user interaction from other media content.

Other platforms have made moves to separate users’ messages from media and brands’ content. Snapchat redesigned its app to separate users’ Facebook news feeds from brands’ content. Instagram is testing a private messaging app, which would take peer-to-peer chat out of the main app. Twitter has its Moments tab, a dedicated home for news and entertainment stories.

Fundamental to the success of platforms like Twitter and Facebook is keeping users happy, and as such, they’re always running experiments to see if changes will get people to return more often and stay longer. Given a lot of news is negative or controversial, a feed with no news (unless it’s shared by a user) could be less contentious and more enjoyable for users. And another group that likes less controversy, of course, is another important Facebook constituency: advertisers.

“Sometimes people get really annoyed and confused when they’re reading about their cousin’s bar mitzvah or whatever and they see a very serious story afterward,” said Andrew Montalenti, CTO and co-founder of web analytics firm Parsely. “All of the platforms, what they’re really concerned about with fake news is that I think you kind of draw on a bank account of trust with the user. If you come across that stuff too much, you declare it to be a problem, and you stop using it. So they have to play this delicate balance — ‘We can’t show you too many ads or show you too much spammy content.’”

Another factor is the fake-news imbroglio that blew up in Facebook’s face in the past year, leading lawmakers to threaten regulation. Facebook responded by trying to police fake news, which has proved to be a challenge. Further de-emphasizing news or taking it out of the feed altogether is one way to deal with the problem.

As to the Explore test, Facebook said: “There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in Fecebook News Feed or Explore.” That was cold comfort to those publishers who depend on the news feed to reach audiences, though. As much as Facebook has declined in reach, it’s still a significant source of traffic for many publishers, which have already seen their direct traffic from Facebook decline in recent months, if not years, as Facebook has prioritized users’ posts and video content in the news feed.

Some publishers whose audience strategy is closely tied to Facebook and follow the company closely are starting to consider the possibility of a newsless news feed. An executive at a traditional publishing company said this is “definitely on our minds” given the company gets a “ton of traffic from Facebook,” and it’s a risk the company has to think about in the next few years. “It would be seismic shift,” said another publishing exec.

 

“There’s good reason to be concerned if publishers’ content becomes separated out of the main news feed,” said Vivian Schiller, a former Twitter news executive. “Their criteria [for the Explore test] was about user experience. That’s their business. But it’s hard to imagine this not having a deleterious effect on publishers.”

There are other reasons for Facebook to go in this direction. Facebook could make an exception for publishers and other commercial content providers that pay to be in the news feed, which could mean more revenue for Facebook. Separating news from the feed also could give Facebook a way to test a potential new product, similar to how it took Messenger out of the site and made it its own app, Schiller said.

Of course, none of this is a fait accompli. There’s good reason to think Facebook will keep news in the feed. Scrolling through the news feed is the core daily habit for most Facebook users. It’s what Facebook uses to promote its many other products, like the Watch video tab and Marketplace. It’s hard to get people to toggle from the news feed to other places on Facebook.

That said, even if a newsless news feed doesn’t materialize, publishers have to adapt. Facebook, and Google, are here to stay, and Facebook has proven time and time again that it’s not always going to act in publishers’ interests. Publishers have to take matters into their own hands, and take advantage of other audience and revenue opportunities.

 

Article Source : DIGIDAY.com

9 Social Media Engagement Tips for Facebook

Social Media Engagement Tips : Introduction

Facebook is the first thought that crosses most people’s minds when you mention the words ‘social media’… and for good reason. It has immense reach, and recent statistics show that it has slightly over 2 billion users. That is not only amazing, but it’s a potential goldmine for marketers hoping to expand their reach.

In this article, we’ll focus on several different tips to increase your engagement with your audience, and turn them from loyal fans into paying customers. All you need to do is be interesting, engaging, trustworthy and consistent… and your fans will trust your recommendations and buy what you’re selling.

We’ll focus on Facebook fan pages and Facebook groups in this article because both are free to set up. While fan pages are not as effective as they used to be because Facebook wants marketers to ‘pay to play’, it does have some reach. Either way, the same principles apply whether you’re running a fan page, group or even an email list. The mantra is always:

Be Interesting, Engaging and Trustworthy!

1. Pick a memorable name

This is the most important point. The name you pick for your page/group should be memorable, strong and catchy. It could be your brand or something related to your niche. ‘Jeff’s Kettlebell Zone’ is an example of a good name. ‘Jeff’s Fitness with Kettlebells for Men, Women and Grannies’ is not. Keep it short, relevant and simple.

2. Optimize for SEO

While search engine optimization is not the focus here, it doesn’t hurt to do it. Strategically insert your main keywords in you page name, description, etc. When you get 25 likes on your page, create a customized vanity URL. If we used the example from above, it would be: https://www.facebook.com/jeffskettlebellzone

3. Links, links and more links

Link to your page/group from anywhere you can think off. Link from your blogs, YouTube channels, emails, shortcuts in your product files (if you’re selling products) etc. The more links you have pointing to your page or group, the more people will find you. One of the keys to increasing your audience is to cast your net wide and make it as easy as possible to reel people in.

4. Increase your engagement

It doesn’t matter if you have one fan on your page or twenty thousand fans. You start engaging from day 1. Share pictures and videos and highlight interesting events or details. It doesn’t always have to be about selling. Ideally, you should only pitch once every 3 to 5 posts. This will ensure that your page has some balance. Nobody wants to be part of a pitch fest.

If you’re running a page dedicated to helping men get six pack abs, you can share a post about how ‘dad bods’ are the latest trend and ask them their opinions. You can bet that this will spark a lot of conversation and that’s fantastic because the Facebook algorithm loves to see engagement in pages and groups. It will look upon your page/group more favorably.

5. Make your members feel valued

You could run giveaways and contests to increase engagement. When you give away free items you’ll definitely perk everyone’s interest.
Generate conversation with your members. Reply to as many comments as you can. Post pictures and ask for captions. Do whatever you can to connect with your audience. This is ‘social’ media. Social means that it’s not a one-way street.

Many FB fan page/group owners do not interact enough with their audience. They just make a post or two and disappear, leaving the members to interact amongst themselves. It’s next to impossible to build loyalty and likeability if you’re never around to bond with your audience.

6. Avoid the cesspool

No matter what niche you’re in on how good you try to be, there will ALWAYS be a handful of people who post negative comments or try to troll your page. NEVER argue with them or engage in hot debate. You’ll just be sinking into a pit with them. It’s pointless and doesn’t help your image.

You can give polite answers and if they persist in being nasty, you can bring the ban hammer down on them and boot them out of your page or group. There is absolutely no need to endure nastiness from anyone. In fact, removing them quickly will not only mean less trouble for you, but will also keep your page/group a positive place to be.

7. Share useful posts

Feel free to share posts from other pages or sites in your page or group. It doesn’t always have to be about you and your brand. By sharing useful information with your fans, you’ll be providing value and building trust because you’re helping them with what they need.

8. Be consistent

Trust is built with consistency. Do not make one post every two months and expect engagement. Out of sight = out of mind. You need to post regularly. Posting once or twice every day is fine. Do not go overboard and post 10 times a day. The constant notifications will annoy your audience.

You should also plan your post timing. Depending on where most of your audience is located, you should post at a time when they’d be on Facebook. If your post goes out in the middle of the night when they’re fast asleep, there’ll not be as much engagement since your post will be buried amidst all the other posts that appear on their feed later in the day.

You’ll want to have a plan to determine just what you’ll post on a daily basis. It’s good to have a customer avatar so you know what type of content will fit with your audience.

9. Check your stats

Facebook Insights provides detailed analytics for you to know exactly how well your page or group is doing. Look at your stats and analyze them. If you’re lacking in a few areas, try a few strategies to overcome these issues. It may require more posts, better content, a different timing, etc. You’ll only know when you test it out.

Keep these 9 tips in mind when engaging an audience on Facebook and you’ll do better than most pages/groups out there. Always remember the mantra : “Be Interesting, Engaging and Trustworthy”.

“The best marketing strategy ever: Care”Gary Vaynerchuk