Early this month, Facebook showed us their plans for the most drastic change in their News Feed since it’s launch last year. In efforts to “build the best personalized newspaper possible”, Facebook has revamped the way you interact by putting more emphasis on what they call streams, which give users more control over which posts they see as well as making design changes that make visual content more engaging.

What’s interesting is that the News Feed will become much more driven by photos and images then it did in the past. With Facebook promising a “…visual, rich and engaging” experience, we can’t help but wonder what impact this might have on social media marketers?

With social media platforms in a constant state of evolution, social marketers have to create new marketing strategies and best practices in order to keep up with the times. Annoying as it may be to re-educate yourself each time changes like these are made, it’s fun to accept the challenge and create new strategies to keep you ahead of the pack.

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In anticipation of the new News Feed, we wanted to share some tips on harnessing it for maximum marketing potential. Here are 5 elements you can incorporate into your Facebook marketing strategy.

 1. Produce More Visual Content 

If you’re only posting text to Facebook, you’re in trouble. The new design puts a massive focus on visual content. This is the number one aspect of your News Feed that is going to change the way you post content and how it’s being shared. Photos and video will reign supreme.

Photos are going to become bigger and take up more real estate on the Facebook News Feed- so get that SLR out and take some beautiful photos!

We suggest two methods that could help you take advantage of this change

A. Become a Typography Artist

Have text or message that you want to share? Why not choose a beautiful typography and a pretty background and share it as a picture instead. Images like this are often shared more often, and catch someone’s eye.

Take a look at this example from Town Shoes.

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B. Post Photos Instead of Links 

Found a great article or want to link to your blog? Instead of embedding the link, to which Facebook automatically picks up thumbnail, we’d suggest pulling a photo directly from the post or article and then inputting the link.

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2. Fan Page Likes

In the past when you gain a new Facebook fan, it would show up to their friends as text only. Facebook has completely changed how the “liking” notification looks to a person’s newsfeed. Now, when someone new likes your Facebook Fan Page, it displays your brand’s profile picture and cover photo as well as your brand’s “About” section entered in your settings.

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When people like your Facebook page, it’ll look similar to this. 

This makes strategies that aim to increase ‘like’ counts even more important. As a brand or social marketer, you need to pay more attention to the images you use on your Fan Page, since it will be shared more often if you’re working on gaining ‘likes’.  We’d suggest changing these images often to help promote different campaigns or initiatives. Be warned though, there are rules about what you can put in your cover photo!

3. Keep It Short

With visual items like video and photos taking the lead, you need to do more showing and less telling.  Facebook has changed the way your copy will be displayed on a photo post. Now it will be overlaid at the top of the picture, so keep it short and catchy to avoid distracting from the image you’re posting.

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 4. Engage Your Fans & Influencers

With the addition of streams, users are going to be able to have access to content that is only posted by their friends, omitting any items being shared by brands. Having people that are brand evangelists or are considered influencers share your content, means it will have more potential to be seen on Facebook.

The only way to increase this is to make sure you’re creating compelling content. What’s compelling? Find out what makes your community tick by looking at Facebook’s analytics find out which posts get the most attention and are shared the most. Our advice is to keep doing what works. Create incentives and reward your most engaged fans through contests or reaching out to them in social media.

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On the other end, users are going to be able to have a stream strictly for brands and publishers- so they are your new competition. It’s going to up the ante to create unique and powerful content amongst brands.

 5. Check-Ins are MORE important

Were you ignoring Facebook check-ins? They weren’t really that important since they would just pop up as text- we actually found them kind of annoying. The new News Feed will include a map of where a user checks-in as well as a brief description of where they are. This means more than ever, people are going to notice if people are checking into your business.

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While using Facebook check-ins as a driver for promotions isn’t a brand new strategy, with the new design it might make it more effective to generate engagement.

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