Important changes to the way Facebook shows you Pages updates

Page Admins  might have been concerned recently as their text posts have not been getting as much engagement as their posts with links, images, or Videos. Facebook has been running a variety of tests to encourage engagement and it has noticed that when it shows users text based posts in the news feed, other users post more updates themselves.

Facebook also noticed that users reacted differently to text only updates from Pages. When shown to users, users did not feel compelled to write more texts themselves. On Its blog Facebook said that “Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types”.

So why is Facebook playing around with what it shows you from brands and your friends? currently to get a post guaranteed to appear in another users feed, you need to promote the post.

Facebook recommends that we share links differently.  Usually we add the link to the post update in the text -  like this:

image

But Facebook wants us to use the share button feature embedded in many websites. So the same link using the share button looks like this:

image 

Both options allow me to add my own text to the share, and both options give me the same link. But there is a fundamental difference between the two.

The share button gives Facebook much more detailed analytics that it can then use to sell on to businesses that want it.  Facebook has much greater difficulty tracking the links that we embed in our posts. Our own embeds do not give Facebook such rich information that It can share with its paying customers.

Facebook says  “We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds”.

It also recommends that you use the share button to share to give the followers of your page the best possible experience.

The challenge is, if your page does not have a Facebook Share button – then there is the risk that your carefully crafter message will not be seen by your intended audience – at all…

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and   or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

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