• 50% of news feed content today is photo and visual content.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual text.
  • Photos generate 53% more “likes” than the average post and 104% more comments than the average post.
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

Because of numbers like these, Facebook recently made its greatest change to date – a visual news feed design. These changes are three fold in design: rich visually engaging stories, choices of news feed(s) and mobile consistency and experience. Each of these is important to understand and use in a way that benefits your business, especially when you consider how many people are active users on Facebook! Not only will you want to use this Facebook update to help your business, but you will also want to be sure your business Facebook page is fully optimized to make the changes beneficial to you.

Rich, Visually Engaging Stories

With pictures being so important to your Facebook status, you will want to use them to your advantage. You can do this by having an engaging cover photo that shows people what you do, what things you value and what you believe. You will want to ask yourself what people can tell about your brand simply by looking at your Facebook page.

Of course, the new look of Facebook is not just about pictures. Videos are more emphasized, receiving equal billing with photos—no more small pictures with links. There will also be profile pics of the people who have viewed the video.  You can then take things a bit further, and click on these people who have viewed the video you post and send them an invitation to Like your page – if they have not already done so.

Choice of Different Feeds

No longer are Facebook users limited to the types of news feeds they can select. Now, users can toggle between different types of information feeds by topics like music, all friends, most recent, games, other news feeds, close friends, pictures and following. You want to be sure that the content you post is sure to engage not only your customer base, but as many of their friends as well. However, with regards to Facebook you will want to think of it as being much like a newspaper-yesterday’s news is history and today’s news is news! The more time that passes without a person taking action- liking, commenting, sharing – the lower the importance.

Mobile Consistency and Experience

If you have not already updated your webpage to be mobile device compatible, then now is the time to do so. With the new Facebook update, Facebook will look the same on all devices. After all, you want your Web guests and Facebook fans to have a consistent and participatory experience.

What Do These Facebook Changes Mean to Business?

Since the news feed content is based on Facebook’s algorithm, EdgeRank, you need to understand how EdgeRank is determined. The Facebook EdgeRank is comprised of affinity, weight and time decay. These three elements work together to help keep your posts in front of people.

Affinity is defined as the score between the views and the edge creator (how close someone is to the content). Weight is the term used for the comments and actions any given post receives and time decay is how long your news is in front of people.

How to Optimize for EdgeRank

While this may seem to some, to be a straightforward job, optimizing for EdgeRank takes a bit of thought regarding approach. For instance, consider how knowing the answers to the following could help you build a more effective Facebook campaign:

  • What content will give the best impression of your company?
  • What time of content will invoke a Like, Share or Comment?
  • What time of day do most (60% or better) of your fans appear to be on Facebook?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, there is help. Take advantage of Facebook’s Page Insight option found in the bottom middle when you open the “Show” tab on the upper right hand side of your business page. Note what posts have resulted in the greatest engagement. Ask yourself what these posts have in common? The answer(s) to that will make the difference in the type of posts you make.

Because of the new Choice of Feeds feature, it is vital that your Facebook posts get your message out there and engage as many people as possible, for as long as possible. Now that there is a news feed just for pictures, there is an even greater importance for engaging visual content. Whenever possible, use the photos to promote content by using images to promote a link, not just the link.

Remember: The Photo news feed means that the larger, more prominent the picture, the better they will help promote your business! This means you will want to spend some time creating and sharing compelling visuals.