Brands that rely on content calendars built weeks or months in advance are likely to find that social media is not moving in their favor.
With the recent changes in the Facebook News Feed, now, more than ever, reach and engagement are going to be dependent on real- and right-time content. Being on target with the timing of your content strategy is increasingly important. It is also important for brands to recognize that timing is to not only key to reaching a larger audience, but to reach the right audience.
The Facebook New Feed is ever-evolving, with changes to the algorithm constantly being made in order to make the user experience much more fluid, rather than a deluge of information. Recently, two Facebook engineers, Erich Owens and David Vickrey, wrote a blog post informing users that there is yet another update to how content will be shown in the News Feed. Taking into account two main factors, Facebook has announced that News Feeds will be more timely and current.
First, they will focus on trending topics, writing, “One way we show timely content higher-up in News Feed is to show people stories about things that are trending as soon as they occur, so you can immediately know what your friends or favorite Pages are saying about the stories of the day.” Meaning, right-time content is more important now than ever. This is key when building a social strategy around a tentpole event, as well as being able to be flexible with the timing of your posts.
According to Facebook, “Early testing of a small percentage of posts has shown that this update on average leads to a more than 6% increase in people engaging with these stories (e.g., more people share, comment, like or click).”
The second change that Facebook is making to their feed has to do with when people are engaging with and the timeliness of the post. Now, Facebook looks at the number of likes a post receives in, as they explain, “determining how high up to show it in News Feed.” The update, however, will take into account when people are engaging with a post.
They write, “If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date.”
Key takeaways from these updates are simple, in that it’s about real- and right-time posting. Facebook is going to give priority to posts that are current and talking about relevant, trending topics. No longer will they simply bump a post up to the top of the Feed simply because it received an engagement.
Now, matching content to the timing of posts will be much more crucial in determining the right strategy.