Lately I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Facebook’s news feed algorithm from both sides of the advertising dollar. Advertisers have been complaining about the increased loss of organic visibility to users and users are complaining about the increased loss of control of the content in their news feeds.
It’s an interesting conversation. While I find that brand seem to forget that they’ve entered into a social network and they must be social and participate in valuable conversation if they expect to organically gain visibility and build relationships with their potential customers. I also find that users are unaware of all of the bells and whistles available to them to customize the information that surfaces in their personal news feeds.
One awesome example of user control on Facebook is the ability to train your Facebook feed. Yes, you can now take control of the content in your feed and train the edge rank algorithm to surface content that you want to see in your news feed.
How To Train Your Facebook Feed
The new setting is Make News Feed Better and it lives in the drop down associated with any given post displaying in your news feed. You can find it by clicking the arrow in the top right hand corner of any post in your feed as pictured here.
Once you click this option you will be greeted with an alert that you are about to engage in a post rating session.
Then Facebook will show you a series of posts from your news feed and as you to rate how strongly you agree with the statement “I want to see more posts like this on Facebook”. By rating each post you are training Facebook to prioritize content surfaced in your feed at your preference.
As for how well this actually customizes your content, I’ve found it does an OK job and does actually surface the content you’d like to see and suppress the content you’d like to skip.
So then, the question is…
Will Visibility Even Harder For Advertisers?
Yes and no.
I do think that users who are just plain not interested in brand pages messaging will absolutely train their feeds to filter out content from pages they’ve liked. But I do think that brands who do a good job of engaging with their customers and building true community around their brands in this channel will do well.
Users will train their feeds to include content they feel is valuable, so as per usual the key to organic visibility on Facebook comes down to building true relationships with customers and providing value to the conversation.
What do you think? Do you like to engage with brands on Facebook? Will you train your Facebook feed to keep them?