It’s been over a month since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent a tidal wave announcement barreling through the social media industry, alerting brands and publishers that his social network would be catering less and less to branded posts over the course of the year. By now businesses might have noticed changes in their Facebook analytics for the month, but it’s difficult to say whether those figures are a result of the News Feed change or not. Determining the Feed change’s effects on your Facebook page will take several months’ worth of data and deeper statistical insights, but for now it’s at least possible to gauge the initial shockwave.

Riding the Wave

Perhaps the simplest way to survey Facebook’s evolving landscape is to zero in on a few examples. We’ll start with two companies who have done well in adapting to the recent and ongoing Facebook News Feed change: miss and BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk). If you aren’t familiar with miss, they are Austria’s most visited women’s-centric medium. With their extensive social media presence and popular women’s magazine in circulation, don’t be surprised if you hear more about them in the near future… We’ve certainly talked about them a lot here on the blog, the latest mention happening this past Tuesday when we updated our Media Fairy Tale article.

If anything is a fairy tale come true, it’s miss’ social media interaction numbers. Over the past couple of months since December 2017, their social interaction data has seen an upward trend, one that we expect February’s results to fall in line with. Looking at their Facebook feed, it isn’t difficult to observe why this is the case: miss’ posts contain a healthy mix of organic, reach-inherent content, including video, article links and even FB polls. The latter is especially notable since in-app polls are a great example of interaction-focused content, something that Facebook said it would like to prioritize in their News Feed update. Native high-engagement posts are going to be key to surviving the Facebook feed rift, and with content that encourages more clicking instead of scrolling, miss is thriving during this initial wave of Facebook changes.

Bayerischer Rundfunk is another solid example of social media interaction done right. With plenty of video to watch on their Facebook page and custom-created photo posts interspersed throughout the feed, BR fans have a lot of great content to interact with. We can’t stress this enough: merely linking out to one of your webpages isn’t going to suffice anymore. Business pages may have gotten away with doing this in years past, but Facebook’s new mission is to make sure brands no longer float along on mediocre quality engagement posts within their social network. BR’s News Feed is video after video, with hardly any outbound links in their actual posts (they cleverly link out to www.br.de in their comment sections as an alternative). Because of this, their social media interaction chart throughout the last few months follows a very similar trendline to that of missMedia’s!

Downward Trend

For every success story, however, there exist counterexamples—let’s highlight two companies whose social interaction data has trended downward during the winter.

Focus Online is a modern German publication which reports up-to-the-minute news and information, and has done so for more than 20 years. For the purposes of our comparison, though, we’re only focusing on the period of this past December going into the new year. What we see from the figure shown above is that Focus Online’s recent social media interaction trend slides down a path of declivity, if only slightly. Upon inspecting their Facebook page, it becomes immediately noticeable that their feed is populated with many posts linking out to their website. Without scrolling down for very long, we didn’t come across any high-interaction content such as videos or polls, so this may be one of the factors which explain the FB page’s downward trend (especially when considering Facebook’s updated News Feed algorithm).

Die Welt is another medium in the news space whose social media data shows a decrease in interaction, particularly in the month of January 2018. While their trendline showcases significant spikes through December 2017, the numbers eventually begin to mimic those of Focus Online’s in the following month… Taking a closer look at their Facebook feed, we noticed a content pattern akin to Focus’ in that the large majority of posts were outbound links to www.welt.de. We did spot the occasional video and comment reply, which is good, but both Die Welt and Focus Online would benefit from posting substantially more interactive content in general. By increasing their video content production and thus encouraging more engagement, we’re confident that both of their spring quarters can result in upward social media interaction trends.

Better Insights for the New FB

There are multiple components which play into the trends charted above, and we’ve only really scratched the surface of why these four companies display such a contrast over the same time period. Without committing extensive research into the paid advertising habits of each business (sponsored social media posts, paid search marketing, etc.), we can in the very least conclude that their social media strategy has a lot to do with it. Both miss and Bayerischer Rundfunk use Storyclash Insights to bolster their social media analytics, allowing them to closely watch their competitors and track viral posts across the web on top of real-time data monitoring of their social media engagement.

Die Welt and Focus Online have yet to integrate Storyclash Insights into their social strategies, and we have no doubt that if they do, they will see social interaction diagrams trending in a positive inclination as opposed to the other way around!

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