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Facebook’s New ‘See First’ Feature Gives Consumers Control, Challenges Brands

Facebook is at it again. The social network has introduced another update, this time giving users’ more control over what they see in their News Feed. The new feature, called “See First,” allows users to prioritize friends and pages, choosing to show their posts in their news feed above others.

While users may rejoice over the new update, brands need to adjust their social strategy to adapt to the change. Getting your followers to prioritize your page may be a challenge, but once they do, your brand will benefit from getting content in front of those who want it.

Here are four ways the new Facebook “See First” feature impacts brands:

1. Page suggestions are desirable.

Facebook’s “See First” feature comes with a new algorithm to throw in the mix. Based on the pages a user has liked, Facebook’s “Discover New Pages” will choose similar pages as suggestions for users.

Shirien Elamawy, Social Media Manager at Cision, says, “The number one impact of the new Facebook feature is the brand recommendations are based on user experience.”

Relying on users to prioritize your page won’t do much for your brand, as you won’t have much control over the choice, so targeting the “Discover New Pages” section is a better strategy. To do so, developing a more aggressive engagement strategy may become necessary for marketers, says Elamawy.

2. Quality is key.

Like-Facebook-See-First

Focusing on quality content shouldn’t be a new tactic for your brand, but now it’s going to be more valuable than ever. Engage your followers with quality content to encourage them to prioritize your page. Once a user chooses to prioritize your page, they’re going to have high expectations for your brand. Post engaging content, such as videos or links to relevant articles, and include strong calls to action to keep your audience coming back for more.

3. Expect competition in the future.

It wasn’t so long ago that brands would encourage consumers to “like” their pages in exchange for coupons, deals and other perks. Once a user liked a business page, that brand’s content usually showed up on the user’s news feed. But now, things have changed.

“Just because users like your page doesn’t mean they’ll see your content,” says Elamawy.

With the new “See First” feature, the competition for “likes” may return, but in a different way. Just like brands competed for “likes” in the past, we may begin to see brands encouraging users to add them to their priority list in exchange for a deal or perk.

4. It’s a user’s market.

According to Elamawy, “This is going to create more challenges for brands, but for users and consumers, the experience will be better. For some brands, this might mean seeing a lower number of leads coming from Facebook organically, but they will be higher-quality leads.”

Facebook’s “See First” feature is putting the control into the hands of your consumers. Users are seeing exactly what they want to see and blocking what they don’t. This may make it more difficult for your brand, but by creating quality content and adjusting your social strategy, you can still find success.

Want tips on using Instagram to boost your brand? Check out Cision’s “10 Tips to Make Instagram Your Most Effective Channel” Tip Sheet!

Images: Marco PaköeningratThomas Angermann (Creative Commons)

About Maria Materise

Maria Materise is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Formerly a copywriter, she enjoys creating content that excites and inspires audiences. She is an avid reader, movie trivia geek, Harry Potter fanatic and makeup junkie..

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