The media world is about to undergo a major transformation, as Facebook begins to host content from some of the news industry’s largest, most respected brands. Fortune magazine is reporting that the NY Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic are among the first companies who will post their content directly to Facebook, rather than using Facebook to link to content they host on their own sites.
This may not seem like a big deal. After all, you run a jewelry store in Kentucky, or a restaurant in San Francisco, or even a custom shoe making studio in New Jersey. Why do you care how these huge publishing companies put their content out there?
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You care because this change is indicative of the new user experience Facebook is trying to develop. By hosting highly desirable content on their site, Facebook is encouraging users to stay on Facebook, rather than clicking off to follow links. This is so important to Facebook that they’re actually sharing their revenues with the top news brands – and as we all know, Facebook generally believes all money should flow to them, not from them.
Remember that Facebook adjusts the reach of the content you post based upon a secret algorithm. It’s completely reasonable to assume that content that mirrors the behavior of the content posted by high profile news organizations – in other words, content that makes readers stay on Facebook longer – will be rewarded with greater reach than content that takes readers off of Facebook.
With that in mind, the time is now to look at your existing content strategy and think about how you’ll change it going forward. Creating content to be published on Facebook first, and perhaps exclusively, may soon be part of the smart business owner’s standard operating procedure.