How Facebook’s See First list could affect brands - McKinney

How Facebook’s See First list could affect brands

July 15, 2015

“It’s a step beyond Facebook likes,” said Social Media Specialist Jimmy Patel-Nguyen. He’s talking about Facebook’s new See First capability, which allows users to choose up to 30 accounts whose posts they wish to see at the top of their news feed.

That’s right: Users can override the mysterious Facebook Algorithm of Frustration that results in a nearly imperceptible organic reach (especially for brands). We asked Jimmy what See First lists might mean for brands.

“Most of us have only so many friends we want to see first in our news feed, which leaves open spots for brands or influencers on that list,” said Jimmy. “I bet that some, say sports nuts, would choose to see networks, teams or athletes before some of their friends.”

Not surprisingly, Facebook will help you make these choices. In the New York Times Bits blog last week, Facebook Product Management Director Adam Mosseri was quoted as saying that when you go into your News Feed Preferences to choose who to See First, you’re shown “all of your friends, but we’ve ordered them by how much you like and comment on them in news feed.” Keep scrolling to find those you’ve interacted with less often, as well as those you’ve unfollowed in the past. Then re-Follow and See First all in one shebang.

This change is great for brands that already post great content. But Jimmy predicts brands that have been “posting mediocre content are going to fall beneath users’ See First streams right away, and their organic impressions are going to drop. Facebook will get the data on all of this, of course — they’ll see which brands and people make See First lists — and for users it’s great because if this system works, they’re being served the content they actually want.”

Are See First listicles in our future? “Absolutely. News sites will come out with lists geared for tech junkies, DIYers, coffee addicts, you name it. And they’ll list both brands and influencers,” predicts Jimmy. “Brands may even start See First campaigns, but to significantly scale their reach on Facebook, See First is another reason for brands to include paid social as part of their marketing plan.”

Brands that have paid for likes may not experience an effect right away, but eventually they’ll be hurt. “The whole goal is getting your content seen, and if you’re not a part of this new elite list, your organic posts are going to fall way below,” said Jimmy.