On March 7, 2013 Facebook announced what many are calling the biggest change to the News Feed in its entire seven-year existence. The announcement can be broken down into three parts: 

1. New Feeds: When Facebook users log in they can determine what kind of updates they see by choosing from different feed categories. These different choice of feeds include: News Feed, All Friends, Most Recent, Close Friends, Music, Photos, Games, and Following. 

2. Visually Engaging: Photos and videos will be larger with more features. 

3. Consistent Mobile Experience: The News feed design will be consistent across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. 

This major redesign of Facebook raises many questions for business pages. What do businesses need to continue in their Facebook marketing efforts? What should businesses consider changing in their content strategy?

Facebook users now have the ability to choose who they receive their news from and in what format they receive it in. With the option to view news strictly from your friends without viewing brand page news, the people who interact with your Facebook content are even more important. As the redesign rolls out, keep in mind that those fans that like, share, or comment are your evangelists. Note what content they interact with and cater your Facebook posts to that type that receives the most engagement. Your fans sharing your content become even more important because if someone shares your post, it will show in the "Friends" news feed of that fan, in addition to the "Following" feed.

As the redesign focuses on the importance of visuals, businesses should consider including more photos and videos in their posts. When posting a text or link update, add a relevant photo to that post. By including a photo, your post will show in the Photo feed too. According to Zuckerberg on the older News Feed, 50 percent of content comprises photos and videos. The introduction of a feed strictly for photos will only increase the importance of visual forms of content.  

When posting photographs and videos, keep text captions short because captions will now overlay photos. 

Make sure you review your cover photo and profile picture. Previously, your cover photo was viewed solely on your business page itself. Now when a user likes your page, a large part of your cover image and business profile picture will go into the news feed of that person's friends. It is even more important to abide by Facebook’s suggested minimum width of 552 pixels for your cover photo image with the increased likelihood it will be seen. An example of when your cover photo will show in the News Feed is in a new page “Like” story.

The Facebook ranking algorithm known as EdgeRank will not change. The creation of different feeds will change how content is being found by the user not what EdgeRank determines is relevant to any user. Keeping this in mind, try to increase the number of feeds your content will show in as the more exposure you have, the better. Continue to post the type of content based on your previous successes that engaged your audience, but monitor them closly after the rollout.

The new redesign will affect Facebook advertising. The larger photo size will also affect Promoted Posts. Try including an image and consider testing a video ad format. Remember, Facebook is a business and advertising is where the money is. The Ad functionality and exposure will most likely improve, but keep an eye on your costs.

By Online Marketing Consultants Nikki Guevarra & Emily Thompson