In an effort to combat fake news and work with news organizations to ensure credible content on its platform, Facebook launched a special journalism training site last January. Known as the Facebook Journalism Project, the resource offers training and tools for journalists, teachings on news literacy, and offers collaborative products to help media professionals establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry.
This week, Facebook announced a new update to the project, which includes some helpful tips on how to hack the social network’s increasingly cryptic News Feed. According to Facebook, informing media professionals on some basic “do’s and don’ts” will help publishers succeed on the platform, while fake news and false information will fade into the noise.
An extension of the Publisher Principles Facebook released in May, this update will not only help news media, but also brands and businesses succeed on the ever-evolving platform. Understanding how Facebook News Feed ranking works could be a major leg-up for anyone’s Facebook visibility and effectiveness. Check out these quick tips on how to hack the Facebook News Feed, complements of Facebook itself:
1. Provide Meaningful and Informative Content
This should go without saying, but the people who follow you on Facebook are doing so because your content adds value to their life. Your followers and friends desire relevant and engaging content that is useful to them. But how do you figure that out?
- Insights. Every Facebook Page offers data and metrics as to who has liked your page, and how they have interacted with your content. This tool is invaluable and must be checked regularly. Insights offers data on your followers’ activity on the page, including likes and engagement, as well as their demographics and interests. Be sure to tailor your Facebook content to this information for best results.
- Be Original. Don’t just try to do what everyone else is doing. Have a unique voice that attracts your audience. According to Facebook, “Publishers should ideally focus on what they do best; making the important and meaningful stories interesting to their audience.”
- Use CrowdTangle. CrowdTangle is a way for partner newsrooms and journalism organizations to make the most of Facebook. With this program, you can:
Track who is sharing your content using Search and Link Checker.
Build lists of your competitors
Use keywords (and lists) to funnel story ideas to your writers.
Use Live Displays to track what’s happening in real-time.
Track what celebrities, athletes, business leaders, politicians and other influencers are doing on social.
- And much more
2. Be Accurate and Authentic
The Facebook News Feed detects when information is false or found to be too opinionated. So, be sure your posts are reliable and credible. Obviously, the more authentic a story is, the more they resonate with your intended audience. So, you must work hard to be genuine and factual. According to Facebook, “We work to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading, sensational and spammy, to make sure people see those less.”
In order to be more authentic, Facebook recommends the following:
- Refrain from clickbait stories and headlines
- Only post links to web pages that are high quality and fast
- Do not post misleading content
- Do not post content you don’t have permission to share
3. Promote Safe, Respectful Behavior
Facebook is primarily composed of profiles of people. Individuals from all walks of life enjoy the site every day, with often conflicting views and opinions. The conversations that inevitably happen in comments or within direct messages aren’t always as safe or respectful as they should be. As a brand, business or news organization, be sure your content adheres to Facebook’s Community Standards, which explain what type of content is and isn’t allowed. These guidelines cover everything from bullying to graphic content.
To make the most out of the News Feed, Facebook advises publishers to:
- Never post hate speech, discriminatory or offensive content
- Never post content that contains inappropriate nudity and/or sexual activity
- Keep your accounts safe from spam or unsafe material
By following these guidelines, your Page or profile has a much better chance of being elevated in the News Feed and should not get flagged or penalized for unreliable content. For more resources, be sure to check Facebook’s Publisher and Media Help Center.