When Facebook talks, PR pros need to listen. As an evolving social platform with a new rival in Google+, Facebook announced a new feature for its News Feed on Monday, Aug. 8, that will organize discussions by topic.
"You may notice some of your News Feed stories are now grouped together by topic," Facebook wrote in the brief announcement. "We want to show you the most relevant and interesting information, and this test is designed to show you trends among what your friends are saying."
For brands that tailor Facebook strategies around newsworthy keywords and discussion points, posts may now be grouped with non-brand posts in the News Feed, which represents a new level of social engagement between brands and Facebook users.
LEWIS PR social media practice director Adam Singer, who spoke Tuesday at PR News' Facebook Conference in San Francisco, told PR News the feature elevates the value of using a keyword glossary to drive Web content: both for search and social. "Don’t worry about discussing specific news items; worry about owning a topic at the category level," says Singer, who notes that Facebook is focusing on making the feed signal to noise ratio the highest possible for users. "As they tweak settings to aggregate topics, I think it will continue to elevate the importance of having done keyword research up front. Brands should continue to monitor the success of content and adjust based on data, treating social web participation as a fluid tactic and adjusting as tools change."