social media how to

Are you wondering how to respond to the Facebook news feed changes?

Have you figured out how Story Bump can help your content remain top of mind with Facebook fans?

If you want to understand how these Facebook changes will impact your marketing, this article is for you.

Keep reading to discover how to take advantage of Story Bump.

What is Story Bump?

Facebook announced that they’ve tweaked their algorithm known as EdgeRank to allow stories that are getting more engagement (more likes, comments and shares) to be bumped up in the news feed.

The change is called Story Bumping and has already rolled out to 99% of desktop users and is still being tweaked for mobile users. The Story Bump shows you posts you may not have seen when they were first published.

For example, say you log into Facebook and scroll through your news feed to view 50 posts. The post you miss at position 51 continues to get lots of likes, comments and shares. Four hours later, you check Facebook and that post is at the top of your news feed, even though it’s four hours old.

stories bumped

Stories can get bumped up higher depending on several factors.

The Story Bump is good news for Facebook marketers for several reasons. In tests done by Facebook, there was an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on stories posted by pages.

The other good news Facebook revealed is they’re going to be more transparent about changes and post them on their Facebook for Business News area. Notice there’s a category tag for posts about the news feed, so bookmark this site.

Let’s dive into the basics of the Facebook news feed and learn more about how to take advantage of the Story Bump with these four tips.

#1: Not Everyone Sees Every Post in Their News Feed

Facebook states the average person has the potential to see over 1500 posts every day. Their job is to help you see the most interesting things.

They do this by watching your behavior and then showing you more of the things they think you want to see. Facebook has stated the things that affect their algorithm are:

  • How often you interact with the friend, page or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
  • The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
  • How much you’ve interacted with this type of post in the past
  • Whether you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post

To make sure you see posts from certain people or pages, you’ll need to create a Facebook Interest List. Just like on Twitter, people create lists to keep track of the people they find most interesting on Facebook.

You can also encourage your fans to create interest lists that include your page. They get notifications about your page by clicking on the Liked button under the right side of your cover photo and selecting Get Notifications. This is where you can add the page to interest lists.

get notifications

Encourage your fans to create interest lists or get notifications from your page.

Facebook page posts also seem to have disappeared from the Facebook ticker. I’m not sure how many people interact with posts using the ticker and it’s going away with the updated news feed rolling out soon.

#2: Story Bumping Helps the Shelf Life of Your Posts

A recent study by Wisemetrics showed that it only takes 2 hours and 30 minutes for a post to get 75% of its total impressions and less than 2 hours to get 75% of its maximum reach. So you have a very short window of time to get engagement.

With Story Bumping, your story jumps back up in the news feed if it gets good engagement.

wisemetrics stats

Without Story Bumping, your post gets 75% of its reach in less than 2 hours.

#3: Engagement Continues to Be Key

I’m sure by now everyone is tired of the “E word,” but it’s more important than ever. How do you increase your Facebook engagement? Be remarkable. Be interesting. Don’t be boring.

The great thing about the new Facebook Insights is they show you exactly which posts are the most engaging, so you can model those types of posts more often.

To get to the engagement rate on each post, go to Insights, select Posts and then choose Engagement Rate from the drop-down menu.

engagement rate

Look at the engagement rate on each post.

The best thing about this statistic is that it factors in how many people actually saw your post, so you get a true measure of engagement.

analyze what worked

Watch your most interesting posts and analyze what worked.

#4: Facebook Page Post Ads Provide an Extra Boost

You can be very effective on Facebook without spending money by focusing on engagement, but you can go farther by spending a little money from time to time.

To take advantage of the Story Bump, advertise your individual posts so they get more engagement through the ad. This boosts the bump the post receives organically.

The Boost Post option has a very wide target if you select “People who like your page and their friends,” which may include a lot of people who have no interest in your Facebook page. If you select “People you choose through targeting” option, you can only target people by location, age, gender and language—not by keyword interests, which again may include a lot of people not interested in your Facebook page.

boost post

Do not use the Boost Post option for re-engaging your audience.

The better way to get more engagement on a post is to narrow your targeting by using the Facebook ads interface and selecting Promote Page Posts.

promote post

Select Promote Page Posts, then choose the post you want to promote in the drop-down menu.

Now in the Targeting section, you can choose to advertise your post to only your own fans or use the Precise Interests area to target the post to people who would be more inclined to like your page and interact with your post.

advertise to your own fans

Choose to advertise to your own fans to re-engage your audience.

The Facebook ads interface also allows you to precisely control your budget and get more for your money. As with any money you spend on marketing, track your results and do your testing. To really go for more engagement, only advertise posts that are interesting and already getting some engagement organically so you know they interest others.

Your Turn

The Story Bump isn’t the answer to all of the frustration around appearing in the Facebook news feed, but it does help pages get seen more often.

Your best bet on Facebook or with any social site is to be a source of information that’s so valuable to your readers that they do whatever they can to seek you out.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on the new Story Bump? Have you noticed a difference in interaction on your page? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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  • John Seal

    Get your message out there, but make sure you get it out to as many of your target audience as you can.

  • Lisa

    To be honest, I think this new change is terrible. Why would I want to see old news? As a marketer on Facebook I’ve been posting content that is timely, relevant and in the moment. How can that be the case if they don’t show it at the moment it is posted. For the pages I manage this has negatively impacted us. If a post is posted and no one sees it, how can they engage with it? Any why would I want them to engage with it when it is old news. It just means that marketers now have to make their posts generic instead of inherently social. All this new change does is force us to buy more promoted posts. So much for Facebook being a free platform.

  • Lisa

    What happened to my comment? It was here and then you deleted it?

  • I see it here Lisa 🙂 Responded above

  • Facebook doesn’t say how long they allow for the bumping of stories and that’s a good point. I think if it’s within 1/2 a day then it still is relevant news. I have never felt that Facebook is quite as “news of the minute” timing like Twitter is. Obviously for late breaking news then it is better if it’s fresh. But most news I think is still relevant 8 hours later in my opinion. Thanks for your thoughts on this!

  • Relevancy is always better for sure! Thanks!

  • Story bumping is really an awesome algorithm by Facebook which doesn’t insist a user to go directly to the page to check its updates & information while logged in. You can’t miss even a single post. I love it 🙂

  • Vivek G Maudgalya

    Very good insights Andrea.

  • Pingback: Facebook News Feed Updates: How Marketers Should Respond to Story Bump | Social Savvy Business()

  • Xander Vehof

    My Experience is that due to storybumping, split testing is even more limited to non-story factors like target audience. The factors mentioned in the article therefore tend to be unique to a post. And the more the marketing skills behind that post matter.

  • Michael Wilson

    I think that this will put more pressure on businesses because they will now have to create even more engaging content than ever before. If your content isn’t something that is going to want to be shared, than it won’t get the recognition and interaction you think it deserves. It is going to be quite a challenge to come up with good content to share every day, and it could cost you if you don’t.

  • Hi Andrea, GREAT post about the Facebook Story Bump. I noticed this in a private group that I created not too long ago, but thought maybe it was just for the private group feed. Then, I started noticing it in my regular feed as well. Your insights for marketers and how we can maximize the Story Bump are very helpful, so thank you for this post!

  • Kbishop

    How is ‘Story Bumping’ different from the option of ‘Top Stories’ vs ‘Most Recent’ which the user has always had? When I go to view my newsfeed I have always had the ‘Top Stories’ vs ‘Most Recent’ option. This blog post is from 2010 – “Top News shows popular stories from your favorite friends and Pages,
    many of which have gained lots of attention since the last time you
    checked. In this view, you might find out about an old friend becoming
    engaged or see a hilarious video that your sister posted and that tons
    of your friends liked.”

    Same with Last Actor – This is new? I thought Facebook always determined what to show me based on what I was visiting the most. If interacted with FB PAGE A more than I do FB PAGE B… I thought I was more apt to see posts from FB PAGE A…

    Are there a factors I am missing because I can’t find anyone asking these same questions

  • Great Post Andrea, I really enjoy how Facebook handles this news feed algorithm; nothing is known, nothing is fixed 🙂

    Digital Insights

  • AmandahBlackwell

    “To make sure you see posts from certain people or pages, you’ll need to create a Facebook Interest List. Just like on Twitter, people create lists to keep track of the people they find most interesting on Facebook.”

    I had no idea I (or fans) could create at list on Facebook. I don’t know. People may have enough to do; creating another list may not be at the top of their To Do Lists.

  • Great comment, Michael. And in the end it really comes down to whether a business really knows how to connect and engage with the people they are trying to sell to. And it takes a variety of skill sets to bring it all together and keep that connection going with the variety of communication platforms we have.

  • Margo Bastow

    Thanks for the insightful post Andrea:)

  • Trevor Frimond

    Hey Andrea,

    Thank you for explaining a quixotic concept in such easy-to-grasp language! This makes perfect sense now. Look forward to your next piece of insight!

  • Thanks Vivek!

  • Yep, I agree Michael!

  • Thanks John! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Yes it’s definitely still a mystery 🙂 Thanks!

  • You are welcome Margo!

  • I love my Interest lists on Facebook and they really help me see what I want to see. But I think people still aren’t using them as much as Twitter lists (and there are even a lot of people who don’t use those) Maybe it is a touch of overwhelm 🙂

  • Carlos Bohorquez

    Hi Andrea, i saw you pic of promote page post (7 best features of facebook insights), but for this type of ads doesn’t apply the 20% words rule on photos?. Please confirm.

  • Kelsey

    Honestly, I think this may be a big fail, in terms of more visibility for Pages. I’ve been noticing the changes and as a personal user, I’m not happy that I don’t get to see hardly any of my friends’ updates. Since my friends’ updates do not get as many likes/comments/shares as posts from several Pages that I follow, my News Feed is all business and few friends. Initially, this may seem exactly what I would like to see from a business marketing standpoint. However, I see it backfiring very quickly. People are going to start marking every post from these businesses with an “I don’t like this” or unliking the business pages all together, just so they can start to see updates from their friends again. This means that even though your post might have a great engagement rate, people still won’t be seeing it because they got fed up with seeing so many Page posts take over their News Feed. Again, this is my opinion, but I think it’s very realistic and unfortunately, marketers don’t have much control once somebody chooses to remove a businesses posts from their News Feed.

  • Thanks Trevor! So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Yes Carlos – you are correct! Sorry I used a photo like that in my example – I wasn’t thinking about that – it just happened to be the last post I had done. So make sure you are thinking of that when you post a photo that you think you may advertise in a sponsored story. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Thanks so much for your views on this. I’ve actually been seeing more of my friends post and much less of the business pages I like. I have been seeing more sponsored stories though. I’ve noticed the new rating system and I think it’s interesting.

    I think you have a good point about people getting frustrated with too many things they don’t want to see in their News Feed – but I think that’s a reminder to pages to continue to try and be useful. And make sure you get your Fans on your e-mail list so that you aren’t hostage to Facebook’s changes!

  • Those are great questions Kyle!

    The real answer here is that I don’t really know and nobody knows except Facebook. I really struggled with that when writing this article because there does seem to be a lot of overlap in Top Stories and Story Bumping. But what I think is that the Story Bump shows things that may not have previously been eligible for the Top Stories.

    No one really knows what the exact difference would be but since Facebook is saying that they saw an 8% increase in likes comments and shares, then there must be some small difference in the way the two algorithms work.

    The message still remains to continue to strive for that engagement and focus on providing real value to your fans so that they connect with you and watch for your content.

  • Yes you definitely need to make sure you keep your skills up both technologically and also in your message. Thanks for your comments!

  • This is truly a fantastic feature for people looking for popular stories missed from their facebook news feed.

  • Very good article Andrea! And thanks for quoting us.

  • Kbishop

    Thanks Andrea! Appreciate the feedback.

  • Stephan

    Hi Andrea,
    this is the first time i have visited your blog.
    Your article is really useful and informative. I think that it’;s really a problem to keep user post can be shared everyday., they have to make sure that their contents have a good quality often.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Stephan Wu

  • I agree that Facebook is a great way to interact with your customers. Through Facebook you can post your company’s latest events, promotions that can be tailored to your consumers, you can also get a feel of what the people are talking about.

  • Informative post, Andrea! It certainly does seem like Facebook is driving the need to advertise and spend money to “boost” a successful post. I’ve seen quite a few notifications about this!

    I don’t like or agree with the unfair advantage that some bigger brands may have in asking fans to “like” or “share” to choose between two things, as well as the likeliness you’ll see their posts because your friends like them. And not to mention a bigger audience likely means more likes, comments and shares anyways. Yet this still motivates me to create engaging, share-worthy content!

    I have yet to create a Facebook Interest List, but I will now to ensure I see the brands that actually matter to me.

  • Hi Andrea.

    Fabulous article! Thank you for the fantastic breakdown of useful tips! There is another trick with regards to bumping. When you have created a post on a page, Facebook now shows you a star icon on that post in the Page Insights admin section on the top of your page. Don’t “boost” it immediately. Wait for the engagement to go up over a few hours or even a day or two. Then bump it. What happens is that new people who see your post because it has been bumped already see that many people have liked, shared and commented, which peaks their interest even more. It appears to me that Facebook bumps this up to a maximum of 3 days, thus you will get about 4-6 days visibility out of the post, which would have only had up to 3 days if it was immediately boosted.

  • Benjamin

    Hi Andrea,

    Thanks a lot for mentioning our study about post’s lifetime.
    Concerning promoting posts to increase a post visibility, there could be interactions with organic posts.
    We ran a data intensive study just to look into this and found out that Facebook is really fair. For instance a page isn’t penalized if a (too widely) promoted post gets a lot of negative feedback.
    The complete study is here:
    Let us know if you find it interesting

    Thanks again.

  • svetla encheva

    Where can i find the Interests Page in my profile?

  • mark

    Great, for the last few days the same boring picture of some guy at a party is at the top of my feed. As a user this is so dull and boring. I’m done with facebook.

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  • Hakan

    The only change is the organic reach numbers! That’s all! The story bumping is just an empty excuse to get more ads and reduced organic reach!

    Enter more posts and boost them with money! The only solution of this formula is money!

    Welcome to the first and really paid social media.