Facebook recently made adjustments to its News Feed, so that users see more local content. While most people are focusing on how this greatly benefits local news sites. You may have already noticed the boost to local news if you follow a lot of your local network affiliates, such as NBC New York or CBS 2, or more localized community-oriented news sites. However, straightforward news sites aren’t the only ones benefiting.
In determining what qualifies as a site local to you, Facebook looks at what people in your geographic area are sharing and if that site is based in the same area. Any site that meets that criteria and meets Facebook’s content requirements will see a boost. This means that a local sports blog and a blog covering events in your neighborhood will be more likely to show up in your feed, while advertising for local restaurants and real estate will not qualify for the boost. You will also be more likely to see stories from sites that your friends share frequently.
While this is good news for individual users of Facebook and local bloggers, this isn’t helpful to small businesses, who are have seen their organic reach go down and see no signs of it rebounding. The only glimmer of hope for local businesses to organically reach potential customers is to do something newsworthy that catches the attention of local news outlets. At the very least, that is better than knowing your potential customer’s News Feeds are being flooded with websites unlikely to feature your business, such as The New York Times.
Even though the recent change to the News Feed is in line with Facebook’s pledge to feature more local content and bring people closer together, it still doesn’t guarantee anything for those local new sites because Facebook still insists that it wants to connect people with their friends first.