Facebook is on the move to making their service user-friendly and that means reducing click-baiting posts and encouraging people to use link-sharing options. They have made a few updates you MUST be familiar with in order to avoid reducing of your page’s reach.
Click-baiting headlines are getting punished
Facebook recently did some tests asking users what they would love to see in their news feed. Users frequently reported spammy posts which later proved to be click-baiting links.
“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.”
Facebook decided to punish publishers who use this marketing approach by reducing that posts’/page’s reach.
How will they distinguish click-baiting from usual and normal posts? Facebook says:
“One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted.”
They will also keep a close eye to ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends. They assume that if a lot of people click on the link but relatively few people click like, that suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.
I personally agree with the first statement, but have trouble with understanding the second. I have read many useful articles I found on Facebook, but liked just a few of them. Not because I refuse to like articles, but because I forget. That said, I’m pretty sure Facebook won’t be so harsh when enforcing new rules in order to eliminate click-baiting links.
Don’t post photos with link in description
From recent research Facebook also found out people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions. That’s why they will prioritize showing links in link-format from the ones shared in photo captions.
This is really important info right here. If you had been practising posting links in photo captions, now is the time to change your approach and start posting links in link-formats. I personally think that’s even better since link format shows some additional information associated with the link which helps users decide if the content is worth clicking through.
To sum it up
Facebook once again proved they are listening to reports coming from their users. They are reducing reach to click-baiting posts and links shared in photo captions.
It’s up to you to respect new limitations, meaning:
- Don’t use click-baiting as one of your marketing approaches. That will lower your reach and harm your business. (Besides click-baiting is not even helping with achieving your long-term goals.)
- When posting links use link format, do not post a photo with link in the caption.
These are big changes. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic! Comment below.
Read the official announcement here.