Facebook recently announced some updates to their News Feed algorithm, including new policies regarding like-gating and click-baiting. The reason? To help fans find intriguing content and assist them in weeding out the spam that clutters up newsfeeds every day.
So as a business or marketer - does this mean that your social media plan is shot to bits? No – not at all. But you’re now required to follow a few best practices to better accommodate Facebook’s requests.
Click baiting: NO!
Lying. Scheming. No good posts! Click baiting happens everywhere – and you’ve certainly been a part of it. It happens when you see a post that entices you to click on its link because it gives you NO information about what it’s really talking about.
Believe or not, these types of posts get MANY clicks because people are curious to find out what exactly they’re talking about. Like tabloids, you quickly realize that clearly the headline didn’t match what was actually in the article.
Tons of people click on the link and quickly leave the website because it was a letdown, but because it was a popular post, it gets thrown into our newsfeeds as a misnomer. These types of posts & headlines drown out content from friends and pages that a Facebook user actually WANTS to see, so they’re putting an end to it.
Sharing links within posts: NO!
With this update, Facebook will make it a point to show more links in the default link-format, and push aside links that are shared in captions or status updates. For example, while the below post from Cheetos performed well with a link included in the status copy, Facebook now frowns upon this practice.
Facebook wants you to keep the link as it is - a link. You can edit and update the image that appears, but don’t re-include the link in your status copy. Facebook studies show that following this format has resulted in twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions.
But why? How will Facebook know if I’m skirting the line?
It’s as simple as seeing their time on site. The purpose is to direct people to content they want to spend time to read through. If they bounce right back to Facebook in a matter of seconds, clearly they didn’t care much for the website, and Facebook can determine that link is a dud. Facebook is aiming towards more quality clicks, providing fans with a fulfilling experience that gives them what they want.
Remember - these changes are being made with the daily Facebook user’s experience in mind. The goal is to help ensure that spammy, click-bait content gets pushed aside to help people see what they REALLY want to see in their newsfeeds.
If you’re making posts like this, STOP. Firstly, because it’s a bad, cheap way to get clicks. But also because your page will suffer. Facebook will not cater to pushing your content out, and while your page will not be disabled, you’ll notice a decline in engagement.
This means you’ll have to work extra hard, and spend extra on ad dollars, to reach your fans.Cater to a strategy that revolves around solid, enticing content, with copy that is transparent & up front to users. Give Facebook what it wants, because in the end it knows what’s best for social, and it will continue to help your business grow.
All the best,
Julia Giacoboni is a Social Media Team Leader at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.