Facebook announced Monday their latest News Feed Algorithm change that cracks down on click baiting headlines. We’ve all seen them in our feeds, posts that say something like, “You’ll NEVER believe what happens next! CLICK to find out” or, “THIS person THOUGHT they won the lottery, CLICK to find out what REALLY happened!”
You find yourself clicking on the link because all the best click-baiting headlines play on curiosity or emotion, and you land on a page that gives you no satisfaction towards that curiosity what so ever. Click baiting, although may yield lots of clicks, has been now dubbed as a “black-hat social media tactic” also known as a no-no.
Click baiting is annoying to the user, clutters our news feeds, and spreads misleading information. Ultimately, Facebook is on a mission to stop click baiting once and for all!
How does Facebook determine click bait?
There are two factors Facebook takes into consideration to determine whether a post has used click baiting.
1. Time on page – or time away from Facebook
Facebook is going to take into consideration how much time on average users are spending on a page shared to Facebook through a link. For example, if users are clicking on a link and returning directly back to Facebook without spending any time on that shared page, Facebook is more likely to flag that post as click bait.
2. Engagement rate
The other factor Facebook is considering is the engagement rate of a post. Engagement rate is calculated by the number of times a post was seen, divided by the number of actions, or engagements that post receives. For instance, if a post has a few hundred clicks to it, but no likes, comments or shares, Facebook like more likely flag that post as click bait.
Who should be worried?
Click baiting is not a tactic that is widely used among small business and community managers, so many have very little to worry about. That being said, the factors Facebook has chosen to consider to determine what posts contain click bait is not fool proof. Even if you have never used click baiting before, it’s important to understand how the algorithm may still affect your posts.
It’s becoming increasingly more important to provide high quality, relevant and useful information to your audience, encourage and foster quality engagements and actions, and ultimately share links the way most humans share links with other humans. Don’t think of every link as a marketing message. Think of every post and every shared link as a chance to share value and spread knowledge.
The two post examples above are good examples of how to draft a post that shares a link. Remember to include some insight as to what readers will find after clicking on your link.
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