What Is Click bait?
You’ll never believe what Facebook announced today! Read on to find out about the jaw-dropping news that was shared exclusively with us.
Have your attention, do we? Teaser headlines have the tendency to draw people in, goading them to read on or click through. Instinctively, communicators do not want to oversell the content they are producing. They have been forced to evolve with this landscape in order to alleviate the risk that their message gets lost in the fold. Grabby headlines have become common practice, with sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed latching on to the vague dishonesty they hold.
The response from Facebook on this particular subject has some organizations anxious to find out how they will face this challenge as they continue to use the social media platform for advocacy.
Facebook’s New Algorithm
With this shift, Facebook has become worried that these click bait articles are drowning out other content that users may have more genuine interest in. In order to enhance the user experience, Facebook has decided to crack down on click bait by once again editing their algorithm – but how do they determine what posts are click bait?
1) Facebook will monitor users’ behavior after they click on the link. If users go back to Facebook right away after visiting the article it may suggest that they did not find it to be useful content.
2) Facebook will look at the ratio of people clicking on content as compared to the comments and shares on that content. If users are not liking or commenting on something once they return to their timeline, it may show that the content was not what they expected.
What Does This Mean for Communicators?
As communicators, we are used to Facebook changing their algorithm. But what does this particular change mean for the way we share our content with our followers? At the very least, it means we have to once again learn how to be agile.
Given the nature of Facebook’s new algorithm, it is possible that short content that does not take a user long to digest could be misconstrued as content that did not interest the user. If we want to convince people on how to vote or what policies to support, we need to be thoughtful in how and what we communicate to them – and now, how long we can keep them on any given website.
Recommendations for Your Organization
1) Maintain a toolbox of new strategies to employ on social networks. Stop and think about your digital strategy and creation pipeline. Focus on identifying what is relevant and interesting to your target audiences. You have to create things that people will not only want to read, but will want to be seen reading. Maintain a list of back pocket ideas to implement if you notice your content is receiving little engagement.
2) Create content that is provocative. Since part of Facebook’s algorithm is measuring the ratio of clicks to the level of engagement on posts, it is important to increase the amount of likes, comments and shares your content receives by creating something for your followers that they would be proud publicly proclaiming to be interested in. It’s OK to encourage discussion about your posts’ content, but you should avoid asking for clicks. Develop crisp, clear, attention-getting advocacy messages that your audience will relate to and share with others.
3) Make sure any links you have include a thumbnail image that alludes to the content of the article. A big part of the communicator’s job with the new algorithm is going to be managing expectations of the user. An accurate depiction of the content you are linking to is now paramount.
4) Pay attention to third-party shares – make sure you are only sharing content that coincides with your new standards of messaging. Consistency is key in regards to the type of content you are positing, whether it is yours or that of another organization. Now that you have a new strategy that will prove to maintain your posts’ visibility amongst your followers, ensure that same strategy can be identified in the content that you share.
To learn more about how to engage your communities and key influencers via social media, check out the next Advocacy Leaders Network event Trending Now: Learn What Your Supporters Really ‘Like’ Online this Friday, September 5th from 9:00 am to noon at the Beekeeper Group offices.