How to Avoid Clickbait and Still Drive Engagement on Facebook
Facebook is constantly updating their algorithm, but there is one recent change that is causing a stir among the digital marketing world.
This post will give you some insight into the recent Facebook change that’s got everyone in a frenzy, as well as some tips on how to go around this change and still continue build your brand’s engagement on the platform.
While I do actually like Facebook’s paid advertising, I’m still going to show you some totally affordable tips for posting content and reaching more of your target audience in the Facebook News Feed.
Facebook’s Recent Algorithm Change
You know those articles with headlines that say something like, “This woman made a bong out of glass. What happened next will shock you” that show up on Facebook all the time?
Yeah, those are called “clickbait” links.
Clickbait is basically a link that has a title specifically written in a way that will instantly grab a reader’s attention, but doesn’t actually tell people what the article is about. Most of them also have teaser images that are totally unrelated to the article.
Basically, people scrolling through their News Feed come across this super interesting headline that sparks their curiosity without giving them enough information to know what the article is about. Not knowing is part of that curiosity factor, and many people just can’t help but click on that enticing bit of bait.
While they do clickbait does sound like a cheap marketing gimmick, they can actually be a pretty effective strategy.
People just can’t help but click on them to find out more.
Once digital marketers found this type of call-to-action to be incredibly successful, it caught on and spread like wildfire. Now, thousands of these posts are flooding the News Feed on Facebook.
This means the value-driven content Facebook users actually want to see is pushed back. The more people click on a certain link, the more that post shows up in the News Feed. Because Facebook’s algorithm has a viral component to it, these clickbait posts were getting a ton of exposure.
Now, Facebook is considering this a way to sort of cheat the system in order to get pushed up in the News Feed. They’ve made a change that no longer permits the use of clickbait. If someone uses that type of posting strategy, their content will be negatively affected.
So, how can you use this clickbait strategy for yourself, without being penalized by the recent Facebook algorithm change?
Tip #1: Remember that quality is better than quantity
However, quantity isn’t better than quality. Those 16+ blog posts need to be targeted, relevant content that sells. In fact, it would be even better to have five value-driven posts per month than twenty-five posts that don’t do anything to give you the engagement you need for Facebook.
Take a look at this post by Tacoma House of Cannabis. It can be hard to get cannabis-related posts to stay up on Facebook, but this one made it. It was clearly highly valuable and relevant for this dispensary’s audience. It has two different kinds of likes, and it has comments.
When people click on the link and go to to your website after finding your Facebook post, you want to make sure the content you have on there is interesting, engaging, and compelling. Not only will this keep them on your site longer, but it also increases the likelihood of them becoming a customer.
Sure, this isn’t anything new.
But, so many business owners don’t think about how long people will actually spend on the other side of the links they click.
You want to make sure the content is quality, so people will spend more time on the post (which also helps your bounce rate) and will help you drive more engagement to your Facebook posts.
Tip #2: Be specific with your Facebook headlines
This is a big tip that will notably make a difference in how the Facebook algorithm change affects your post.
The more descriptive and specific you are with your Facebook headlines, the more likely people are to be interested in the content you’re sharing. They will see you’re providing some actual value, not just tricking people into clicking on something with far too many ads and multiple scroll buttons.
They’ll see it’s likely to be quality content, and will probably spend more time on your website when they get there.
Take a look at how Clear Choice Cannabis wrote their post. They added a preview to their link, and they made it crystal-clear what their article will be about. It's enough information that readers won't be (unpleasantly) surprised when they click through to the website, but it's also interesting enough to catch their readers' attention.
Rather than following the clickbait formula of Vague Subject + Vague Action + SHOCKING Outcome, be specific telling your followers what the link will be about.
When you post your link, be sure to enable the option to include a preview of the post. Include images that give a glimpse of what the link will be about, to catch their attention and further grab their attention.
Facebook posts with previews tend to perform better in the News Feed, which means your website is more likely to gain exposure and traffic. Once your followers see your great blog content , there’s a better chance of them looking around to see what else you have to offer.
Tip #3: Engage with your audience
This one may seem like common sense, but so many business owners forget that the key part of “social media” is the SOCIAL part.
Respond to your followers’ comments. Thank them for their reviews. Show you appreciate your audience with giveaways or Facebook-exclusive offers and discounts.
By actively engaging with your audience, you show Facebook (and your followers) that you aren’t just there to drive clicks for your posts. You’re sharing valuable content, reaching your audience, and offering products or solutions they’ve been looking for.
You’re a resource, not just a promotional brand.
Facebook tries hard to ensure all of their 2 billion monthly users have the best experience possible when running their page.
Much like you want to make sure your dispensary customers do.
When potential customers find your website, you want to make sure your brand sticks out in their mind. You want them to have a positive experience, so they will become a customer and share your content with their friends.
You want that engagement, and Facebook will help you do it. But, you have to keep up with the Facebook algorithm changes.
Take a look at the regular type of posts you see on Facebook. The popular posts that aren’t published by someone who is doing marketing.
Pay attention to how those posts are structured, and model yours after their posts.This will help ensure yours don’t come across as too promotional, but rather like you’re just sharing information you know people will find helpful.
You’re providing value, not selling.
Looking for more ways to market your dispensary on a budget?
What are some tips you would include for increasing engagement on Facebook? Share your best tips in the comments below!