Facebook favors truthful posts over “clickbaiting”

Author: Sharon Berman | November 7, 2014

A truth of modern life is that when you post something on Facebook, you want readers to click on it. However, there are different ways to go about achieving this goal, and Facebook itself is trying to block posters who are sneaky about it.

The social networking platform recently announced that it would crack down on “clickbaiting,” the practice of attracting clicks with a provocative headline and often a suggestive photo. Most readers are irritated when they discover the article is not what was promised, and they quickly click out of the post and move on. The poster, however, got credit for that click, which might give it an advantage in increasing advertising rates or gaining new customers.

For those reasons, it might be tempting to produce such content. The better approach is to offer your potential readers something worthwhile, which of course makes it more likely they will look forward to your next post and regularly return. That will better serve marketers, public relations firms and attorneys because, after all, you are in the business of providing worthwhile, meaningful information to your clients. You have no need to lure readers with lurid headlines or photos.

And now Facebook is helping you out by changing the algorithm that boosts the prominence of posts so that “clickbait” articles fall toward the bottom of the page, leaving more room at the top for legitimate offerings. An added benefit is that Google, which constantly tweaks its own algorithms, now also gives more weight to websites that are deep with varied content, so if you repurpose your creative output – a Facebook post becomes the basis for an article on your website – you win on both platforms.

And then you have the added satisfaction of knowing your readers really want to read you.

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