Although news of Facebook’s effort to clean up click-baiting was announced some time ago, we still see lots of businesses posting in a format that penalizes them in the news feed. With Facebook’s dwindling organic reach, we need all the help we can get to have our content shown without paying to boost posts.
Here’s a brief overview of the best way to post your content so that you will be favored by the “Facebook Gods,”-- or at least won’t be penalized by them.
Facebook's New Policy
The real change is that Facebook will prioritize articles that use their link sharing format, rather than those posted as photos with URLS placed in the caption. The latter was, up until recently, a common method used by businesses to increase click-throughs. By posting less information (and sometimes misleading photos) you’d make the reader curious and click through to see more.
We've even recommended posting in this format in the past (with relevant photos, of course), since the photos in posts with URLs were displayed much larger in the News Feed than those with link posts. This was because the linked post automatically pulled in a much smaller thumbnail image from the article.
Giving Users What They Want
In defense of their new policy, Facebook points to studies that show users prefer to click on URLs displayed in text posts, rather than URLs in photo captions. This is most likely because the preferred link format includes additional information such as a headline, Meta description and the beginning of the article, which all help someone to decide if they want to click through.
This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen. This is a big deal for marketers, since the number of Facebook users that login from a mobile device only is at 30%, and rising.
The takeaway here is that as long as businesses market themselves on Facebook, Facebook will continue to change its policies to make sure we’re giving users exactly what they want -- even if we have to change our tactics often.
With your content inclusion in the News Feed at risk, it’s more important than ever to be aware of Facebook’s frequent changes. Follow us to get updates on Facebook policy changes, plus more social media best practices.