AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here and welcome to another edition of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Thanks, so much, for being here.
I have to say, before I jump in, last week on my podcast in the very beginning I made a confession that I couldn’t wait for my son to go back to school and I was talking about how he was obsessed with Minecraft™ and it’s driving me crazy. But, after I published that podcast I started to think, “Oh my gosh, what if people think I’m like this horrible parent that wants to ship her kid away to school everyday so I can only focus on work.”
And so I started to worry about what you all thought about me confessing that I was actually looking forward to my son going back to school. So then I had to take a step back and think, Okay Amy, you know your heart. I know what I meant by that and I know that I love my son dearly. But sometimes I just have to be real and I like to share kind of what’s going on in my head because I think other parents can relate to that.
So I tell you all of this, these little things that go on in my head, because I think as all of us run our businesses online and become more public, sometimes it’s scary to share those thoughts that aren’t so, let’s say, attractive or pleasing but are just real. So, I am making an effort to just be more real and to share those things that I go through everyday even if they don’t relate to work.
So I just wanted to put that out there because we can’t always worry about what everyone thinks of us even though we’re putting ourselves in the public eye. We just have to stay true to who we are and we know what we think and feel and who we are. And, maybe I just need to say all of this as a little pep talk to myself. But hopefully some of you listening can really relate and think, “Yeah, I’ve got to remember, put myself out there, be real, tell the truth,” but just always know that you come from a good place because you know who you are.
And so, there you go, that’s my little thought for the day. I don’t know, a little random but I just felt compelled to put it out there.
So, let’s talk about what today’s episode is all about and today is all about a recent change Facebook has made to their algorithm. Ah, moans, groans, right? We don’t even want to think about another change that Facebook made.
It’s actually a small change. It’s not going to affect all of your Facebook strategy but it is one that’s really important for you to be aware of and I wanted to give you some tips to help you craft a Facebook post that’s going to get you that engagement you deserve.
I mean, we all work so hard on our content. We put blog posts up and podcasts up and all that good stuff and we want to use Facebook as a tool to drive traffic to our content.
Well, there are some Dos and Don’ts that you want to be aware of in order to make Facebook actually work for you. So, the info on today’s episode could help you increase your engagement in the newsfeed and we know the newsfeed is where it’s at on Facebook.
So, what that means, increase your engagement in the newsfeed, is that more people could potentially see your content for free on Facebook if you really pay attention to the strategy I’m going to talk about today.
Although I am a huge believer in the power of Facebook ads, when done right, I am always in favor of free exposure on Facebook and I will take it any chance I get and hopefully you feel the same way. So, today we’re actually not talking about Facebook ads or paid advertising. We’re talking about how to craft a post that will get you more engagement for free.
Now, specifically what we’re talking about today is something called “click bait.” So, click bait is when a link is shared in a Facebook post with a title that sparks curiosity but does not really tell people what the article is all about. So, click bait essentially teases people to click a link but does not give them all the information so they are not exactly sure what they’re going to find on the other side of that click.
Now, click bait links, it’s hard’ to say click bait, it’s B-A-I-T just to make sure everyone knows what I’m talking about. But, click bait links work really well because people
can’t help but click to find out more. And, because they work so well, they’ve been taking over the newsfeeds on Facebook.
The challenge is that the click bait strategy is making it hard for users to see content they genuinely want to see and care about. Facebook sees click bait as gaming the system to get out into the newsfeed. Because, the more people click on the link, even though they’re not sure if they’re even interested in what is on the other side of that link, meaning what’s in the article, the more people that click on that link the more that post shows up in the newsfeed. But, in actuality, people are clicking on a link but not really sure if they actually have an interest in the article.
So, in essence, a lot of those clicks that people were getting in these click bait links were not actually quality clicks. And that’s why Facebook became concerned with their practice. Facebook is very, very aware that they need to take care of their users. Meaning, as a user of Facebook, if I continue to see things in my newsfeed that are of no interest to me I’m going to stop using Facebook.
So, Facebook is very protective of their users’ experience. With that, Facebook surveyed their users and found that 80 percent of uses preferred links with headlines that actually told them or helped them understand what an article was actually about.
That’s why Facebook made this recent change and they have said they no longer allow click bait. In essence, what that means is that you will get a negative mark on Facebook when you use a click bait type of strategy.
Let me give you some examples. So, a headline such as this would be considered click bait. Here it goes: “You won’t believe the change Facebook made today on their site. You could be breaking the rules each time you post. Click here to find out if you are a rule breaker.”
So, I don’t tell you what the change is. I don’t really give you any information except that I scare you a little and tell you, you could be breaking the rules, find out if you are, click here. So, that is baiting your audience.
People have no idea what the change is and so they click but they might get to the other side of that click, read the article, and realize it doesn’t pertain to them at all. So they weren’t genuinely interested so that was basically a fake click.
Here’s a headline of the same topic but without the click bait. Here it goes: “Update: Facebook no longer allows click bait which are headlines with links that do not explain what people are actually clicking on in the post. Be more specific in your posts to get out into the newsfeed more often. More details here.”
So, right there, if someone’s going to click on it they’re genuinely interested in learning about these click bait practices. So, as you can see, very different posts but about the same thing.
Now, the reason I wanted to bring this up here today is because this click bait issue actually sheds some light on how Facebook is determining engagement right now. Now, let me read to you what they said about how they plan to police this click bait issue. This is what they had to say:
“One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook it suggests they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link or whether they tend to come straight back to newsfeed when we rank stories with links in them.
Another factor we will use to try and show fewer of these types of stories is to look at the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends. If a lot of people click on the link but relatively few people click like or comment on the story when they return to Facebook this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.”
So, here’s the deal, even if you’re not using these click bait strategies on Facebook I still want you to pay attention to this important takeaway that you learned here in this quote that I just read from Facebook. If people are clicking on your links and actually reading the content on the other side, so they’re spending time on the website that you’ve put them on, and if they are commenting on and sharing and liking you will be seen by more people on Facebook.
Now, this isn’t particularly new news. However, most of us don’t think about how long people are spending on the other side of our links that we include in our Facebook
posts. Make that content valuable enough to keep them there and you will boost your engagement on Facebook.
The more specific you are with your headlines in your post, the more likely people will genuinely be interested in your content when they actually get to your website.
So, in essence, it really comes down to attracting the ideal audience on Facebook with each of your Facebook posts.
I often get asked, “how often should I post on Facebook?”
So, based on how Facebook is policing the posts in the newsfeed now, I encourage you to focus more on quality versus quantity. I would rather see you post two times a day with high-value content versus a bunch of posts that won’t get you the engagement that Facebook is actually paying attention to each time you post.
So, if you can come up with a great article that you write or you found a great article from a third party but you know your ideal audience is going to find it incredibly valuable, I would rather see you post once or twice a day on your Facebook post with that high-value content in order to get people to click the link and actually stay there on that website so Facebook knows your audience is resonating with your content.
Now, here’s another layer to the post/engagement connection that I’m talking about here. Facebook has said that they will favor posts that have links that include a standard or preview in the post versus posts that include a link with a photo but no preview.
So, you might be thinking, “Okay, what the heck is a preview Amy, you’re kind of losing me here?”
Well, it’s really simple, actually. If you go to a Facebook post and the person that posted it wrote just a little blurb on the top, then there’s an image, and underneath that image there is, let’s say, the title of the blog post they wrote. That’s a preview, the image with a title below and then a little blurb below that. That all is a link preview.
And, Facebook is saying that if you include a link preview you’re going to get out into the newsfeed more often. Now the way you actually get a link preview is if you include the link to the article in your post and it automatically pulls in the image and the title and that little blurb.
So, here’s the deal. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I wrote a step-by-step article all about this on my blog. I’m going to link to that article in my show notes at amyporterfield.com/38. So, if you’re interested in creating a post that actually works for Facebook’s algorithm and includes that link preview, I promise you, it takes just seconds. But, if you want to learn more about it you can go find that article inside my show notes and you’ll be able to really understand what I mean here.
But, to bring it all together, Facebook is rewarding those who create a post that is straight forward, beneficial and relevant to the user, and is set up in a way that pulls in the preview of the article underneath the image thus giving users even more info before they click.
Paying close attention to the way you actually post increases your engagement on Facebook. So, if you’re looking for free exposure, you need to craft a post that’s going to actually get you into the newsfeed more often.
So, that’s why I felt that this topic was really important to bring up today because it’s not just about what you’re posting but it’s about how you’re talking about it in your post and how you craft the post in terms of the links and the images and pulling in the actual article as a preview.
So, think of it this way. Facebook is all about their users having a great experience when they go on to their website. It’s all about the users on Facebook. But, if you think about it, that’s how we all feel about our own websites. When someone comes to my website I want them to have a memorable and a valuable experience.
Well, Facebook feels the same way. So, one thing that can help you is to pay attention to how most people post on Facebook when they’re not marketing. Model those posts versus trying to be sneaky or too promotional with your posts.
Plus, we all want to offer immense value and that’s what Facebook is rewarding. They’re rewarding those of us who are posting content that people actually want to read, share, and comment on.
I know it’s not always easy but if you truly put time and effort into your content and you know what your audience wants from you, you are on the right track. So, just keep it up. If you’re doing that, good for you, keep it up.
Just keep in mind that the way you post is also important and that’s why I wanted to keep you informed with this whole click bait controversy and the idea of including the link preview in your post. So, it’s not something to go all crazy about and think you have to change your whole Facebook strategy, obviously; it’s just one small piece of the engagement puzzle but it’s an important one that will help you get more free exposure.
And, as I mentioned in the beginning, who doesn’t want more free exposure on Facebook, right?
So there you have it. My goal for this episode was to help you understand how to craft a Facebook post that will get you the engagement you deserve. We work hard on our content and we want it to be seen and heard by as many people as possible and these little strategies that I introduced here in this podcast episode will help you do just that.
So, I have included all the links and any examples I talked about here in my show notes so you can go to amyporterfield.com/38 to see all the examples and links. Also, as a side note, I just created a brand new user’s guide that spotlights every single tool I use to run my online business.
I’m often asked how do I do things and which tools do I use to get things done. So, I sat down, I took some time, and I compiled a list of all the tools I use and included little blurbs for each of them to actually explain how I use them. Because, it’s one thing for me to tell you that I use a tool called Slack but it’s another thing to tell you actually how I use it so you really understand how it fits into my business.
So, that’s what I’ve created for you. It’s completely free. It’s my gift to thank you for tuning in to my podcast. It really does mean a lot to me.
So, you can go to amyporterfield.com/tools to grab your free tools guide.
Until we talk again, make it a great week. And, I can’t wait to connect soon. Take care.