On Monday, August 25th, Facebook released this blog post revealing a new change to how they decide what appears in your newsfeed. This is another of many changes which have frustrated business owners who have spent years building their audiences on Facebook. Online ordering giant Eat24 even wrote this breakup letter to Facebook earlier this year. As you may know, Facebook only serves you content in your News Feed that they think you'll find interesting based on a number of factors. There's simply too much content to show a user everything that gets posted.
So, what's this new change? Well, there are two:
1. They're reducing click-baiting headlines. We've all clicked on a headline only to find that the content we've arrived at is not what we thought. These headlines have been altered to grab your attention but are misleading. Facebook is now measuring the time people spend after the click to decide if the content is genuine.
2. They're helping us see the links posted on Facebook in the best format. In their studies, Facebook has found that 2 to 1 people prefer clicking on posts which have context and a related photo. An example is this screenshot below. This preferred post includes a personalized post, photo, title and excerpt from the article. Facebook favors posts like this and will serve them up over posts that do not have these features.
Now, what does Facebook dislike, and how can you avoid it? Here is an example below. You'll see that this article does not have the title and article excerpt like the post above. In addition, this post includes the link within the personalized post, which is now a no-no.
So, how can you improve your posts to avoid Facebook's newest restrictions? Here are a couple of simple solutions.
First, if you're sharing an article on Facebook, be sure that it's quality content. And think about whether your audience will spend time reading it. Don't mislead people by editing the headline just to grab their attention. The best way to judge whether your content is of quality is to really understand your target market and their interests. To help do this, we recommend reading this blog post.
Second, here's a simple step you can take to avoid showing the link within your personalized post. All you have to do is paste the link into your content box, let the related photo, title and excerpt appear. Then...wait for it...DELETE THE LINK. The supporting content will stay and that will now be the content that viewers will click to visit the full article.
Questions? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.