Social media has redefined the way in which we communicate with each other. For online businesses, dynamic social platforms have allowed them to extend their reach, raise awareness and drive traffic to their website.
We also have social networks to thank for the rise of viral content. “Sharing is caring” has become a general motto, and as a result, some content is being viewed by thousands of people who would ordinarily have never received it.
So why has Facebook shot down viral marketing?
Facebook ban clickbait
Writing headlines is a skill copywriters perfected with clickbait – titles that entice readers to click on the article to find out what happens. Typical click bait headlines include, “You will never believe what happened next,” “This video proves…,” and “what happened next made me cry.”
When done well, click bait headlines are a very powerful tool. Beneficiaries of viral content attract huge swathes of visitors and significantly increase profits.
The problem is, the content does not always offer readers the value the title promises. And that is why Facebook has taken action to prevent unwanted content appearing in the Newsfeeds of its users.
How does Facebook measure content that offers value?
Content designed to drive traffic to a website includes a link. Facebook use metrics that time how long a user’s account has been inactive after they click on a link that diverts them to a third party site.
If the user appears to be away for some time, FB can assume they found content that interests them and will allow this type of content to appear in their newsfeed. Likes and shares confirm they want this type of content in your newsfeed.
On the other hand, when users return almost straight away, it is a good indication they were not interested in the content. FB then makes the assumption, this is not appropriate content for that user.
How to craft clickbait content
It is often the case that clickbait titles offer a promise that ultimately leaves the reader disappointed. This is a big no for search engines and social media networks, all of whom are trying to prevent such deception.
There is nothing wrong using clickbait titles if your content backs up what you promise. But if you do not deliver what readers are anticipating, you lose credibility with consumers which will eventually lead to you losing the trust of social networks and search engines.