Click-baiting: The fine line between quantity and quality

As a newly-minted social media professional, I have learned quickly that using Facebook and Twitter in a professional news environment is incredibly exciting, but also a bit daunting. My job is to engage THV11's audience and share exciting and interesting content with our many Facebook and Twitter followers. In order to do that, I must filter through content with the audience in mind in order to best select stories that won't simply get clicks, but also engage our readers.

With that in mind, my manager shared this very interesting story from the Facebook Newsroom regarding "Click-baiting." So, why is click-baiting interesting, and how does it affect you?

Click-baiting, according to Facebook, "is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed."

Facebook explains: "when we asked people in an initial survey what type of content they preferred to see in their News Feeds, 80 percent of the time people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through."

Facebook's change to how it displays content has the reader in mind at its heart. They take into account not only how many clicks a link generates, but how long the consumer stays on the site the link brings them to. Another factor Facebook takes into account is how much people like and comment on a post. The more engaged the audience is, the more value Facebook assigns to the post.

The article goes on to mention posts with links either hidden by captions, or those that are explicitly displayed at the top of the page. Their study showed that people prefer posts that include information that describes the content of the link. That way the user can decide for himself whether he wants to click or not.

For me, I find it very interesting that someone in my position must consider several variables when building a relationship with his company's audience. I look forward to learning more about the poster/reader dynamic in my job here at THV11. Always feel free to ask questions or voice concerns regarding stories or posts. It is the only way for me to better serve you, THV11's dedicated followers. That of course, is always the goal.

For the Facebook article:


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