Should you use clickbait to increase engagement on Facebook?
Before we get into that, understanding these 4 points will really help you put everything into perspective.
1. Facebook is now paying careful attention to how long people are staying on the web page people click to from a post.
2. Make your content valuable enough to keep the visitor on the web page, and you will boost your engagement on Facebook for free!
3. The more descriptive you are with your headlines in your post, the more likely that people will genuinely be interested in your content when they actually get to your website.
4. Including a link preview in your post will help you gain more exposure in the news feed.
Clickbait is when you post a link back to your website and the link sparks interest but fails to tell people what the web page is about.
Basically, you are "baiting" people to click a link without giving them all the information, so they are not exactly sure what they're going to find when they do click.
Clickbait links can be a strong strategy because people can't help but click to find out more. And let's be honest-what you are actually selling or saying is not always interesting enough to get people to click through.
The challenge is that when real estate agents use a clickbait strategy, it makes it hard for prospects to see things they are actually interested in. Facebook views clickbait as gaming the system. Because Facebook has a viral component built into their algorithm, clickbait posts gain a lot of exposure. The more people who click on a link, even if they aren't sure if they are interested in the content on the other side, the more that post shows up in the news feed.
Note: Trying to game Google and Facebook is a bad idea!
Remember, Facebook's goal is to try to put out the most relevant information to their users. That is their business model. And that's why Facebook does not allow clickbait. The king of all social media, Facebook, will punish you by negatively impacting your posts when you use a clickbait type of posting strategy. In short, nobody will see your posts anymore. I have always said when trying to market online, work with the big avenues (Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc..) and you will have much more success.
So how do you create engagement without pissing off Facebook?
1. It's about quality, not quantity.
Much like your diet, think quality over quantity. I would rather see you post two times a day with high-value content than a bunch of posts that won't get you the type of engagement Facebook actually pays attention to.
When people click on the link and go to your website from Facebook, make sure the content is interesting, exciting, and engaging so they will stay longer on your site. Most of us don't think about how long people are spending on the other side of the links we include in our Facebook posts. Make that content valuable enough to keep them there, and you will boost your engagement on Facebook-and it will cost you nothing!
2. Don't be general with your Facebook headlines.
The more descriptive you are with the headlines in your posts, the more likely people will genuinely be interested in your content when they actually get to your website. This goes back to the point of not gaming people. Just be honest. Stay away from clickbait and instead be very specific about what you plan to share with your fans. This will not only safeguard you but will also help you with targeting. You will attract the ideal audience on Facebook with each of your posts.
3. Be mindful of the preview.
When you include a preview in your post, you are more likely to get out into the news feed. This means more exposure for you!
What is a preview?
A preview is when you include a link to your article in the post, and an image and a blurb under the image are automatically pulled in. Facebook has said that they will favor posts that have links with a standard preview in the post versus posts that include a link with a photo but no preview.
Facebook is all about their users having a great experience when they go on to their website. But if you think about it, don't you feel that way as well? When people come to your website, don't you want them to enjoy looking at the properties and services that you offer?
Ask yourself, how would my post look if I was not trying to promote anything? Model those posts rather than trying to be sneaky or too promotional with your posts.
Lastly, as real estate agents, you want to offer a lot of value to your prospect. That is what Facebook wants too! You will be rewarded for posting content that people want to read, share, and comment on.