Ahhh the ol’ bait and switch model has been around for ages and it works like a charm. There are effective ways of using this strategy and there are also really scummy ways of using it as well. Amazingly enough, marketers are still taking advantage of this strategy and it works both online and offline.
The challenge is always the same…getting people to walk through the physical and / or virtual door. Businesses need that foot traffic. They need those clicks. They need x amount of people in the room so they can make x amount of sales. It’s always the same and it’s always a numbers game.
How we get people in the door is the strategy. Sometimes it’s offering huge discounts and sales, hoping that once we have the customer inside, they will spend more money. Sometimes it’s offering a trade, where you get some kind of free gift just by coming in or filling out a form. Sometimes it’s a bonus where if you buy a certain item, you get an additional item or half off another item. These are all techniques that have been used for centuries, one way or another.
What makes visitors come through the door? When it’s a physical location, it’s probably an eye catching sign that might say “sale” or “discount” or something of the sort. When it’s online and specifically on social media, it’s most likely a headline. Facebook asked people in a survey what type of content they preferred to see in their News Feeds, and 80% of the time people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through.
After all, Facebook doesn’t provide too much for marketers to entice clicks. We get a headline, a description and a picture. Those are the 3 things we get to work with so they better be pretty damn good if we want people to click on our ads.
But of course, like everything else in the world, this strategy gets abused by marketers and Facebook is catching on to the sneaky little tricks.
Facebook calls the Social Media form of bait and switch marketing “Click Bait”, and aims to not show content that people do not want to see.
Facebook is making improvements to reduce and weed out stories that people say are “spammy and that they don’t want to see”. Remember, Facebook wants to provide the best user experience otherwise people won’t enjoy using Facebook if they are seeing things they don’t want to see. Does this sound familiar?
A Little Site CalledDoes The Same Thing
Part of an SEO strategy and part of the reason why Google likes certain sites over others is how long visitors stay on a site before they click off. You can’t fake this shit. Either you have real and great content or you don’t and visitors tell Google this pretty darn quick. It’s a simple formula or algorithm, if you will, that literally tells Google if the content relates to what the marketer is advertising. A fast click off by the visitors tells Google it doesn’t and the website gets the boot.
Google instituted this strategy when marketers decided to get fancy and make crappy sites just to either make money from clicks or to get people to click on ads once they visited the website that was supposed to somehow win them over. Many marketers made a lot of money until Google said no more.
Social dictates everything and Facebook is now following Google’s footsteps.
Facebook is now using a similar formula as Google. If the reader or visitor sees a headline and clicks through to a page and clicks right off, that sends a strong signal to Facebook not to share that post even though it’s getting clicks. Another indication of a Click Bait headline is if there are no likes, shares or commenting on the story. If people are seeing something and clicking right off and on to the next, then it will seem very suspicious to Facebook and your ad or story will not get shared with more people even though it’s getting a high click through rate….which Facebook looks for as well.
Using The Click Bait Strategy Correctly
First of all, you do not want to be a marketer who uses the click bait strategy the wrong way – because there are actually ways of using it correctly and to your advantage. You can still use the Click Bait strategy, but there’s a right way and a wrong way.
It’s simple to use the right way:
1) Construct headlines that line up with the topic you are talking about – Don’t have your headline talk about snow shoes when you are trying to sell sandals. That’s not going to do you or visitors any good. Make sure you lead people to what your headline promises because if people click off fast, Facebook will catch on. Even if your headline is a bit mysterious or doesn’t really provide the full picture, that’s ok, as long as it matches what your audience would want to read and see.
2) Have GREAT content – Having great content will ensure visitors will stay longer where ever you lead them to. Even if you are slightly ambiguous in your click bait headline, readers will forgive you because you are providing valuable information. It will show through if you put time and energy into what you are providing to your visitors.
3) Treat others how you want to be treated – this means don’t fool people. I am sure you know the feeling of getting tricked into clicking on something that you thought would be valuable to you only to find that, well, it just wasn’t. It was nothing that you really wanted to see. This is not the best strategy so don’t use it.
One More Tip To Make Facebook Love Your Posts
You’re gonna love this one and you are really lucky you’ve stumbled on this post and got this far down.
Facebook will reward ads and posts that have an actual link in the text box.
Posts that look like this will get shared:
As opposed to posts that look like this:
Facebook found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format, rather than links that are buried in photo captions.
Here’s what they said:
“The best way to share a link after these updates will be to use the link format. In our studies, these posts have received twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions. In general, we recommend that you use the story type that best fits the message that you want to tell – whether that’s a status, photo, link or video.”
So there you have it. The rules are simple and it is only making Facebook a better place for users and for marketers to play fair. Use this information to your advantage!
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