In the final quarter of 2013, Facebook announced that Facebook pages would see a significant drop in their organic reach – leading to a massive uproar from the social media marketing community. Business Insider published a story talking about how Facebook had screwed an entire profession. Since then, marketers and social media professionals have been fumbling around trying to figure out how to combat this. In fact, we ourselves put together an article that would help marketers deal with this change.
And just when the dust had began to settle and community managers were coming to terms with this new change, there’s another twist in the tale. Not as significant as the one before, but Facebook today came out and said that posting text updates with links is a no-no, and if you want your links to get a little more reach, go ahead and use a link-share. A what? Example below:
However, don’t take this as gospel. As is always the case with Facebook, they never come out and flat out say that a certain post type will do better than the other, but they do give little hints like they have in their latest news release, at least hinting that text updates won’t see as much distribution as link-shares.
A few marketers like myself saw this one coming. Facebook’s been experimenting with the kind of image that shows up in a link-share, trying to give users and page managers the best of both worlds by providing a large image in addition to text and a link for users to interact with.
It however is worth mentioning that until yesterday, my photo posts on Facebook have still got more engagement than link-shares, so perhaps this is something that’s a Work-in-Progress from Facebook and hasn’t affected everyone yet. Facebook is sticking to their guns and saying that link-share posts have been getting a lot more engagement organically in newsfeeds, which is why this change is being implemented to posts showing up via Facebook Pages in newsfeeds as well.
So what now? Here’s my take.
Tips & Dealing With This Slight Tweak:
I’m going to continue posting a mix of photo updates and link-shares, probably maintain a 70-30 split between photos-links, until I see a shift in my own Facebook Insights about Link-Shares getting more exposure. However, it’s vital to get your link-share strategy in place as well.
- Link-shares give you a lot of copy to play with. In addition to the text in the post, you get to edit the title of the Link as well as the description below it. Make sure you cover as much information as possible about the link here. Make the link-title snappy and something your TA would want to click.
The Various Text You Can Play With on a Link-Share.
- It’s important that the image that shows up in the link-share properly renders. Facebook pulls images from the source URL that you’re using, which is why it\’s important to ensure that on the page has a nice selection of images you can pick from.
- The default display size of the image showed in the link-share is 377 x 197, however, Facebook recommends that the image be sized at 1200 x 627.
- Often you won’t have an image of that size in the link that you’re directing users to. Facebook allows you to upload an image to the link-share to further customize your post, so that’s covered. Once you paste the link on the new post entry area – the link renders and right below the image it gives you an option to Upload Image”. Nifty.
- In the event you’d like to use Bitly for click tracking, you can paste the Bitly link – Facebook automatically renders the final destination of the click – but it still attributes your Bitly link with clicks.
All things said and done, this isn’t a drastic change in the newsfeed algorithm itself. Your reach isn’t going to go back to 15% of your total page size, but your link-shares shall at least get more exposure than other types of posts – good news for a fair amount of marketers who’ve always been worried about not getting enough traction on links and complaining about losing too many pointless clicks when promoting an image with a link attached.
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