Ha! Just kidding!
Clickbait. We all know what it is when we see it, and yet. . . we click. They all claim to solve our problems: make us money, help our love life, or even how to get an “A” in your Marketing course. They attract you to the link by misleading and exaggerating, using structure and authority so that they seem more certain to provide quick and useful information.
And yet we fall for it every time.
In 2016, a Michael Lazar of Huffington Post wrote an article titled The Death of Clickbait is Finally Here. However, it’s clear to us that clickbait is still claiming many victims a day.
I fall for it all the time. First thing I do in the morning is read my email. Yahoo is one and it sends me news from all over the world. When I click on an article that peaks my interest, I end up reading an article choke full of ads. I just want to read my news…Do I need to convert back to my morning newspaper? -R. Castro, distribution warehouse supervisor
When I’m on Facebook, I see an article with a hilarious headline. But instead of clicking on it to read the contents. I open the comments. There’s always someone that posts the whole story without me having to click next a thousand times. -T. Takemoto, teenager
Clickbait? Oh, gosh, it should be illegal -C. McMurrin, human resources professional
I was reading an article, and sure enough an advertisement came up. But, it was actually a very useful advertisement and I ended up buying from it. So, I guess it wasn’t bad for me -C. Sarte, educator
So… why do we keep clicking?
Although we all are different, we all have an craving for easy order and understanding in our lives and click baits triggers the reward center of our brain in a way that can convinces us to, against our better judgement sometimes, click on the article, list, or what have you.
How do we apply this to Social Media Marketing?
Drawing attention to your product, service, or site is important. Even the use of clickbait can be useful. You need to be aware, however, of the perception of of your strategy to your potential clients. If they see you using obviously manipulative tactics they may lose interest in you as a company.
Chief Marketing Officer at Archant (a publishing group), Will Hattam states, “Intentionally deceiving your audience for the sake of a page view not only damages the website itself, but also damages the trust and relationships that advertisers have built up with the media” (Rogers, 2016).
Try to stay customer focused and show through your marketing strategy that you are creating value for them, not just looking for clicks to gain more advertising money.
Bottom line: Catchy social media titles can successfully lure customers in, but don’t make them sorry they clicked.
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