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Keep it simple for Facebook

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Sunday June 27, 2010 )

It seems the old KISS principle certainly applies when aiming to get articles shared via Facebook.

Dan Zarella has been capturing links posted to social media sites from popular news outlets since February 2010 and has well over 12,000 links and counting with full information stored.

He’s been finding out all sorts of interesting information in his forays and a discovery has been the need for simplicity in capturing Facebook user attention.

Dan has found that as the reading grade level required to understand the title of an article increased, the number of times it was shared on Facebook decreased; so he recommends using simple language if you want to get shared on Facebook.

I don’t think he’s saying that Facebook users are stupid; it’s just a trend he’s noticed – do with it what you will :).

It actually makes sense to me after seeing how some folks interact with postings. For example, I noticed that if I post a snippet from an article and a link; some folks will think the snippet is the whole box and dice; so I started prefacing links with “Read more:” and that seems to have helped a bit; although it hasn’t totally stamped out comments from people that don’t even bother reading the article linked to. It seems that quite a few people like commenting just for the sake of commenting. Still, it certainly shows the need for clear calls to action.

And on the point of comment quality.. check out my thoughts on related issues in “Rethinking user comments“.


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