You see a post and you’re thinking wow, that’s some great information but where is the link the person said was posted in the comments?
It’s not there!
Then you discover, in order to see the exact link, you need to go to the original posters Facebook page. But there are so many comments that it takes you some time to scan through and find what you are looking for, in this case that missing link.
You think, okay this should only take a second or so, no biggie. Seconds turn into minutes and before too long you are Sherlock Holmes sleuthing for clues. Well, like most of my fans, friends and followers I don’t want to have to turn into the world’s greatest detective to find what you say is in the comments. I don’t want to waste time trying to track down what is supposed to be easy for me to find.
Yup, seems to be the newest strategy that social media gurus are pushing. “See link in comments”. Ugh! Not only is it annoying, it’s downright distracting.
Oh, but Rob…the reach when you put “see link in comments” is absolutely off the charts. Facebook doesn’t penalize you for having links and more people see it. Hmm, I call BS on this one.
Here’s the fact… Facebook doesn’t care for 3rd party link-shortening spam links. Those links that take you to squeeze pages, MLM sites, fake news, click-bait and those can’t miss “opportunity of the day” scams. So, to bypass Facebook’s algorithm the “see link in comments” was born. It allowed those questionable links to be posted and not kill the reach of the original post.
The gurus step up and say see it works. And, they give talks on how to beat the system without really telling you the downside. Sadly, this tactic has been floating around since 2013 and there is still no statistical proof that “see link in comments” works better.
The link in those comments that you think is the best way to get your message across is not being shared when the post gets shared. Nope, and now you have new audiences seeing your post but can’t find the link.
And it’s not just me who thinks this way.
“It’s very annoying to read “Link in comments.” It’s one of the rules that must be followed in many of the Facebook groups that I belong to. Ridiculous. Then the reader must keep clicking to view previous comments and wade through a whole thread to find the link. Just put the link in the original post and be done with it.” – Jillian Slack
“Thank you! I hate this. Not only can you not share the original post correctly but you sometimes can’t find the first comment if the post was very popular. Most people are not going to take the time to search for the right comment in a long comment string. I also agree that far too many people are hearing that links are bad but not actually testing for themselves or seeing actual proof. Sure if ALL YOU SHARE are links, you will probably see a spike in reach if you post anything else. Same goes for anything. Try posting only images for a month then go post a link. See what happens then. It might just surprise you. The key is to test for yourself. The key is to mix things up. But for god’s sake please stop with this annoying tactic. (END RANT)” – Kelly Noble Mirabella, Stellar Media Marketing
Now the argument could be said that it depends on your goals. Do you want more engagement to your Facebook page or do you want to see the post go viral?
I’m not a big believer in designing posts for the sole purpose of going viral, my goal is to educate, entertain and engage my audience and make it as easy as possible to learn from me and to contact me. What I don’t want is potential fans upset that they can’t find a link that I say is somewhere in the comments and they need to look for it. This isn’t an Easter egg hunt and they don’t get a prize once they found your link.
Respect your audience, respect their time, give them the easiest way to find what it is you want them to read or click or buy. “Link in comments” doesn’t work for the purpose of building trust with your audience.