5 Reasons I Click on Refinery29’s Facebook Posts (Even Though I Don’t Want To)


Sometimes I love Refinery29, sometimes I hate it. But one thing is for sure, I keep seeing their posts in my Facebook feed. What's more, is 75% of the time, the caption will say something like, “Well, I didn't see this coming…” and I think, “DAMMIT REFINERY, See WHAT coming?” And then I click on that damn link. Yes, I had to curse there, because that's really a toned down version of the expletives that go through my mind as I'm clicking out of compulsion.

…the caption will say something like, “Well, I didn't see this coming…” and I think, “DAMMIT REFINERY, See WHAT coming?” And then I click on that damn link.

Granted, I wouldn't click at all if it were always terrible. Refinery DOES have great content a lot of the time. But, that is some pretty powerful mojo they have going on their social media if they can get me to click off of Facebook.

So, what's the deal? How do they do it? I'm sure they won't tell us, but let's just look at what they're doing so we can figure out how to do it for our own blogs:


Fear + Curiosity = Click

Even though I NEVER brush my hair (it's true), I clicked on this because I was afraid it might actually be bad. What happens? I clicked, that's what happened.


Your Mind Will Be Blown = Click

This “mind blowing” social media tactic is being used by a number of sites. Sometimes it's mind blowing. Sometimes, meh, my mind stayed. While this doesn't use the term “mind blowing” it's pretty much the same thing. So use this tactic (when you really have something MIND BLOWING) sparingly, else you'll be the little blogger who cried, “WOLF!”


A new twist on something old? Click.

We all get stuck in a rut from time to time. Or maybe like to shake things up, but not too much. Here they use suspense by not saying EXACTLY what that “twist” is, so you have to click on it to find out.


Bold Promise + Ambiguity= Click

Say juuuust enough to know what the promise is about, and make the promise sound really bold. Genius? Quite possibly.


(No) Picture Is Worth 1000 Clicks

One way to get people to click through your Facebook posts is to break news. But if you give it away ON Facebook, people will just stay on Facebook.  For example below, if they had posted Giselle's haircut, you wouldn't have to click the link to find out if she actually chopped her hair off.  So keep the breaking news on your site, and give just a tease on your social media.


[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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24 Responses

  1. Alicia

    So utterly true. I was thinking about this recently. They’re so damn good at getting me to click through! Great article. Totally spot-on.

  2. Onianwah

    Lol, I love these. I am heading over to Refinery now. I visit the site very often though not through facebook. These are really cool tips to try.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  3. Janelle Hawes

    ■ Actually these are great tips! Many of them, such as using a question to evoke curiosity, just giving a tease of a promise, etc. are tried and true advertising and direct copywriting techniques.

    ♦ I’ve found studying those areas to be the most effective in coming up with different ways to entice people to come to my blog.

    ♠Also, pictures with text on them seem to be a big hit because the content is “pin”, “tumblr”, and “like” worthy and makes the most of the three seconds (literally) you have to capture your audiences attention.


  4. Kaarin

    I think you read my mind. Was just thinking about how they ALWAYS get me the other day. Thanks for breaking it down and writing about it!

  5. Anastasia

    Amazing post! I recently took a course of digital marketing and now I start paying much more attention to different tactics of successful brands and companies…Actually it would be great to analyze other’s sites strategy as well, that is what I will do! Thanks for a great idea:)


  6. Megan

    These are great tips! I’m going to try to integrate them into my social media posts. I’m always bummed when I see that people aren’t clicking the link. Thank you for these!

  7. Refinery29

    Hi everyone! It’s kind of crazy but seriously awesome to see such an in-depth analysis on us. It’s also really exciting to see feedback on what we’re doing, so thank you all! A lot mentioned in the article and comments seriously hit the nail on the head in what our thought process is what posting to social media — can we just say how cool it is to know that our readers are so savvy? Our social team is constantly plugged in, monitoring the feeds and comments, and getting up stories as quickly and efficiently as possible. And, despite the fast pace, the social team is always aware of the reader and their needs. We understand the frustration some readers have with our headlines and call outs, but we hope that the content ends up being worth it. Thanks again to everyone for your thoughts, and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the comments sections. And, if you like, please feel free to write into fe[email protected]!

  8. Zaha

    I totally agree. They’re so good with their titles. I’m even subscribed to their posts by e-mail, and every time I receive a new one (that usually says something like ‘what you’re doing wrong with your hair’), I suddenly feel the urge to go and read it.
    Kudos to you R29!

    Lace and Lipstick Stains

  9. Lauren Janelle

    oh my gosh, I KNOW! They always get me with their posts. I tried implementing these into my own posts this morning, and they got twice as many clicks as they normally do.

  10. Sheryl Blasnik

    She Finds does this same exact trick – Every Newsletter has a 4 word headline such as OH NO THEY DIDN”T or YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS and of course I must click to see what exactly Nordstrom’s did that I will not believe!!! UGH

    Sheryl Blasnik

  11. CEOCharlene

    I too am guilty of clicking on Refinery29 links out of pure curiosity. Love these tips and the confirmation that it is perfectly okay to put humor and whimsy into your content marketing. I’d rather my engagement be authentically me (whatever that is at the moment) than to sound stuffy, pc or grammatically correct each and every time.

  12. Tara

    Wow, such great tips can be taken from this. Nine times out of ten I honestly don’t know why I click on Refubery29’s links…I mean, do I really need to know “what my closet clutter says about me”? No, but…err…YES!! I will defibitely be borrowing from this post.


  13. Fashion-isha

    It’s true. I have studied these titles already realizing they’re good at it. Huffingpost is great at titles too!

  14. Trisha Trixie

    I recently mentioned this to another fashion blogger pal. I did a little test because I was noticing I was seeing more clicks and more people reached when I made a little statement, then gave them my link. Now , of course, not all the posts evidently were something of interest because it didn’t ALWAYS happen. It wasn’t even happening 80% of the time more like 50/50. But for a fashion blogger who sells a product 50% was pretty good odds.

    So lately, I have been watching. Seeing and noticing which posts are getting more traffic.

    Funny thing…still today my highest grossing post had a Video Gamer/Comic Book ish themes and second to that was an article about bullying.

    Ha didnt even have anything to do with FASHION. So my lesson so far is perhaps we need to throw them a curve ball every now and then 🙂