Klick Health

Facebook to fight “Engagement Bait” – is your pharma brand doing it?

Social Media Strategist

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Since the beginning of social media times, page administrators have looked for ways to lure audiences to engage with their content in hopes of making it “go viral”. Facebook will soon begin cracking down on what it calls “engagement bait” in an attempt to foster more authentic engagement.

Just like you, Facebook really doesn’t like spammy posts. Their latest newsroom statement is making this clear: “engagement bait” posts are going down. Facebook defines “engagement bait” as spammy posts that actively try to drum up likes, clicks, and shares. These posts include vote baiting, react baiting, share baiting, tag baiting, and comment baiting.

Facebook engagement bait examples

Is your brand guilty of engagement bait?

If your brand has a significant presence on Facebook, now might be a good time to do an audit of your content strategy. Engagement bait posts have been commonly used for a while so chances are that the use of these now frowned about tactics may have already been brought to your attention. Or, you may have a post or two using these tactics currently in circulation. If you do, there’s still time to act.

“We will roll out this Page-level demotion over the course of several weeks to give publishers time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts.” – Facebook rep

Vote Baiting:

Surveying your carefully crafted social audience can uncover everything from new content creation opportunities to informing upcoming digital strategies. Unfortunately, this is often done via vote baiting.

Vote baiting often involves the usage of reactions, also known as likes, as an informal poll. These informal polls do not generate statistically significant answers and can easily be biased by a number of backend platform/targeting features.

Share baiting:

Many branded pharma pages prefer to have comments and reactions turned off (this feature is thankfully dying down) which severely limits social engagement campaigns. Share baiting allows brands to take advantage of the only feature left and use it to artificially boost reach through posts like this one: “Share with 10 friends for a chance to win a new convertible!”.

React, Tag, Comment Baiting:

“LIKE if you’re an Aries or LOVE this if you’re a Leo to find TRUE LOVE!!!”… you can see why Facebook is moving to downgrade these types of posts. Similar to vote baiting, these posts want to ignite an impulsive reaction that artificially boosts reach. Oftentimes, the post has nothing to do with the brand purpose.


Facebook declared that posts asking for advice or recommendations, circulations of missing child reports, or money raising efforts won’t be subject to demotion.


Need help navigating the complex world of Facebook content creation? Speak to your Klick Social rep to find out how social can be injected into your strategy!


More About the Author

Adriana Munoz-Tayraco

As a Social Media Strategist at Klick Health, Adriana brings 7 years of valuable experience and insights in helping both startups and established companies in the Health and Technology industries in Canada and the United States embrace and navigate social media as part of an overall digital strategy. At Klick Health, Adriana is now pushing the boundaries to provide clients with the voice they need in a constantly evolving social media space, utilizing her knowledge and experience of social media listening, analytics, and metrics tools to help guide her client’s strategic next steps. Prior to Klick Health, Adriana excelled in building and communicating with online-centric communities by serving as a community manager for healthcare-centric community groups in treatment resistant depression, bio-identical hormones, dry eye disease & Sjogren’s syndrome, always providing them with on-topic curated and original content within social media policies and regulations. Adriana earned a BA in Administrative Studies, Honours Marketing from York University and a Computer Graphics Design & Layout certificate from Seneca College.

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