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.
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
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.
- Solution: Your brand may be better off driving people to 3rd party survey platforms to help generate actionable insights from a poll or survey. The disease awareness campaign Lighter Blue did this for an impact study recently:
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!”.
- Solution: The share feature works very much like an endorsement, with users letting their extended network know that they find this particular post interesting. Identify the purpose of a share as part of your larger content strategy. Facebook shares are one of the hardest engagements to achieve.
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.
- Solution: Just don’t do it. Re-evaluate your content strategy and make sure each action on your page ladders up to a specific brand goal.
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!