What you need to know about engagement bait

Engagement Bait: What You Need to Know

This is not a newsflash, but brash ridiculous Facebook posts aren’t popular. Not only do I not want to tag 10 people I’ve been to Ibiza with, I don’t want to be tagged in those posts either. I’m glad to hear Facebook is targeting engagement bait and punishing those who post it.

If your main strategy to gain followers is to post pseudo-nostalgic nonsense, you may change tactics or accept defeat. In fairness, asking people to like a post that is irrelevant to your business was never going to work. By now, you should be wondering if Facebook’s new demotions will affect your page. Expect less reach, if you are posting of any of the following:

Vote, React and Share baiting

If your posts are seen to be continually seeking votes, reactions or shares, you can expect a demotion – unless it’s relevant. A fashion retailer asking people to vote on a particular product or look from time to time will be safe. In June of last year, (LINK) Facebook reaffirmed its commitment to quality content and ensuring people weren’t led to poor quality websites. Policing engagement bait is a continuation of this initiative.

There will be some exemptions; those asking for shares to raise awareness of pressing matters will not face demotion. A missing person report, legitimate fundraising efforts or people genuinely seeking advice will not be punished. Through machine learning and link checking Facebook will be able to identify spammy share baiting posts and react quickly.

Comments

Another form of engagement bait that will suffer is comment baiting. ‘Comment City or United’ on sports posts, for example, will not be as visible as before, and in the long term, it will reduce the reach of the guilty page. Naturally, some posts will attract a flood of comments which is beyond the user’s control. Facebook will not punish the volume of comments. Instead, they will look at the wording, relevancy and page behaviour.

Tag baiting

Possibly one of the most annoying forms of engagement bait, expect to see a decline in how often people tag you in nonsense posts. Again, natural tagging will occur, and volume is not the target.

Better not bait

Facebook’s aim here is better quality content that leads to quality links. Firstly, review your website and audience on Facebook – do the two match up? If for example, you have a high bounce rate on your site from people coming from Facebook, then you have a problem.

Quality content is primarily judged by who reads/views it and how long for. If someone opens and closes your page, Facebook like Google will presume it was of no benefit to them. Creating good content is the best way to grow your reach, but also to create an audience who convert.

Once Facebook begins demotions, it could prove difficult to regain their trust and for your reach to regain ground. That combined with a poor ranking by Google for low traffic will cause a downward spiral for your online business. Avoid the risk by asking someone from Digital 24 to (CTA).