Don't Bait for Engagement
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
As a Facebook business Page owner, it’s natural to feel inspired to come up with new ways of attracting as much user engagement as possible. A common method used by Facebook publishers to combat this problem seems to be giveaways and competitions. It’s like the six degrees of separation theory – none of us are ever very far away from seeing the next spam post trickling down our newsfeed. When you spend lots of time on social media, this becomes a redundant tactic and you learn to turn a blind eye to what others see as a ‘great opportunity to win something I didn’t know I wanted or needed but I’m going to tag 56 of my friends anyway’. These posts have been categorised by Facebook as ‘engagement bait’ and this has been a total gamechanger for publishers who use this strategy. Indeed, sharing is most certainly not caring and in this case it’s just clogging our newsfeeds.
Facebook changes its algorithms from time to time and although it may not completely ban posts considered as spam, it knows how to shunt that stuff way, way down the newsfeed. Once upon a time, Facebook rewarded posts that achieved higher engagement and it showed those posts to more people. Not anymore. Not only does Facebook sink these posts to the newsfeed’s gutter, it also reduces the overall reach of all posts by publishers who employ this tactic.
So, what’s considered engagement bait? Any posts prompting, encouraging or instructing users to ‘vote’, ‘like’, ‘tag’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ are first class spam. To simplify:
Ask or encourage people to like and follow your page to stay updated on contest news and announcements.
Form an inquisitive caption that doesn’t press people to comment.
Instruct users to share your post to their timeline.
Instruct users to share your post to other users’ timelines.
Instruct users to tag people in or comment on your post.
So, what’s the solution? An easy workaround is to run a contest or giveaway on your website and promote it on Facebook via a post that provides details and links back to your website. You should make sure that the landing page is correct and that you clearly advertise the rules of the promotion. Not only does this resolve any potential conflict with Facebook’s rules, it drives traffic to your website and results in no more spam, bam, thank you ma’am coming out of your page. 🤘
And there we have our 2nd blog entry and another great headline inspired by our love of rock music and one of our favourite bands, Metallica. The headline photo was taken when we went to their gig in London in 2017.