What the heck is Facebook engagement bait? Sounds kinda scary. Maybe it has something to do with the Facebook algorithm?
Right. It does. Well, in a way it does. But keep reading and we'll tell you exactly what Facebook engagement baiting is.
We'll also tell you the 5 main types of baiting for engagement that Facebook has singled out, and why they should be avoided at all costs.
Most know that Facebook engagement is simply the interaction that occurs between users.
They also know what the Facebook algorithm is, and what the term "reach" on Facebook means. They know that increasing their engagement will increase that "reach".
So they are doing all they can to make that happen. They want more of their friends to see their posts.
But there's a right way and a wrong way to increase engagement. Too many are doing it the wrong way.
And after Facebook's recent announcement, those doing it wrong are in danger of getting their pages dinged. Or worse yet their accounts.
... in fact it is pretty darn smart and getting smarter every day. They know what's going on and they know what people are doing when they bait for engagement.
And based upon the feedback of the majority of users, that are taking action.
Facebook made an announcement that sent shockwaves through the people who are using these bait tactics to get engagement on their posts.
They have received feedback from a large number of users complaining about the spammy and valueless posts that coax them into liking, commenting, and sharing posts.
These 'engagement baiting' posts go against the user experience that Facebook is trying to create. They know that the intent of these engagement baiting tactics is to trick the algorithm into greater reach rewards.
Facebook has decided to do just the opposite. They will begin penalizing people and pages that are baiting for engagement. That is exactly why you should avoid Facebook engagement baiting at all costs.
So the baiters really are not creating engagement that leads to more people seeing their posts. Getting dinged as a baiter by Facebook is causing a lower reach, not a higher one.
The model can more easily detect the engagement bait activities. Those posts will now show less, not more. In addition, chronic abusers' future posts will be negatively affected.
At the time of their announcement, over the next several weeks would be the roll-out of this user-level demotion. That will most likely put it in full operation as of now.
If you are one who is participating in these Facebook engagement baiting methods consider this your warning.
Keep reading we are about to tell you EXACTLY what engagement baiting is, and what to do instead.
First let me say this. There is a disclaimer. Facebook is not trying to penalize or discourage authentic and legitimate posts. Not at all. They want to reward those who are doing it right.
"Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update."
"Instead, we will demote posts that go against one of our key News Feed values — authenticity. Similar to our other recent efforts to demote clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences, we want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook"
Facebook's goal is not to take the fun out of your experience. Nor are they trying to make it more difficult for you to market your business or your brand in any way. In fact just the opposite.
They want to provide the best user experience possible. They just need you to be genuine and not revert to tactcs that try to circumvent the system.
The baiting tactics go against that objective. They want you to post content that is authentic and relevant to your business or your message, and that has value. This benefits everyone.
So ... back to explaining what Facebook engagement baiting is. Baiting for engagement is a method of goading people into engaging on posts using valueless and irrelevant content to increase their reach on News Feed.
And according to Facebook a lot of users are sick of it. They have watched these tactics go around for too long now.
The result: users are marking those posts as spam. The next result? Facebook is putting a stop to it.
Personally, am not at all surprised to see Facebook taking this action. My only surprise is that it took this long.
Some will question this move. After all, these type posts can be amusing and entertaining. But to a business owner or a person trying to market something, surely they will choose to conform to the wishes of the majority of their audiences. And the feedback from those audiences doesn't lie.
These are popular Facebook engagement baiting posts with many different versions. Some are even going viral.
One style has the poster claiming Facebook is acting up again and no one is seeing their posts. They ask the audience to please comment so they know the post is being seen.
This is a classic example of commment baiting. But Facebook believes they are spammy in nature. They say there's no value to these posts.
And the recipients of the posts ... most of them anyway ... know what it's really all about.
The person posting believes that by creating engagement on their post the Facebook algorithm will reward them with points. And points lead to a wider reach.
But as stated earlier, now it will lead to just the opposite. If you are doing this, stop doing it.
Baiting your friends to tag their friends on your post is another Facebook no-no. They consider this engagement bait as well. Not to mention all the negative feedback they are recieing from unhappy users.
Getting tagged on a post lands that post on the tagged persons timeline. And some people just don't like that. Their timeline is for their posts, not someone else's stuff.
Facebook's tagging feature is intended for people to call attention to those who are actually included in the image they are posting. It's not intended for tagging 50 friends a person may think needs to see their post.
I see people do this all the time and can't help but cringe each time. It's such a spammy move and Facebook thinks so too. You'll get dinged and you'll lose points doing it. The result will be just the opposite of the intended goal.
Facebook reactions are great for your audience to express how they feel about your post. It's a well received feature used often.
However Facebook believes that sometimes it gets used in a way that was not intended. They consider it engagement baiting when that occurs.
It's ok to ask your readers if they agree with you. It's not ok to tell them to Like if they agree. Or to Like if this, or to Like if that. The readers will tell you if they like what you are saying or not. They don't have to be told to do so, and they don't want to feel expected to do so.
Facebook doesn't want you to try and force the readers to comment or engage with a specific reaction in any way.
This got popular for a while until facebook started cracking down on it. They consider random off-the-cuff voting to ilicit sharing, comments, or reactions to be a form of bait engagement.
Asking for reaction votes on a subject that has no real meaning or that is obviously used just to create engagement should be avoided now.
The 5th Facebook engagement baiting method is share baiting. Using a gift or a reward in exchange for sharing a post is to Facebook a form of engagement bait.
It's perfectly okay to ask your audience to share your content if they consider it valuable or helpful to others. But not to receive a gift.
The bottom line is this. Facebook algorithm is smart and getting smarter all the time. If you are posting simply to entice likes, comments, shares, or reactions, no matter how well disguised you think it is, your content will be seen less, not more.
If you are asking questions that you could really care less what the answer is, in an attempt to trick the algorithm, you're better off not doing it.
Facebook is trying to create a better more valuable News Feed for everyone. They consider those tactics counter-productive to their goals.
Besides, are the Facebook engagement baiting techniques mentioned above really helpful to your business, your brand, or your cause anyway?
Creating curiosity in your posts is far more effective. So is asking questions. If those posts are also providing honest value and benefits then you have a double win.
Try to stimulate a readers thought waves enough to encourage engagement.. If you can draw them into a conversation or entice questions back you are achieving your need for engagement.
Putting genuine thought into your posts, and delivering useful and helpful content will provide more satisfactory results for you, your reader, and your business.
Provide education, inspiration, and motivation. Throw some humor and entertainment into the mix and you are well on your way to creating a real following. No baiting required.
Facebook engagement is the interaction that occurs between users. Most prominently on their posts in News Feed. Facebook rewards users that are creating engagment with better reach, allowing more friends to see their posts.
Unfortunately, in their quest to gain more of this engagement, often times users are practicing what Facebook refers to as engagement baiting, which they do not endorse.
As a result, they have made an announcement that the engagement baiting will be means for penalizing as opposed to rewarding. Those doing the baiting will get fewer friends seeing their posts, not more friends seeing their posts.
We have provided you with an explanation of the 5 main engagement baiting post types, along with examples. We have also made suggestions of more preferred methods of getting engagement.
Facebook engagement baiting is not worth getting your pages and accounts penalized. There are better more effective and more efficient methods for creating engagement while showing yourself as a leader and an authority figure that others will happily follow.
Thank you ... we appreciate your interest in the subject. Hopefully we achieved a better understanding for you on what Facebook engagement baiting is and why you should avoid it.
Please leave us a comment if you have any questions. And we would love to hear if you received value from the post.
Resource: Facebook News: Fighting Engagement Bait on Facebook