Asking users to like and share your posts on Facebook seems like a no-brainer and a great way to reach a big audience – isn’t it?

I mean why would you pay to boost your post when you can put up a prize of the same value and get your message in front of thousands and thousands?

The problem is that this tactic (and others) actually break Facebook’s Rules and Facebook have already started to demote these posts …and serial offenders are going to be hit the hardest.

I totally understand why businesses offer ” Like and Share Competitions” on their Pages but the fun is over and Facebook claim they are going to be hitting hard and fast!

Now, you are allowed to run competitions on Facebook (within their guidelines) that’s fine.

I am talking more about posts such as;

“Like and Share this post if you want to win this prize”

“TAG your friend” 

“Comment YES if you love chocolate”

This type of approach is called engagement bait and Facebook doesn’t like it.

Actually, there are two big reasons why Facebook doesn’t like it.

  1. It’s generally low-quality content (see images below)
  2. Facebook don’t make a penny from it

Facebook is really going down the route of making businesses “pay to play” and getting all users to stick to their guidelines.

The reality is that very few businesses are actually aware of this HUGE change…. as of March 2018, I would say there are just as many businesses adopting these risky tactics.

Earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg announced “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people” on his personal page

This just reconfirms that they are focusing on the content that is being posted and that you are going to have to pay to reach a bigger audience on Facebook.

What type of engagement bait content is there?

Three examples of “engagement bait” shared by Facebook

 

Most of the pages that use engagement bait tactics tend to focus on a variety of approaches.

They do vote bait, which requires people to use likes and some of the other reactions. Or they opt for react bait, which is rather similar. And yes, some pages also focus on asking for share bait, sometimes for prizes that no one will get. 

Does Facebook address this?

Yes, in December 2017 the Facebook team started to work on this issue.

They created a “machine learning model” that will immediately identify this type of post. When their new model sees such posts, it will automatically demote those pages and show them on a lot less news feeds.

If a page continues to share these posts, then its content will be completely removed from the news feeds. 

Facebook also wants to address some other issues, more specifically tag baiting and comment baiting which also generates a lot of likes and shares.

Tag and Comment Examples

Are there any exceptions?

There are situations when using this type of approach is necessary.

Facebook understands that, and they stated that pages which use such a tactic for missing child reports, asking for travel tips or which raise money for a cause would not have any impact. The machine learning model is currently adapting to all these changes, and we should see this roll out in the very near future.

While there are lots of things to change when it comes to the Facebook algorithms, this is surely a change in the right direction.

There are way too many spam posts without any real value on the platform, and it’s great to see that Facebook is finally taking action!

But how does this impact your business? It’s important to write only meaningful, quality content and not rely on this type of false engagement posts.

As long as you stay away from asking for free likes and shares without delivering quality content, you will be more than ok!

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