Facebook is cracking down on what’s called engagement bait, as part of a larger strategy to declutter users’ News Feeds. This will, in turn, force marketers to be more thoughtful in creating relevant messages.
What is engagement bait? Engagement bait asks users to interact by liking, commenting and sharing inauthentic or irrelevant content. Examples include “Like if you agree!” or “Share with 10 friends for a chance to win free swag!” The purpose is to boost a Page’s organic reach in the News Feed or increase followers.
Facebook now penalizes users that post engagement bait by demoting their content, making them less likely to appear in your News Feed. Posts that shamelessly ask for the following will likely be affected:
- reactions (ex: like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry)
How can you, as a small business owner, promote yourself without being demoted? Facebook has recommendations for how to engage with your followers in an authentic, meaningful way. Here are some examples of what Facebook considers quality posts:
- posts that inform or educate
- posts that entertain
- requests for recommendations or advice
- requests for donations
Challenge yourself to create unique posts that users will want to engage with, without being asked or coerced. Post compelling stories about yourself and your brand, using photos, videos and tools like Facebook Live or Instant Articles. Include call-to-actions that are straightforward and purposeful, like requests for newsletter sign-ups.
While Facebook’s new rules may seem frustrating, they’ll actually strengthen your marketing and branding strategy. If you need help coming up with relevant, informative and authentic stories to tell your followers, reach out to DCA Virtual Business Support. We offer scalable social media marketing packages for small business owners like yourself!