Facebook as always is trying to upgrade and introduce Newsfeed updates to crack down ‘engagement baiting posts’. This time the social network is primarily concerned about the pages that push for engagement to improve the reach of a particular post. The update has been added to Facebook after so many responses have already been received from the users, most of them have stated their strong dislike towards spammy posts, which forcefully ask them to like, share or comment or take any other action against a page or post.
Basically, engagement bait is any activity that instructs a user to take a specific action such as like, comment or share a post. This activity is quite common on Facebook as many try to take advantage of Newsfeed algorithm. Hence, Facebook is taking this phenomenon seriously and have decided to demote such individual posts or pages that have adopted this trend.
(See also: How To Grow Your Facebook Fan Page Likes Organically?)
From social media marketing perspective, this update would leave a significant impact on many online businesses. There are numerous examples of these posts whoosh ask you to ‘tag a friend’ for this particular post, and this unnecessary practice is now bombarded with so many of them. Shockingly, there are separate pages that are completely dedicated to these activities like ‘Tag a mate’ posts and surprisingly these posts are addressed by the users and they show interest in such posts. Such activities only boost links being build up with other friends in contact but they not at all contribute to improving conversation, which is what Facebook wants to initiate and promote being a social media network.
According to Facebook, all types of posts that need to be targeted are mentioned here:
- Vote baiting, where reactions from users are used for voting mechanism
- React baiting is quite similar to Vote baiting, here reactions state a specific response from the users
- Share baiting is about encouraging users to ‘share with friends’ in order to help them win a contest or competition.
- Tag baiting is again a post where a post asks or instructs you to ‘Tag a mate’ and any such similar posts that ask you to link to as many people.
- Comment baiting is when a post asks you to answer or reply question, like if you like this genre of music, food or movie, reply ‘Yes’ and then you are engaged with the post, and will receive notifications for all responses posted.
Since a while now, Facebook has been trying to discourage such posts, intact vote and react baiting was noticed since Facebook Live started to gain popularity among users. This trend started to gain momentum when publishers began to create live polls and capitalizing on reach benefits started to pick up as Facebook live and reaction engagement both were effective tools. Therefore, to stop this practice Facebook made changes in the rules of how reactions should be used and stated how competitions and contests should be conducted. As per the official rules, “personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions.” And this rule applies to all kinds of engagement baiting. Facebook has decided to penalize not only individual posts but pages as well if they are in practice of this reach centric engagement baiting.