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5  Types of ‘Engagement Baiting’ Posts Now Being Demoted By Facebooks Algorithm

5  Types of ‘Engagement Baiting’ Posts Now Being Demoted By Facebooks Algorithm

Facebook has always been pretty open about its algorithm and the fact that the more engagement your post gets, the further it’s reach and of course there will always be those who decide to try and manipulate the system – Social Media is no different.

By the end of 2017 Facebook had had enough of this type of cheesiness populating every one’s news feeds and decided to punish pages and posts that were using post manipulation to garner engagement.

These new algorithm tweaks involve identifying 5 different types of news feed manipulations and once identified these posts will be punished with very low reach, if any at all.

Most of the new algorithm changes have to do with baiting people for engagement or manipulating people into engaging with your post when there is no reason for them to do so otherwise – in other words relying on gimmicks to get engagement instead of producing quality content that makes people want to naturally engage – which is what Facebook wants everyone to produce.

The 5 most common types of engagement bait that Facebook has identified to start cracking down on are:

  • Vote Baiting
  • Share Baiting
  • Tag Baiting
  • Comment Baiting
  • Reaction Baiting

Continue Reading as we delve deeper into each one of these and explain exactly what they are so you can be careful not to do them.


Vote Baiting

This is when you create a sort of informal poll that asks people to vote which one they like more by using a reaction or as in this specific case asking the audience to choose which President that they are most like by using a Reaction to vote. A heart for Obama and a Like for Trump.

          Obama Trump Example of Reaction Voting

It is important to clarify that Facebook has not outlawed voting polls altogether – but according to their policies …”If Using Reactions as part of a poll, don’t use Reactions in the following ways.

  • Don’t associate a reaction with something that doesn’t match it’s emotional intent (ex: “choose angry if you like the cute kitten”)
  • Don’t make reactions the most distinctive or prominent feature of your post.
  • Don’t use reactions for polls in video where the whole stream consists of static looping graphics or images

So Reaction polls are ok – as long as the reaction you are soliciting is DIRECTLY related to the images or the content that you are showing in the poll. Otherwise you’re post is in violation of Facebook policy regarding the use of it’s Reactions.

Share Baiting

Social Media Shares are a like Social Media Gold – not only do they earn us major points in the news feed algorithm but they also put your information in front of an entirely new audience of people. Produce hot content like that and reap huge rewards in the form of brand recognition and sales conversions. However, Facebook does not deem every type of Share request as legitimate. For example asking someone to ‘Share This Post’ to be entered into a contest or a give-a-way has made its way to the new Facebook Blacklist. In this sense, you are requesting that people share your information not because of its quality or because interesting but because it’s one step in a process to achieve a goal with an unrelated end. NO MORE, that ship has forever sailed. These types of Share -baiting posts are no longer welcome in the Facebook News Feed.

Tag Baiting

The act of, as you have probably guessed by now, requesting that people tag other people in a post that literally has nothing to do with them whatsoever – for the purposes of boosted engagement.

These type of tag-baiting posts have become quite popular on social media but starting 2018 Facebook is not only frowning upon them but now demoting them in algorithm rankings.

Tag Baiting - Taco Example

Reaction Baiting

Reaction Baiting Is very similar to Reaction voting in the sense that it requires you to vote on something by using different reactions whereas, a poll is more open to opinion Reaction baiting has more to do with asking you to identify with either a like or a dislike but without the Reaction having anything to do with the actual content such as which celebrity you like most.

Just like in Reaction voting the big deal here is in requesting that people use the Reactions in a way that Facebook did not intend.

Reaction Poll Example

Comment Baiting

Last but certainly not least is the practice of Comment Baiting. This is when you request that people leave a specific comment for a certain thing such as ‘Comment Yes, if you love Jesus, Kid Rock, The Pittsburgh Steelers, President Trump, Harley Davidsons, Mo Betta Fried Chicken, or whatever else there is for you to comment yes to and tell the world you love.

This practice has now become reason for Facebook News-Feed demotion, and not just this but mentioning peoples names in the comments for the sole purpose of getting the mentioned people to click to open the comments in an attempt to trick the algorithm – yeah, that’s a great big No-No starting NOW as well.

So what’s left, what can we do? Is there anything that Facebook does not consider some variation of Engagement baiting? Matter of fact there is – according to Facebook “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.”

So that leaves us entrepreneurs, us online marketers, and us Social Media managers left to our own creative genius to come up with content interesting enough for people to React to, Comment on, and Share with their friends because its great and they emotionally or intellectually connected with it – not because they were moved by some gimmick as a means to an end. Which means we should all see much cleaner and more relevant news feeds.

If you would like some help with your social media needs then be sure to reach out to us here and schedule your free brainstorming session.


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