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Facebook changes newsfeed to crack down on engagement baiting

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Facebook to demote posts and pages begging users for likes, comments and shares in the newsfeed.

A key factor Facebook uses in deciding what content to show users on their newsfeed is “engagement”. Posts with lots of likes, comments, or shares are seen by more people.

From December 2017, Facebook will crack down on what it calls engagement baiting”. From this time, post and pages, that don’t follow the new guidelines will be less likely to show up in the Newsfeed.

What is engagement baiting?

Posts encouraging people to react, comment, share, tag or vote on posts JUST to try and get to the top of the newsfeed

Examples of engagement baiting

Here’s Facebook’s list of “engagement baiting” posts:
  • Vote baiting – asking people to vote by using comments, reactions etc.
  • React baiting – asking people to react to a post (including like, love, haha, etc.)
  • Share baiting – asking people to share posts with friends
Engagement baiting-votes, reacts, shares
  • Tag baiting – asking people to tag their friends
  • Comment baiting – asking people to comment with specific answers on a post (words, emojis, numbers etc.)

Why the change?

Facebook considers posts asking for interactions specifically to get a boost on the newsfeed to be spammy – it wants posts that are meaningful, valuable and authentic for your audience.

That means people engaging with content because it’s meaningful for them. Not because a publisher is encouraging interactions to try and game the system.

What happens if you use “Engagement baiting”

Facebook hasn’t said how severe consequences of using “engagement baiting” tactics will be. However, posts and pages will be seen by less people.

Will all Facebook pages and posts be affected?

Posts asking people for help, advice or recommendations like charity fundraising or travel tips won’t be affected. So if you need a recommendation for a local business, or are fundraising for your favourite charity, you shouldn’t be impacted.

So what SHOULD you post on Facebook?

There’s no one size fits all for Facebook success. You need to understand what type of content your audience will engage with.

Facebook’s own Newsfeed posting tips include the following:

  • Post high-quality content – frequently.
  • Make posts timely if you’re posting about current topics
  • Build credibility, relevance, and trust with your audience – ask yourself if your audience would share posts with friends or recommend to others
  • Don’t look for a silver bullet – people succeed on Facebook with vastly different strategies. You need to understand the type of content that works for your audience.

Facebook Newsfeed Guidelines

Tips from Facebook on how to work with the newsfeed