eCommerce Insiders

Facebook Says Enough to Engagement Begging and Newsfeed Clutter

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has had enough!

He’s decided to rip the rug out of his internationally-dominate social media platform, stripping things back to basics. Here’s how he’s getting things done:

He’s punishing posts that beg for engagement

Click the like button! Share with your friends! Let’s get 10000 likes! These are all examples of posts that were overlooked in the past, but now, they’ll lead to a Facebook post being pushed to the bottom of the feeds belonging to the subscribers of any marketing page, regardless of the size of the business.

Facebook has decided that these posts, in their words, shamelessly beg for attention. They aren’t organic, they’re devaluing, and they aren’t in line with the original values of the social media platform. In fact, the Facebook newsroom blog stated that:

This tactic, known as engagement bait,seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.

The platform’s users have reported themselves as feeling repulsed by all of the shameless begging, and as a result, they are disengaging from the platform altogether. In order to stop this, Facebook is getting rid of the repulsive posts, and they’ve recently directed platform users to their News Feed Publishing Standards page.

Isn’t this a little harsh?

According to the New York Post:

The goal, Facebook says, is to “foster more authentic engagement” and create a more pleasant user experience. Facebook claims that its algorithms can detect different types of engagement bait and distinguish between spam and sincere posts — such as those asking for shares to circulate missing-child reports or solicit travel tips from friends. Those types of posts won’t be punished with demotions.

But the paper clarifies:

Spammy posts that actively try to drum up likes, clicks and shares, such as “LIKE this if you’re a Libra” or “SHARE this post with 10 friends to win a trip to Spain” will be demoted in users’ news feeds.

So content and context is key in avoiding a Facebook newsfeed penalty.

No, no, NO!

Inc. Magazine created an explicit list of posts that will get you in trouble, above and beyond engagement baiting. Below is a summary:

React baiting…Facebook’s example of react baiting is a post that says, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries or LOVE this if you’re a Leo to find TRUE LOVE!!!” You’ll also have to watch out not to write anything like, “Like this post if you agree that sexual harassment is a major problem.”

Comment baiting…Facebook defines this as asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis). Its example is a post that says, “Comment ‘YES’ if you love rock as much as I do.”

Share baiting…Needless to say, this applies to posts that ask people to share. Facebook’s example says “Share with 10 friends for a chance to win a new convertible!”

Tag baiting…These are posts that ask you to tag people in an image where they don’t actually appear. Facebook’s example features a painting of a girl and the request: “Tag friends who look like her.”

Vote baiting…These are posts that invite users to vote on something via their comments or reactions. In Facebook’s example, users are invited to vote for their 2018 goals (get a promotion/find love/be fitter/move cities) by reacting with one of four emoji.

Does Facebook now hate marketers?

To be clear, Facebook’s goal isn’t to eradicate the platform of all traces of marketing media. The goal at hand is to vastly improve the end-user experience of the platform, and hopefully, to regain its status as the social media platform of choice for those wanting to connect with friends and family.

TechCrunch further explains:

This push to close down some of the spammier types of content follows a clampdown on sites with crappy web experiences…for example those caked in advertising — and moves to weed out clickbait in multiple languages

All of this is understandable, but what exactly does this mean for marketers, and in particular, what does this mean for small business owners, and for sole proprietors?

In short, these are groups of marketers who must become more creative in their strategies while employing targeted, efficient tactics that satisfy the needs for engagement, branding, awareness, and high-quality content. In short, marketers need to step up to the plate in creating content that adds to the value of the Facebook end-user experience.

Entrepreneur Magazine features an article that offers potentially affected marketers key tips to survive this new Facebook marketing reality. One of the best, most effective tips is this:

Now is the time to make livestream a part of your social marketing strategy. The key here is getting started. Brainstorm creative ways that you could showcase your brand.

Is there a unique way you make your products? Livestream it. Did an exciting new industry update just happen? Livestream it. Is your practice a fun and educational place for patients? Livestream it. Most people are worried they need to say or do something prolific. That’s not the case. Be you, show brand personality, and go live.

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

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