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Engagement Bait, what is it and how does it affect you?


Engagement Bait is a term that Facebook has rolled out that indicates how to get people to engage with your content via comments or likes. The graphic above shows three examples of engagement bait. Here is a list of five types of engagement bait:

  1. Vote Baiting: Asking users to vote via reaction to encourage engagement.
  2. React Baiting: Do this thing to show us what you think or get a result.
  3. Share Baiting: Share this post to enter a contest.
  4. Tag Baiting: Tag a friend who looks like this
  5. Comment baiting: Comment ‘yes’ if you love pie, or comment to enter

Why do people do this? It helps game the almighty algorithm. How? Well the Facebook Algorithm looks at how people are interacting with posts to see if it is any good. If people are sharing, liking, and commenting on a post, it signals to the algorithm that people want to see this post. So by artificially calling people to interact with a post instead of them interacting on their own free will because of the awesomeness of the content, they can get a boost in the newsfeed.

Why make this change? Facebook has two things it needs to do. Keep you on Facebook and make money. Engagement Bait is dangerous for both of those. To keep you on Facebook it needs to be a great experience and you need to see things that are interesting to you. Most of the time, items that are engagement bait are not that, they are spammy. Secondly, Facebook needs to continue to shorten the reach of pages so that they can sell ads. If you can get noticed by gaming the algorithm, you may be less likely to spend money.

Why is this now a big deal for marketers? Because now, Facebook is going to penalize you for doing this. Up to this point you could do engagement bait for posts or most likely contests and never have a problem. That is what is changing. Facebook is going to start actively demoting pages that break these rules. Not just the posts that break the rules, but the pages that do it. The Pages that break these rules will see the organic reach and paid reach drop even more if they break these rules. If they break these rules repeatedly, the may even see their page suspended.

What should you do now?

  1. Make better content. Make content people want to interact with.
  2. Spend money on reach: You need to have a Facebook boosting budget for your company. If you do not, you are living in the past!

For more information visit Facebook’s announcement. 

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