Facebook. New Year New Rule.

Tired of seeing irrelevant content on your Facebook timeline that has nothing to do with your page? Well Facebook is too, and this year they’re doing something about it. The globally known site has created a New Year’s resolution and it has to do with Engagement Baiting.

What is Engagement Baiting?

Engagement Baiting is the manipulation of Facebook’s algorithm, which purpose serves to make posts or certain pages rank higher is user’s news feeds. For example, we’ve all scrolled down our timeline and seen the post “Share this 20 times to receive a free car,” in other words Share baiting. Or maybe your more familiar with “Like, share and  tag 10 friends in this post for a chance to be entered into our monthly prize drawing” –Tag baiting. Whether you were tricked by share, tag, comment, vote or react baiting, were all guilty of being the fish who just couldn’t resist.

How are they doing this?

Facebook has decided to ditch showing content that only informs and entertains for content that inspires meaningful discussion between family, friends, and businesses. Tested over the last few months, the social media site has concluded that sparking meaningful discussions, and interactions, will help boost the Site’s traffic and cater more to what users want and need.

To demote engagement baiting, Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook says, “We will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back- and forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to interact too.”

What does this mean for businesses and social media managers?

If your business is not producing content that stimulates reaction or inspires meaningful conversation than you may want to rethink your content strategy. 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”. Page admins that refuse to familiarize themselves with this update and continue to engage in spam-like posts will soon be familiar with the term demotion.

Businesses, brands and media that create wasteful content will soon come to an end as Facebook will no longer be tolerating these five types of engagement baiting- Comment Baiting, Share baiting, Vote baiting, Reaction Baiting or Tag baiting.  The site is encouraging Facebook Page Admins to read and understand the newly updated “Facebook Newsfeed Guidelines” in order to avoid demotion.

What you can do?

Don’t worry you still have time. Although the demotion process has already begun, the stricter demotion process has not yet been implemented. The delay will allow admins to update posting schedules and content that does not support the social media site’s “New Year resolution”. In order to remain successful on Facebook it is important that your company focuses on inspiring useful interactions, meaningful discussions and content that is relevant to your audience.

Here at CMG we specifically recommend referring back to our 3 E’s when posting. 1. Is this entertaining? 2. Will this cause an emotional response from the user? 3. Is this educational? If you can check yes to all three E’s, then you will not be affected by the new update.

Mark Zuckerberg states “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.” Now that you know Facebook’s next big move, ask yourself what is yours? Will your business go with the status quo or try and implement strategies to get around this new rule. Either way creatively feeding the public content that’s inspires meaningful conversation and stimulates reaction is an important factor when it comes to successful business presence on today’s social media.