Don’t Take the Bait: Facebook Engagement Alternatives

Capacity Interactive AUTHOR: Capacity Interactive
Feb 13, 2018
4 Min Read

Facebook recently rolled out yet another change to the News Feed algorithm, and honestly, we’re left with more questions than answers.

The update demotes individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait – a tactic that seeks to take advantage of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm by asking for engagement to get more extensive organic reach. While this has long been considered a no-no, Facebook will officially begin demoting these types of posts. Facebook has also made an effort to demote clickbait headlines and low-quality web experiences.

Your mind is probably racing with questions at this point. “Will anyone see the organic content I’m creating?” “Do I have to change my entire social strategy?” “I surely haven’t created spammy posts…have I?”

Below are two examples of ‘React Baiting’ and ‘Tag Baiting.’

Image with mobile phone examples of both "React Baiting" and "Tag Baiting"

Sure, they seem like innocent asks to get people to share and tag their nearest and dearest. But it’s goading people to interact with your post. Your social content should naturally inspire conversations and interactions, not ask for them. So, what’s a girl to do?

As marketers, Facebook has armed us with several different campaign types to engage audiences and build permission-based audiences without baiting.

Lead Generation: Lead Generation is a great way to collect email address (and any other user information). This is a mobile form, pre-populated within the Facebook app, which means it’s one simple step for users. In exchange for an email, you offer contest entry, newsletter subscriptions, or early access to tickets and then everyone wins.

Image with mobile phone examples of "Lead Generation"Page Likes: Looking to get more Facebook fans? There’s a campaign for that! The post looks like a traditional link post with a “Like Page” call to action button. It even lets you know how many people like that page so you know you’re in good company. One caveat with these campaigns: you may still need to pay for reach given Facebook’s algorithm updates. Even if you’re creating authentic content for a Page Likes campaign, you might still see a decline in organic reach and need to supplement it. 

Image with mobile phone examples of "Page Likes"Video Views: By running a Video Views campaign, Facebook will serve your post to users most likely to watch. Then, those viewers can be pooled into a retargeting audience, similar to users who visit your website.

Image with mobile phone examples of "Video Views"Event Responses: Now that the News Feed is focused on friends and family, users will be organically served notification of events that their friends are planning to attend. Make sure those are your events…run an event response campaign. While clicking “Interested” isn’t quite a ticket purchase, it can get you further organic reach.Image with mobile phone examples of "Event Responses"

Don’t take the bait. If you’re looking to have an authentic connection with your audience, create content that is so shareable you don’t have to tell people to share it. That’s the best way to ‘win’ Facebook’s algorithm, and it’s ultimately what Facebook wants, too!