Engagement Baiting

One of the hardest things for a company to accomplish is getting their followers to engage with their social media content. There are a number of techniques used to encourage engagement, but the most successful and common technique typically involves directness. “Tell us in the comments,” “like if you agree,” or “tag a friend” have become standard calls for engagement.

While this is completely normal to see across your social media feeds, many platforms are beginning to crack down on what is now referred to as, “engagement baiting.” The tactic takes advantage of a social media platform’s algorithm by boosting engagement in order to gain a bigger reach.

In today’s post we’ll talk about engagement baiting, why social media platforms dislike this tactic and alternate ways to encourage audience participation.

Facebook Penalization of Engagement Baiting

In 2017, Facebook officially began penalizing individual posts they deemed as taking part in engagement baiting, a rule that many may not know about. For those that are unaware and continue to post engagement bait posts, Facebook will stop the reach of that individual post, however it will remain on your page.

The one caveat of Facebook’s penalization is not eliminating posts that ask for help, advice or recommendations. Examples of that include raising money for a cause, asking for travel tips or circulating a missing person’s report.

Businesses or personal Facebook pages that use engagement bait tactics on Facebook should expect to see a significant drop in their overall reach.

How Instagram is Handling Baiting

Instagram makes recommendations to all of its users, helping them discover new accounts, communities and content. These recommendations can be found on the Explore section of the app, Accounts You May Like and the Reels tab.

The platform also features five categories of content that are allowed on the platform, but may not be eligible for recommendations. One of the categories includes content that users generally “dislike” including engagement baiting.

Similar to Facebook, if you find yourself baiting followers, you may see a dip in engagement as your content may possibly be deemed ineligible to recommend to other users.

Alternate Ways to Encourage Authentic Engagement

As all businesses want to encourage engagement, it is important to understand the inner workings of each platform or you may suffer the consequences. So formulating both authentic and organic means of engagement is the name of the game! Now, you may be asking yourself how that can be done? Let’s cover a few ways that you can encourage your audience to give you a like or leave a comment.

  • Focus on improving the quality of your content
    Instead of telling your audience to leave a comment under your latest social media post, instead focus on strengthening the quality of your posts – that alone will encourage likes and comments. When content is exciting, it keeps your following coming back to see what’s next.
  • Create teachable, entertaining, or inspiring content
    Social media users aren’t looking to be pitched to, they would rather engage with content that is inspiring, makes them smile or will naturally prompt them to engage. Develop content that will teach your audience more about what your company does or set them up for a day of inspiration.
  • Ask a question
    Instead of saying “leave it in the comments” encourage your audience to respond by asking open ended questions. “How do you enjoy this product?” “What’s your favorite (fill in the blank)?” Questions like this are a great way to generate interest and help facilitate conversation.

If you want to learn more about how to improve your social media engagement, Blufish can help! Contact us to learn more.

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