Ever been warned of engagement baiting on Facebook? What is it exactly and how can you avoid it?
Are You Baiting Your Audience for Engagement on Facebook?
Managing a successful Facebook page is an important aspect of building a brand. If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably experienced posting new material on your page or going live and telling people to comment, react, like, and tag your friends. But did you know that consistently asking your audience to like your post may cause your channel to get temporarily banned on Facebook?
Sometimes, it may slip your mind but fortunately, Facebook won’t immediately punish you for it.
But when you’re banned (also known as jailed) by Facebook, your reach will be severely affected. This can negatively impact your brand and business.
What Is Engagement Baiting?
According to Facebook, engagement baiting is when you publish a status, image, or video caption that goad people into interacting with your post. Marketers and businesses often use this type of artificial engagement to get more reach on the platform, oftentimes unconsciously. But this can actually hurt your standing on the social media platform.
The team at Facebook developed an AI to recognize, categorize, and police baiting posts to keep spammy, misleading, and sometimes dangerous posts away from the timelines of normal users. Instead, the site encourages more authentic interactions on your posts and videos.
Engagement Baiting on Posts
What exactly constitutes as engagement baiting? The social media site has listed five types of baiting on the platform for posts. Doing any of these, intentionally or not, will make Facebook demote your page.
A post going viral (for all the good reasons) is the best scenario a social media manager or marketer could ask for. The more people see and share your video, the more cookie points you get from Facebook’s algorithm. However, purposefully asking people to share your clips may take away those cookies as fast as it went viral.
Facebook discourages sharing content for the sake of just sharing. For example, asking a distant cousin to share your post to win an Amazon gift check will be flagged by the social media site as baiting.
Another type of baiting is when you tell your followers to write a specific word or phrase in the comments section. Here’s a scenario: asking your friends to type in “totally awesome” for a photo of a baby monkey just to get more comments on your post will not go well with the team on Facebook.
These types of posts get flagged because the site wants to encourage insightful discussions through actual replies instead of spammy comments.
Have you ever told your audience to tag a friend on a video or photo that isn’t connected to them in any way? That’s tag baiting.
When you think about it, telling your viewers to tag someone during a live stream has been a common thing to do during live streams. But the thing is, you’re basically filling up your comments section with random names of people. A lot of streamers do this, not knowing that it could be affecting their video engagement and visibility metrics.
There are a lot of poll apps and bots available online right now. But when some people just can’t be bothered to sign up for one, they use the Facebook reactions to create an informal poll.
When you make your followers choose from two or more options by choosing a reaction that does not correspond to the emotion the image should be evoking, then that’s considered baiting by the social media site.
When you ask people to click on the reaction buttons to respond to an unrelated image, that will be considered as react baiting by Facebook. This is similar to vote baiting, but minus the poll aspect.
Facebook sees this as baiting because, like vote baiting, you’re using the reactions for a different purpose than what it’s intended for.
Engagement Baiting on Facebook Live
While creating rapport with your community helps you improve engagement, using Facebook features other than their intended usage will get you in trouble as a live streamer. Sometimes, you don’t even notice doing these things until the social media site sends you a warning.
Be conscious of these engagement baiting actions, especially when you’re trying to hype up your audience during a live stream.
Live streams that ask for reactions just to increase the engagement rate of the video will get flagged. This also applies to reaction-based informal polls that a lot of streamers do.
While live streaming, telling your audience to comment a random phrase or word just to spam can get that video blocked or downranked. Instead of doing that, ask a proper question for your audience to answer instead.
For a broadcast on how to prepare for your live stream, you can ask your audience at the beginning of the show, “What do you have on your list before going live?”.
Follow and Share Baiting
You know the phrase YouTubers like to say to anyone who watches their videos? Adding “like, comment, and share!” in your video description will get you in trouble with Facebook.
You can earn money from live streaming and there are many ways to do that. But asking for payment to do something mundane like planking for a couple of hours while live is a big NO-NO!
How to Avoid Facebook Jail
How can you keep your page safe from engagement baiting? These tips can help you avoid getting warned or jailed by Facebook.
Avoid Certain Words
Engagement baiting phrases include:
- Tag a friend if…
- Like, comment, and share to…
- Share with XX friends to…
- React with xx if you agree…
Upload Safe Posts According to Facebook
What’s considered a “safe post” by Facebook?
Ultimately, posts that breathe authenticity will be considered as safe, such as asking for recommendations, looking for help and tips, as well as raising money for a cause.
What Happens When You’re Caught
Posts with engagement baiting issues may see a decrease in reach as a consequence. Facebook will send you a warning as well. After all, you might not be aware that you’re violating the rules. If the posts continue to entice engagement, the social media site will further demote them as well as your page. You may even get Facebook jailed for repeated offenses.
To prevent getting warned or, worse, blocked, by Facebook, encourage your followers to start authentic and meaningful discussions.
Instead of saying, “Comment agree if you think I’m right,” you can say, “Share your experience of this particular issue.”
You will receive substantial comments and be able to build a more genuine connection with your followers.
What engagement baiting practice are you most cautious about? How do you intend to avoid it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
After all that’s said, the fear of baiting your audience shouldn’t stop you from connecting with them through live video. Sign up with BeLive now and start going live to create more meaningful engagement with your followers!
Pam Amantiad is a Content Writer in BeLive’s Marketing Team. With a degree in Creative Writing, she has nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing, particularly in content creation as a copywriter and a freelance blog writer. Not contented with producing written outputs, she dove into the world of live video marketing in 2019 and hasn’t left since.