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Stop Asking For Likes & Shares

I’m sure you’ve seen it, probably multiple times a day across the various pages you like, and even upon your own friends pages, or maybe because you’ve been tagged in the countless and obvious demand for boosting exposure through campaigns that require you and your friends to Like, Share, and Tag your friends in.

There’s a term for this is CLICK BAIT.

We’ve known for some time now that click bait is everywhere, it’s been used to gain exposure for ads in every corner of the internet and social media is no exception to that rule, in fact it’s a target area.

Facebook finally cracked down on this “Engagement Baiting” some months ago and as a result we have been telling our clients and friends “No more like and share campaigns”. Facebook have come out to say that very soon they will start to get serious on cracking down on this form invasive marketing and so they have.

You’ve almost certainly seen posts like this in your feed as people are STILL doing it. Like if you think cats are best. Share if you want to win this jar of jellybeans. It’s a tactic that publishers use to game Facebook’s algorithm, which rewards posts that get better engagement and shows them to more people.

Facebook has decided it doesn’t like publishers gaming the system this way and claims users don’t like it either. “People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions,” the company wrote on its blog.

“Posts that Facebook considers to be engagement bait will be pushed down in News Feed. Beginning in a few weeks, publishers and Pages that continue to utilize this tactic will see their reach diminished for all of their posts.”

Facebook makes tweaks to its algorithm on an ongoing basis to prioritise or de-prioritise certain types of content. Just recently Facebook announced an algorithm tweak intended to show users more video, and in the past it has cracked down on other types of spammy posts, like clickbait or links that send users to websites full of ads.

It’s unclear if Facebook’s effort to eliminate spam is actually working — the company doesn’t share any metrics around spam content and whether it has gone down as a result of its algorithm changes. On one hand, it continues to tweak the algorithm to fight spam, which means the problem still exists in some form. But considering Facebook has all of the control over what people do and do not see in their News Feed, it’s probably safe to assume there’s less spam than before.

Blog by Jason Armstrong