All content creators want to increase engagement levels with our
social media followers. However, the practice known as “engagement bait” is penalized by
the most important social network in the world: Facebook .
The use of such techniques can be accidental or
unintentional; Despite this, Facebook’s algorithm detects them and applies
sanctions on the scope of the publications. Let’s see how!
In this sense, your organic strategy or ad campaign may not be having the result you expected. One possible reason is that your
publications have content designed with engagement baiting.
But don’t worry, Facebook has designed a guide on how your
News Feed works to guide you on how posts
should be. Are you with me
What is bait engagement?
Engagement bait (lure of interaction) is a kind of call to action applied in social networks like in Blue world City. It could be considered as a “call to interaction “. This technique consists of using words or phrases that encourage users to interact in some way with the publications. For example, some of the phrases that would fall into this category of decoys are:
- Like …
- I love …
- Follow me …
- Share …
- Comment …
- Subscribe …
- Vote for…
Here you can see more examples of engagement baiting .
Sometimes, the tone of these phrases is tax, creating the
feeling that orders are being given to users. However, accompanying these
phrases with words of cordiality such as “please” or “thank
you” does not reduce the bait engagement condition.
Types of engagement bait on Facebook
In the Facebook ecosystem
there are five types of bait engagement . Each
of these categories is born from the types of interactions that can be
generated on the platform. Therefore, it is expected that the more
functionalities incorporated into this social network, the more the rankings of
engagement baiting will increase.
At the moment, the
five types of interaction decoys on Facebook are :
- Tag bait
- Comment bait.
- Vote bait
- React bait
- Share bait
The baiting tag occurs when users are asked to tag other users in
a post. It is a very common practice, especially in contests that use
phrases such as “Tag two friends and you will be participating in
The problem with this bait engagement is that it prevents real
and natural conversations from being generated in the publications. On the
contrary, the bait tag only encourages a very long list of tagged profiles of Capital Smart City Islamabad to
appear in the comments, none generating value conversation.
Comment baiting consists of asking users to comment on a post . In
principle it may seem a method that encourages conversations, but it is
not. This technique is usually used in such incipient ways as
“Comment the letter by letter the name of the brand and you will be
participating in …”.
With these types of interaction decoys, real conversations are
practically non-existent . The comment bait
promotes the generation of texts without any value for the users or for the
In 2016, Facebook incorporated the functionality of the
“reactions”. Some complements of the traditional I like (like) through
which users can express their emotions regarding a content. The currently
available reactions are:
- I love (Love)
- I have fun (Haha)
- It amazes me (Wow)
- It saddens me (Sad)
- It makes me angry (Angry)
Thus, react baiting is the practice of asking users to use these reactions (or
like) in a publication. For example, through phrases such as “Da like
to participate in …” or “Dale I love if you like the …”.
In these cases, the
bait engagement of the reactions causes the real sense by which they were
designed to be lost . This is because the react bait
encourages the improper use of these options, which should serve to show
sincere reactions about a content.
The vote baiting is a submodality of the rea baiting. This
is to design a content especially to encourage users to vote through reactions .
For example, in a publication that has the image of a hamburger
and a pizza, the vote bait would be a text like “Give it a thumbs up if
you like hamburgers or I love it if you prefer pizzas.”
This type of interaction decoy, like the react bait, encourages
an unnatural use of reactions . With this, the
publications are saturated with forced interactions that do not express the
true emotion of the users about the contents.
Finally, the share baiting is the request that is made to users
to share a content . For
example, by using expressions such as “Help me share my page” or
“Share this post if you want to get …”.
The use of this bait engagement generates an uncontrolled
proliferation of shared publications that do not add
any value. As a result of the share bait, many users see their News Feeds
saturated with items shared by their friends because of contests and
Why did interaction decoys work well on
On Facebook, one of its main News Feed values is “authentic
communication . ” This means that the algorithm prioritizes the appearance
in the news section of the users those contents that are relevant and that generate
Understanding this, the
bait engagement techniques were created as a way to “cheat” the
Facebook algorithm . This deception is produced by
encouraging a series of interactions to “demonstrate” to the
algorithm that a certain publication is relevant and, therefore, deserves to
appear in the News Feed.
For a long time, engagement baiting proved to have very good
results. In effect, the platform overvalued those publications with high
levels of interaction, even when they were unnatural interactions. With
this, many people and brands achieved spectacular reach with their contents.
Why and how does Facebook currently penalize
Over the years, Facebook
noted that the use of interaction decoys was affecting the quality of the
publications featured in the News Feed . Therefore,
the efforts of the social network have focused on updating the algorithm to
avoid these bad practices and to promote sincere and natural interactions.
In this context, Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed,
“Today we use signals such as the number of people who react,
comment or share posts to determine where they appear in the news section.
With this update, we will also give priority to publications
that trigger conversations and meaningful interactions between people. ”
Thus, the team behind this social network analyzed hundreds of
thousands of publications to identify the characteristics of engagement baiting . These
publications were used to train the algorithm with machine learning models so
that it could detect bait engagement on a massive scale and automatically.
In this way, the contents that have interaction decoys are
penalized by automatically relegating them from the news section.
platform detects engagement baiting in 23 languages . In
order to update the algorithm, they are the following:
- Spanish, Arabic, French, Italian, German and Portuguese.
- Mandarin, Hindu, Indonesian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai and
- Bengali, Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Malay,
Polish and Romanian.
How to succeed on Facebook and avoid
Facebook becomes increasingly rigorous in its fight against
baiting engagement. In fact, its
algorithm is already so powerful that it can detect bait engagement in the
audios of videos . An impressive feat that makes us
wonder what will come next …
The answer will undoubtedly not be encouraging for those content
creators who do not know this topic or who prefer to use bad practices.
As we know that you are not one of them, our main recommendation
for you is that you focus on generating interesting content and that it adds
value to your followers. Facebook will reward you in scope if it detects
that your posts are capable of generating natural conversations and reactions.
Therefore, in InboundCycle we have created the following guide to help you
create an effective social media
marketing plan in just 7 steps.
Still have doubts about bait engagement? Share it in the
comments section so we can resolve it. Who starts?
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