Avoid Getting Flagged for “Engagement Bait”

How to stay ahead of the algorithm curve! Worried that your posts will be demoted because your videos and copy are being scanned for words that will be flagged for engagement bait? Worried that it's not safe to use bots anymore? Let's get to the bottom of it once and for all!

 

Facebook Made Some Changes

 

Facebook will be demoting videos that are triggering engagement bait. We have shifted everything we’re doing to promote commenting and sharing the videos we create, as well as how to trigger the Messenger bot. While Facebook suggested that asking for a specific word in the comments will trigger them to demote those videos, that is not true.

The point is that Facebook wants you to have a genuine, authentic conversation with your audience. As long as you are doing that, you’re 75% ahead of the curve. Once you’ve started asking real, open-ended questions, there are some tweaks to make.

Facebook sent an email to creators yesterday saying that they will demote the reach of your videos if you are asking for engagement by asking people to comment with a specific word; asking people to tag their friends; asking people to share their videos. They will be scanning the words from the speaker looking for words that will trigger the algorithm. If you are having a real conversation, gaining lots of comments in addition to that singular word, you will be fine. Let me be clear, I am still suggesting you ask for a singular word for a free or paid gift that will trigger a Messenger bot. 

 

Avoid- “Comment,” “Share,” “Tag”

 

Instead of using words that Facebook has told us they don’t want to see, like “Comment below with,” “Share this video,” “Tag your friends,” utilize a thesaurus to help you have genuine conversations. This also allows you to stand out in the news feed because you are forced to be more creative and come up with your own language. Making your phrasing more conversational will help your authenticity as well. Being a real human being is difficult, but it is essential.

If you are trying to trick the algorithm, like using spammy tactics in a fake sense, that is the problem. Just be more real and have more human conversations. That will work the best. 

#Nugget in my world is asking my viewers to leave a comment with what they have learned. If you see #Nugget in my videos, you know what to do! If you use this strategy consistently, you will not be flagged for engagement bait. (Do not use the word “Reply” as an alternative to “Comment” because that can get confusing. )

    • Example: I attach a contest to this to reward engagement, such as giving away a selfie light every week. “When you hear some tip you love, give me the word #nugget with the actual tip.” Nothing I just said will flag comment bait issues. That will cause you to keep feeding Facebook by creating a real engaging community and asking open-ended questions while encouraging commenting on our content. Because you’re not just saying “#nugget” but also including a tip, that helps. If you were just saying #nugget, that may trigger Facebook’s flagging system.

 

** Two important things to avoid**

Two things that are totally against the rules that you absolutely want to avoid. 

No friend Tagging and no asking to share– When you are doing a giveaway and are asking people to comment as a form of entry, you are not allowed to ask people to tag their friends or share in order to be entered. This has not been allowed for years.

*In order to encourage tagging anyway, I have an idea for you. I can say something like this, “If we can get this to 90 live viewers, I will give a free ticket to our upcoming live event.” I am empowering you to know that if you want to share this video and be the hero in your community to inform your audiences about these new changes, they can tag their friends if they want or share if they want to, but you are not requiring it. That is the key to staying within Facebook’s rules.

Avoid the words “share,” “comment,” and “tag” at all costs. So commenters should not include “shared” in the comments. Just use the thesaurus to find words that look for you. Use “sparkle” instead of “share” for the same action step. These limits make us more creative and original.

 

How to Utilize Comment Bots Differently

 

What we do now very intentionally is when we use a post with a comment below, we try not to use a singular trigger word to trigger the Messenger bot. We will ask for open-ended answers instead, like “Leave us a big, scary goal, and we will send you access to an upcoming free training on how to stay accountable and achieve your goals.” The comments are filled with big, scary goals, material you can use in your marketing moving forward and reasons to support your community individually but on a mass scale. Another example is, “Tell me what it is you offer in your business,” 

Now, although in your live video you don’t want to use, “share,” “comment,” and “tag,” You can absolutely ask them to do so somewhere else! In the message we sent out before we went live, we asked people to share stuff off of Facebook. Here is what I sent in the message for this video: 

“Have you heard about the latest freakout? Facebook sent an email to several users saying they are demoting content that uses engagement bait even if it’s something you are saying in the video. Molly shifted her delivery system about this a year ago to avoid this, so she is going live to share the solution.” 

    • When people clicked through, the bot then said, “This will take you to the live video and replay. Feel free to share the heck out of this because dude, I’ve had 500,000 people ask me about this in the past 24 hours.” So yes, you can include “Share” in the bots. You can also add a “Share” button in the bot so you can share links inside Messenger.

While changes have been made, you do not have to lose engagement and stop growing your community. Be creative, make things more fun for your viewers! And if you want to know more about how awesome bots can be check out THIS post!

 

Avoid These Kinds of Post Engagement on Facebook

 

If you want to avoid being flagged under Facebook's new rules of engagement, you'll have to revisit your social media strategy. After all, most still suggest to call out certain strategies that can actually get you in trouble with Facebook, and that can mean anything from having your content demoted to being locked out of your most important social media account permanently.

The good news is that you only have to avoid a few simple traps. However, that's easier said than done because these tactics have been advised again and again to enterprising social media influencers and brand evangelists as the pinnacle of social media strategy — and now Facebook wants to curb their effectiveness. But if you want to continue to play, you'll have to refrain from these common activities.

Instead of using words that Facebook has told us they don’t want to see, like “Comment below with,” “Share this video,” “Tag your friends,” utilize a thesaurus to help you have genuine conversations. This also allows you to stand out in the news feed because you are forced to be more creative and come up with your own language. Making your phrasing more conversational will help your authenticity as well. Being a real human being is difficult, but it is essential.

#Nugget in my world is asking my viewers to leave a comment with what they have learned. If you see #Nugget in my videos, you know what to do! If you use this strategy consistently, you will not be flagged for engagement bait. (Do not use the word “Reply” as an alternative to “Comment” because that can get confusing.)

 

React Baiting

 

One of the primary forms of interaction that Facebook is trying to reduce is react baiting, which is a form of engagement bait or manipulation that is intended to increase likes and other interactions for a given post. If you've ever seen a prompt to “like” a post, you've seen react baiting in action.

Comment Baiting

 

Another similar form of manipulation of engagement on Facebook that is not allowed is comment baiting, which asks users to comment below with a specific comment — i.e., type “love” if you love animals.

Share Baiting

 

The same goes for share baiting, which prompts users to share a given post, boosting engagement on Facebook in an artificial way. If a post share gets you an entrance to a raffle or a sneak peek at something, know that it's forbidden by Facebook. Avoid the words “share,” “comment,” and “tag” at all costs. So commenters should not include “shared” in the comments. Just use the thesaurus to find words that look for you. Use “sparkle” instead of “share” for the same action step. These limits make us more creative and original.

Tag Baiting

 

For those posts that bait users into tagging their friends, Facebook is also cracking down on these forms of engagement bait. When you are doing a giveaway and are asking people to comment as a form of entry, you are not allowed to ask people to tag their friends or share in order to be entered. This has not been allowed for years.

*In order to encourage tagging anyway, I have an idea for you. I can say something like this, “If we can get this to 90 live viewers, I will give a free ticket to our upcoming live event.” I am empowering you to know that if you want to share this video and be the hero in your community to inform your audiences about these new changes, they can tag their friends if they want or share if they want to, but you are not requiring it. That is the key to staying within Facebook’s rules.

Vote Baiting

 

Finally, vote baiting is another engagement trick on Facebook that is receiving higher scrutiny these days, and if you're caught vote baiting you may have your content demoted or worse.

Additional Resources