How Facebook’s Newest “Engagement-Bait” Penalty Impacts Apartment Social Media Strategies
Facebook plans an algorithm change that could negatively impact apartment social media strategies, according to a Monday announcement posted to the company’s Newsroom blog. The update aims to penalize what it calls “engagement bait,” a practice commonly used to game the current News Feed algorithm.
The following paragraphs highlight the summary of the change, why it’s necessary, and what actions Respage users and other multifamily marketers can take to avoid getting caught in the new algorithm’s crosshairs.
What is Engagement Bait?
Facebook describes engagement bait as any post that “goads [users] into interacting with likes, shares, comments, etc.” Examples of this tactic include “LIKE this page if you love your dog,” “SHARE this article if you want to visit New Orleans,” and/or “COMMENT if you believe in today’s horoscopes.” Facebook also noted that prompting “votes” via emoji reactions qualifies as engagement bait, as well.
Why is Facebook Implementing The Engagement Bait Update?
Facebook regards authenticity as one of its key News Feed values. The company wants posts to rise to the top of News Feeds on their own accord. And because Facebook’s algorithm uses the metrics of likes, shares, and comments to gauge the importance of any post, content that urges users to engage with posts through the like, share, and comment buttons can effectively game the natural News Feed algorithm.
How to Protect Your Multifamily Social Media Strategy From Engagement Bait Penalties
It’s still too early to definitively say what qualifies as engagement bait. However, to play it safe, we recommend you avoid posting any of the following engagement CTAs (Call to Actions) in your status updates:
- “Like this page/post to/if/when ____” (NOTE: The word “like” in this example is interchangeable with any of the other five emoji reactions such as love, haha, wow, etc.)
- “Share this page/post to/if/when ____”
- “Tag a friend/business who/that ____”
- “Comment if _____”
Please be aware this is not a definitive list. There are various ways to fill in the blanks. The important take away is to avoid using the words “Like,” “Share,” “Tag,” and “Comment,” as well as any of the five other emoji reactions.
When Will Facebook Make These Changes and How Will Respage Handle the Issue?
Facebook generally rolls out algorithm changes in certain regions before making global changes. As such, it’s possible that some cities may have already experienced the change, whereas others will not see an effect for another few weeks.
Regardless, Respage users can rest assured that our apartment social media content producers are aware of the update and reacting accordingly. We will continue to keep you informed as more data becomes available.