If you’ve ever spent more than 5 minutes on Facebook, then you’ll be familiar with a problem plaguing nearly all newsfeeds: spam. Facebook recently announced that it was taking measures to combat spam, and engagement baiting posts.
What is Engagement Baiting?
Engagement Baiting is a post that seeks to cultivate engagement to boost a page’s overall reach by directly asking users for Likes, Shares, Comments or Tags right up front. “Like this post if you’re ready for Summer!”, a post might say. The posts themselves are usually without much merit or substance.
What Is NOT Engagement Baiting?
According to Facebook, “Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update.” This means that you can still solicit feedback on your News Feed, as long as it is genuine and not aimed at artificially increasing your engagement.
Right now, it’s unclear whether or not this affects Facebook contests that seek engagement as qualifications. Contests that rely on Likes, Shares or Comments could be affected, but since contest content is usually unique and locally based for pediatric dentists, it’s unlikely that these will be impacted.
How Facebook is Combating Engagement Baiting
The tech giant has been working to cleanup their News Feed for years, and they are fighting engagement baiting with machine learning. The company has introduced hundreds of thousands of engagement baiting posts to a machine-learning model that can detect spammy posts, and punish pages that produce and share these types of posts.
Posts with engagement baiting content will be demoted, and Facebook pages that continually share engagement baiting posts will see their reach drastically decline. This is all in an effort to clean the Facebook News Feed of spam, and encourage more authentic engagement.
How Your Dental Practice Can Avoid Engagement Baiting
Facebook’s primary goal is combat spam, and provide a better browsing experience for the billions of people that use it. Your dental practice can contribute to meaningful engagement on Facebook by regularly posting relevant content, and avoid soliciting engagement. It’s not to say that you should completely abandon the practice; you can occasionally ask for engagement on things relevant to your dental practice like a naming contest for a new office mascot. But, you should ask for engagement very sparingly so that you aren’t qualified as a producer of spam and avoid losing valuable engagement.
Do You Have a Social Media Strategy?
The social media landscape is always changing with new technologies and guidelines that improve the Internet. It’s important for dentists to pay attention to the latest online updates so that they can generate the most local growth possible.
Luckily, Smile Savvy offers comprehensive social media management services that help your dental practice connect with local patients. We help you maintain an active, healthy social media account so that you can focus on your patients. Click here for more information about our social media packages.