On average, people spend more than two hours on social media every day. In the second week of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he wants to make sure “all the time we spend on Facebook, is time well spent.” Zuckerberg’s vision for friends and families, unfortunately, spells trouble for brands, as changes to the Facebook algorithm prioritize posts made by friends ahead of businesses and pages.

While changes are in part due to a push by Facebook to drive brands to engage with their video service, Facebook Watch,  the answer to maintaining, or increasing, engagement remains in creating better content. 

Response from their users informed Facebook that people are tired of spam. What they’re really saying is, people are tired of being told what to do. Changes to the news feed prioritize not only friends and family, but truly good content, not what Facebook has dubbed “engagement bait.”

In short, engagement bait is the practice of asking for likes, reactions, shares, tags or comments. It is the familiar “like if you agree,” “love react for yes, angry react for no” and “tag a friend who needs this!”

The push against engagement bait should be viewed as a challenge by marketers and communicators to write better, not as an attack against their business.

Facebook and, more importantly, your social media followers, want to see content that is engaging and personal, not robotic and corporate. Communicators need to find a way to speak to their audience on a person to person level, and the content they develop should mirror that goal.

To drive and engagement and eliminate engagement bait, find a better way to speak to your audience. For example, don’t use the tired “tag a friend,” instead opt for “who does this remind you of?”

Nobody likes a brand that tries too hard. Commit to better writing and the rest will follow.



About Nicole Grundhoffer:

Nicole is a Senior Account Executive at The Garrity Group. She is an avid writer fascinated by life in a digital age. To learn more about Nicole, click here.