Don’t Get Demoted by Facebook!

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Facebook Tactics to Avoid

Although Facebook lags behind its acquisition, Instagram, for engagement, it still has the largest number of monthly users by far.  It’s the one platform every practice I speak to is using even if they’re just getting started.  It makes sense.  People are familiar with it, so it feels comfortable.  Just like the statistic that most car accidents happen within a mile of our homes,  it’s this comfort that can get us into unexpected trouble.  Let’s review some no-no’s in the land of FB posting:

Don’t Post Engagement Bait

So what is engagement bait? Per FB itself: “Engagement bait is a tactic to create Facebook posts that goad people into interacting, through likes, shares, comments, and other actions, in order to artificially boost engagement and get greater reach on News Feed. Posts and Pages that use this tactic will be demoted.”  Let’s look at 3 types of posts that FB can consider engagement baiting

  • React baiting: Asking people to react specifically to the post (includes like, love, haha, wow, sad, and angry).
  • Comment baiting: Asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis).
  • Tag baiting: Asking people to tag their friends.

Is engagement bait all bad?

Definitely not. While lots of posts that use engagement bait tactics try to boost content that isn’t relevant or meaningful (e.g. “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!”), other examples can provide benefit to people. For example, posts that raise money for a cause, or ask for travel tips. These posts drive authentic engagement and FB says it takes precautions not to impact them with their machine learning model.

Is all engagement bait demoted equally?

No. Pages that repeatedly and systematically use engagement bait as a tactic will be demoted more than individual posts from people and Pages that use it.  So a few now and then won’t hurt.  This means you can still run those seasonal contests (think: How many jellybeans in the jar?) without facing the wrath of FB

How can I ask my patients to engage, if I don’t use engagement bait?

You can get your patients to engage by creating relevant and meaningful stories. Unlike engagement bait, these kinds of posts will foster authentic engagement.

Engagement is the key tactic that will keep your business page in someone’s feed(rather than the old-school “like us” approach), but we need to be sure that we’re doing it by the rules.  This shouldn’t shy anyone away from posting or asking for comments – that’s engagement.  A good guide to keep in mind is your own reactions to posts you see in your feed that seem smarmy- you know the kind.  Always ask yourself before you post: Would I want to receive this message?  Remember, patients are people just like us.

To learn more about using Facebook and other platforms in your marketing strategy, hit the Talk tab at the top of the page.  We look forward to connecting!