Facebook has recently updated their spam algorithm, in an effort to improve the quality of content that appears in users’ newsfeeds. By now, you’ve probably already heard about Google’s Panda and Penguin penalties, which targeted sites with duplicate and/or thin content and sites using abusive/spammy link building tactics. Many of the sites that were penalized saw substantial declines in rankings and traffic. Facebook has a taken similar stance against spam and updated their algorithms to clean up some of the junk that shows up in the newsfeed section. The recent update pertains to three broad categories.
1. Like-baiting – The term “like-bating” refers to posts that explicitly asks users to comment, like or share a post, as a means of gaining more impressions and/or engagement that the post would typically receive. Don’t beg for engagement on social media platforms. It makes you appear desperate. Instead, try providing something of value to foster organic engagement.
2. Frequently circulated content – It’s common for profiles and pages to frequently share, and re-share engaging content. However, some users find this frequently circulated content to be less relevant. Facebook ran a few tests and discovered that users were 10% less likely to “hide” stories by de-emphasizing some of these types of posts in newsfeeds. Try to be as original as possible with your campaigns. It’s ok to piggyback off of trending topics and events,as long as it’s relevant to your brand and/or industry.
3. Spammy links – Nobody likes to be tricked into clicking on something that turns out to be misleading or deceptive. This includes click-bait headlines, images and descriptions that use shady tactics to get users to engage with a post or visit a specific url. Facebook is now using engagement metrics, such as likes and shares, to determine the “spaminess” of links and posts and then filtering the stories accordingly.
What does this mean for you? Well according to Facebook, “the majority of publishers are not posting feed spam” so you shouldn’t have much to worry about. However, if you or your company are guilty of these social faux pas, then it might be a good time to revamp your social media strategy to maximize your online reach.