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Facebook Bans Your Favorite Marketing Tactics 'For The Good Of The People'

For-your-own-goodSome popular social media marketing tactics that have helped increase noise on the web are Facebook's newest target for elimination or downgrading in the news feed. The three tactics in question are "like-baiting," repetitive posting of content and links to offsite spam. The perpetrators? Much of this spam is "published by Pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would." While most music marketers aren't guilty of offsite spam, like-baiting and repetitive content posting is another matter.

Facebook is "Cleaning Up News Feed Spam" and claiming statistical evidence from early tests that shows they're doing the right thing based on user behavior.

Facebook's Current Targets


Asking people to like, comment or repost something works. People are more likely to do what you want if you ask them to.

But Facebook says that such actions result in people seeing "stories" that "are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares."

So that's bad.

Frequently Circulated Content

Pages that repost the same photos and videos over and over again, because it works to attract attention, will now find their pages "de-emphasized" because they've:

"found that people tend to find these instances of repeated content less relevant, and are more likely to complain about the Pages that frequently post them. We are improving News Feed to de-emphasize these Pages, and our early testing shows that this change causes people to hide 10% fewer stories from Pages overall."

Spammy Links

Links that tease you to visit sites off Facebook with false promises leading you to a site filled with ads and repetitive content are also being targeted.

That's good but check out how they identify those links:

"By measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, we’ve been able to better detect spammy links."

So better not post things people don't want to like or share!

Here's What You Shouldn't Do

Noted Facebook apologist Josh Constine, who recently wrote a "deep guide" explaining that Facebook Is Good and only has your best interests at heart, clarifies the new rules of Facebook:

1) "Don’t explicitly ask users to Like, comment on, or share your posts, either in text or photos. Facebook will detect this and reduce your reach."

2) "Don’t share the same content repeatedly. Yes, it might be important to you, but your fans don’t want to see it in their feeds multiple times. If you need to share the same link, do it with a different description or photo each time."

3) "Don’t say a link leads to one thing when it really goes somewhere else. AKA don’t say “check out our photo gallery” and instead link them to an ecommerce purchase page or site with nothing but ads. Facebook will likely see that users start browsing their feed again a half-second after clicking your link because what was on the other side was a scam, and beat you up for it."

Given Constine's insider contacts, he may be as close to Matt Cutts as we're going to get. So take his advice seriously.

[Thumbnail: Detail from the cover of Alice Miller's For Your Own Good.]


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.