December 21

Don’t do this on Facebook…

For several years now, Facebook has been a great source of free traffic for websites.  Of course, marketers have taken full…and in some cases, excessive…advantage of this.  There has been more and more abuse in recent years, especially by websites that are in highly competitive markets or which contain content that would never be allowed on Facebook itself.

Facebook is continuing its fight against such abuse by announcing a further clampdown on posts they consider worthless as well as those that contain links to websites that have little content but are “smothered in ads”.  They have developed an algorithm that will detect posts that violate these rules and will highlight pages that are consistent offenders.

They are sharply reducing the reach of such posts and, if a page continues to break the rules, will slash the reach of all posts on that page.

Many of these are logical…such as a post that links to a webpage that has nothing to do with the content of the post.

Some, though, are a bit more controversial, such as the ban on blind headlines.  Which, of course, means that the title of this post would trigger a red flag…

Their “no-no’s” include:

  • Posts that contain engagement bait: “Click here if you are a Leo”,
  • Links to websites “containing little substantive content, and that are covered in disruptive, shocking or malicious ads”,
  • Images that deceive a user into clicking (false play button or phony survey with a checkbox),
  • Links that redirect to websites unrelated to the content of the post,
  • Uploading content to which you don’t have intellectual property rights,
  • Headlines that mislead or leave out important information (blind headlines),
  • Posts that include racist, defamatory, obscene language, or ones that promote violence, etc.

In other words, post content that your users will enjoy and will move the conversation forward.

There is an exception for posts containing, for example, “a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips” (quote from Facebook).

Facebook’s community standards are published here.

Facebook also has a tool called the “rights manager” which allows you to maintain a library of your intellectual property and makes it easier to enforce your rights.

Click here to go to their Getting Started guide. 

Facebook has been actively trying to clamp down on many of these posts for many years now, but their technology is catching up and they are being more proactive in enforcing their idea of “useful content”.

This should be interesting to watch, because there are a lot of reputable sites that violate at least one or two of these guidelines.

What do you think?

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