So this week our Taggin' Tuesday was much different than usual. I had literally about 50 comments that were marked as spam, about 1/3 of all of the participants. That has NEVER happened before, so it led me to do a little research into what Facebook considers spamming. What I first found out is that yesterday, Facebook introduced a new method for marking spam. Instead of greying out the comments, they are now hiding them altogether. That's what made it difficult for me yesterday to moderate the thread, I had no idea things had changed and didn't know what to look for. So that explains that. But what it doesn't explain is why the heck were so many comments hidden from our thread when they were invited and not spam? This is the tricky part.
Facebook's official stance is that they mark comments that are of "low quality." What they consider low quality is unfortunately anyone's guess as it's determined by an algorithm. Yay. And to top that off, the results are different for each person. Facebook takes into account many factors, including what your normal activity is and even how many friends you have. So this truly is a unique method for each person and there's no one way to prevent being comments being marked as spam.
As frustrating as that is, I wanted to be able to offer you more. I want you all to be able to participate freely in our tagging events to build your fan base without being labeled a spammer. So, I scoured through our comments that were marked to see if I could come up with a rhyme or reason to why they were hiding them. I took that analysis along with other information I've researched to come up with some ways you can help to make sure your comments aren't seen as spam. This mostly applies to tagging and page promotion events, although these are good practices that can be used in most Facebook activity. Here goes...
1. Tag your page rather than posting the entire link. To tag your page, just enter the @ symbol and start typing your page name. It should come up in a pop under menu, just select your page and it will highlight the full name in your comment. Once you post it, that highlighted text will be linked.
2. Don't provide more than 1 link in a comment. If you have more than one business to tag, do them in separate comments.
3. Don't post quickly back to back. In the instance above, if you do have 2 pages to post, wait an hour or so before coming back to post the other. Likewise, don't post quickly back to back on multiple pages.
4. Don't post the same thing on multiple pages. If you're participating in multiple tagging events at the same time, or, if you're posting a message onto the walls of new pages, say something different each time. Repeating the same message may label you as a spammer.
5. Include words in your comment, not just your tag. Say something about your page while you're tagging it, that way Facebook feels you have quality to your post.
6. Stay active on Facebook. If you only post once in a while, Facebook may think your activity is unusual and flag you. Participating regularly in tagging events will help Facebook see that this is normal activity for you.
5. When Facebook hides your comment, you will still be able to see it. If you're participating in a tagging event but aren't receiving any fans from it, odds are you're blocked to everyone else. Send a message (now that we have the awesome new feature of messages for pages!) to the admin of the page asking them to check into your comment to see if it was marked as spam. Note-only do this if you haven't received ANY likes. If you've received even 1, that means your comment is viewable to other people.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Facebook tagging events can be a great way to get new fans for your page, so don't give up! Don't forget, we offer Taggin' Tuesday and Fan Page Friday over on our Facebook page! Hope to see you there!
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