Engagement Farming: The Not-So-Secret Scroll Locker You Need to Escape

Ever wonder why that cat video seems to follow you around the internet like a furry stalker? Or why political arguments magically appear in your feed, even if you try to avoid them? It’s not magic, folks, it’s engagement farming.

Social media platforms are businesses. They offer free content to attract users, but their ultimate goal is to keep them engaged for as long as possible to maximize ad revenue.

Method 1: Pay to Play – When businesses advertise, they contribute to the platform’s sustainability, allowing them to continue offering free services.

Method 2: Engagement Farming – This is where things get tricky. If you’re not a paying customer, your content needs to be engagement ambrosia to keep you glued to the screen. That’s where the “like,” “love,” “haha,” “angry,” “sad,” and “wow” reactions come in. Remember the good ol’ days of just a simple “like”? Facebook’s genius move was turning that into a goldmine of information about what makes you tick.

Gif of Dennis Reynolds from Always Sunny in Philadelphia saying “I am untethered and my rage knows no bounds”

Here’s the kicker: engagement isn’t just about quality, it’s about intention. Sure, a heartwarming puppy video will do the trick, but have you noticed the rise of rage-inducing content? Ice cream sundaes in toilets? Nachos defying gravity? A blunt and divisive podcast clip? It’s all designed to elicit a strong reaction, any reaction, because that keeps you scrolling. Like a digital hamster on a wheel, you’re providing valuable data (and ad views) while going nowhere fast.

This is especially important for our young ones. The constant barrage of negativity and outrage can be toxic, shaping their perception of the world and even their mental health.

Animation of fingers running on a phone screen like a treadmill.

So, how do we escape the engagement farm? Here are some tips:

  1. Be mindful of what you react to. Don’t feed the negativity monster!
  2. Diversify your feed. Seek out positive, informative, and inspiring content.
  3. Take breaks. Step away from the screen and reconnect with the real world.
  4. Talk to your kids. Educate them about engagement farming and help them navigate the online world safely.
  5. Remember, social media should be a fun escape, not a mind-numbing trap. Break free from the engagement farm and take control of your online experience!

Take Control of Your Social Media Narrative: Build an Engaged Audience that Values You!

Ready to break free from the engagement farm and cultivate a meaningful online presence? 

We can help! Our team of social media experts understands the nuances of platform algorithms and engagement strategies. We’ll work with you to craft content that resonates, attract a genuine audience, and leverage advertising ethically and effectively. Let us help you create a social media experience that empowers your brand, fosters authentic connections, and drives real results. 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discover how we can help you thrive in the social media landscape!

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About Avram Parker
Hey there! I’m Avram Parker, and I’ve spent the better part of my career navigating the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. With a background in both creative and analytical disciplines, I’ve found a real sweet spot in helping businesses connect with their audiences in meaningful ways. Marketing isn’t just about tactics; it’s about storytelling, building relationships, and delivering real value. That’s the philosophy I bring to my work with clients, and it’s what I aim to share in my posts here on Marketing Jumpstart. When I’m not strategizing or writing, you can usually find me catching a flick at a local cinema, getting lost in creating a new piece of art (painting is my current obsession!), capturing the world through my lens, or spending quality time with my family. They’re my biggest supporters and my source of endless inspiration. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat marketing!