No More Facebook Like-Gating
Facebook recently made recent updates, but one of the most impactful changes was buried at the bottom of the announcement:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.
This post, will help you understand what this change means and how it will impact you as a Facebook marketer.
You can no longer like-gate on Facebook. Here’s what you need to know as a marketer…
What It Means
If you use facebook apps such as games, you may be using a like-gating (also known as “fan-gating”) feature. It works by showing different content to fans and non-fans.
Let’s use a contest for Brand A as an example. To make it work, you need to provide different views whether a user is a fan (“Click to enter!”) or non-fan (“like first to enter!”). When you visit Brand A’s custom app, Facebook will check to see whether or not you are a fan and present the view accordingly.
Well, this is no longer going to work.
Why Facebook Did It
Well, let’s take it straight from Facebook:
To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.
Facebook wants users to like brand pages because they actually “like” them, not because they were promised some freebie or contest entry for doing it.Ultimately, Facebook says this will improve the experience for both users (they will see content they actually want to see) and advertisers (targeting by interests is more effective).
Likes Still Matter
One common response to this change I’ve read is that it doesn’t matter because you shouldn’t be focused on likes anyway.
I find this to be way off base.
The argument is focused first on the fact that Organic Reach is down for most brands, so the value of a like is diminished. While Organic Reach may be down for some (not all — including me), brands are still reaching a lot of people for free. That remains significant.
Likes still matter.
Additionally, the act of a “like” helps marketers bucket users for more effective targeting. If you build your audience with relevant people, this gives you a highly effective group of people to target when building your email list, driving traffic to your website or selling.
Fans convert at a very high rate. This can be achieved through organic content and with ads.
Don’t panic. Increasing likes still matters. But it may be time to get more creative with your methods.