Facebook Like-Gating is Dead. What this means for future Facebook Marketing.
Facebook recently made updates to their API and SDKs, 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, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.”
If you use apps like Constant Contact and many, many more, 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 take for example a social campaign I am currently running. You can download my content, How to Create a Killer Facebook Promo in 10 Easy Steps, by first liking my Facebook page (for non fans). When you visit my page, Facebook will then check to see if you are a fan of my page and will present the view accordingly. Once you “like” my page, you will then need to provide additional information I require in order for you to receive this white page…ie your email address.
Why such an update?
So why did Facebook move forward with this change? Here’s the explanation straight from the source. 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. I appreciate the move, and it may actually help the user experience. If a user rarely interacts with a brand, they won’t see that brand’s content anyway. But I doubt it will do much of anything for advertisers. If I target fans of a particular page, I’m not able to only target “actively engaged” fans. I target all fans, and that will include those who were incentivized to like the page. But targeting based on activity seems like a pretty darn good idea, doesn’t it??
What does this mean for future marketing initiatives on Facebook?
Marketers are going to have to get more creative with their content! But don’t panic this isn’t the end of the world. Embrace that your fans will be those who care most about your brand. But also accept that it will now be harder to increase those numbers, particularly if you previously thrived with contests and other like-gating. No matter what the method of increasing your audience, you need to establish a compelling value proposition. Why should someone like your page? The “incentive” may be as simple as providing the most thorough, helpful or entertaining information in your niche. Additionally, you should still use third party apps to build your email list. So instead of requiring users to like your page to get the incentive, you are collecting an email address. This is allowed!
Ironically I am hosting a webinar to discuss this very same topic: 60 Ways To Grow Your Email List – if you’re interested in attending, click HERE to register. As I’ve stated time and time again in many of my seminars: Email is NOT dead, and here’s yet another reason why you need to incorporate email with your social media marketing. I have already discussed changing strategies with my clients due to this change, and it was relatively easy to shift gears. Why? Because they already had an email marketing plan in play BEFORE they moved forward with their social media marketing initiatives. Do you?
How does the loss of like-gating impact your approach and Facebook marketing in general? Click HERE to provide your input.
Your Social Media Mentor is an award winning solution provider and proud partner of Constant Contact. As a social media consultant and speaker, Vanessa Cabrera is not your ordinary "consultant". What makes her stand out is that she makes sure, she teaches her clients how to effectively market their businesses online so that they themselves become social media marketing experts in their own right! That's why she's known as "The Mentor."
Her easy to follow suite of services provide clients with the tools needed to supercharge their social media marketing in an effort to build relationships with current customers, while gaining new ones!