You are now officially forewarned that all your like-gating strategies for your Facebook marketing will cease to exist on November 5th. Facebook is saying that they want more genuine relationships between businesses and fans, but is this new update purely to force small businesses into their advertising strategy?
What is Like-gating?
Like-gating is when you force a Facebook user to like your page in order to receive a particular offer or promotion. This strategy has not only been used extensively for marketing promotions, but whole businesses were created purely to take advantage of this. For these companies, this update will be the hardest to swallow.
The two key areas illustrating the removal of Like-gating is in Facebook’s updated changes to platform policy and the API change.
In the announcement, Facebook clearly states, “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page.” This clear statement again like-gating enforces their continuing aim to ensure quality connections between businesses and the people who actually want to connect with them – not because of artificial incentives. However, they are state that it is still acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.
Along with this, the API change will remove the capability of third party apps from knowing whether or not a Facebook user has liked a page or not.
What people are saying about this Update
Ever since the announcement from Facebook back in August, many individuals have made their voice heard about this issue, and as expected many are not happy.
What this means for you
This update will only directly affect you if you currently have a like-gate campaign running past tomorrow. Considering these will be terminated, the first thing to do is close these campaigns down and any other third party apps that require “likes”.
However, in conjunction with this new update and the unknown news feed algorithm, Facebook is becoming a highly difficult and time consuming platform for small businesses to gain brand awareness for a very limited budget. So will this force more small businesses to adopt Facebook advertising into their strategies, or will they just exit Facebook altogether. This is an important element to explore, and will be an interesting space to watch in the future.
On the other hand, brands with a significant following should not be afraid of this update. The ultimate vanity metrics of “likes” should not be directly targeted, but achieved by increasing user engagement and delivering true value to your true fans.
If you have built your Facebook fan base organically, or not afraid to spend money on advertising, this update will not affect you. However, if you have relied on like-gating techniques for lead generation and brand awareness, it is time to go back to the drawing board to look at alternative strategies.
If you are interested in talking about your other options, have a free 30 minute consultation with us today!