By: Taylor Callais
Facebook recently announced a fairly meaningful policy change, as of November 5th like gating is no longer allowed.
- “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. 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.”
What this boils down to is community managers are no longer allowed to incentivize users to like their page. Rather than giving users content that they could actually benefit from, it has been common practice to incentivize users to like a page through rewards or the use of gating apps. In most scenarios this led to the padding of statistics. Pages would have more likes but were those people really of any value? Of course not, the only reason they bought in was to get 50% off happy hour appetizers on the third Thursday of the month (and they probably never got those mozzarella sticks).
Perhaps you have used this Like-Gate technique a time or two. Facebook, which re-writes the rule book as frequently as the Minnesota Twins lose baseball games, has decided they have had enough. What does it all mean? Better content equals a better community. Perhaps you will scramble to find new ways to attract people to your corner of the Facebook behemoth. But with a slightly different approach to your social media marketing, it’s going to be ok.
Here is a list of ways to still promote and build your social media communities now that like gating is no longer an option on Facebook.
- Develop and implement social campaigns that are actually, you know…good – Whaaaa?? Crazy I know, but deep down if you create content that people want to see and more importantly share, it will snowball. They’ll like and share your content and then they’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends. If that post worked, determine why? Was it the image? Was it the copy? Was it the time that it was posted? Your best posts are going to be a combination of those factors and much more. The sooner you get friendly with analytics, the sooner you will be able to hone and refine your strategy. Really get down to the nitty-gritty of Facebook Insights.
- Pay to Play – Sad but true. These days Facebook’s organic reach is essentially zero (see article Death of Organic Reach). More and more of the larger social platforms are turning to paid promotions as a way of making a brand’s message heard. Community managers have to get used to the fact that what was once free now will require a little capital. Just like your content however, implementing paid promotions into your overall strategy should not be done without some thought as to how it relates to your business’s goals. Here are a few helpful articles to make sense of paid promotion.
- Get off Facebook – No, no don’t close out this window just yet, keep reading. Don’t assume on blind faith that Facebook is the right platform for your organization. Really assess if the time, effort and money are really worth it. Is it helping you meet your business goals or are you just on Facebook because everyone else is? If Facebook really is driving awareness and engagement for your brand, great! See steps 1-2 on how to continue to build on that. If after looking into it you believe that Facebook is no longer effective for your business, determine which of the numerous other platforms might equal or even surpass what Facebook has done for your business.
So like gating is no more. It’s time to adapt, retool, reinvigorate not only your company’s use of Facebook, but maybe your entire use of social media. You might be surprised at what you find. Of course if you need help, the friendly and knowledgeable folks with Sprightly Insight can get you back on track.