On November 5, 2014 Facebook will no longer allow “Like” incentivizing on pages. According to their new policy:
“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.”
What does this mean for social media marketers?
Well “like-gating” is a common tactic used by many to drive likes for pages when hosting contests or offering giveaways. However what this really drives is high number of people who just want something for nothing. True users that have an interest in a page don’t need to be incentivized to like the brands page. So with “like-gating” you usually end up with followers who really don’t have any value as they most likely are not your true customers.
Facebook as usual is claiming this is to enhance the user experience and not allow marketers to force people to like pages. So marketers are forced to go back to the “traditional” route of good content for exposure mentality…I use quotations because that “tradition” doesn’t mean jack compared to what it used to thanks to Facebook’s dwindling organic exposure rates.
What I see is Facebook forcing marketers to use regular posts to drive traffic and since they’ve driven organic reach down to almost nothing, the good ole paid Facebook ad comes out to play! Facebook is well aware of what these subtle changes to marketers does to their bottom line. So marketers can’t force likes so Facebook can force payment? Two wrongs don’t make a right in my book. Marketers shouldn’t be forcing likes for valueless followers just like Facebook shouldn’t force valueless paid exposure.
Social media marketing will always be changing and as a good social media manager you will have to make adjustments to get the exposure you want to connect with your potential customers. As long as you keep that in mind, these bumps in the road and changes to policy won’t be the death of your marketing strategy unless your company was called “Like-Gating emporium” or something.