Facebook Marketing - September 8th, 2014

This is the news that has been doing the rounds for the last couple of days: Facebook has decided to put a break on the practice of brands’ likegating process. For quite some time, Facebook has been introducing many changes on its platform such as control on organic reach and the ‘likegating’ ban. The changes start now for any new content, and will go into effect for already-existing content in 90 days period November 5th, 2014 to be exact.

Here’s what Facebook had to say about the ‘likegating’ ban:

“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”.

Most brands use Facebook Like-Gating as an entry point for their contests and other contents to get more Facebook Fans as opposed to paid ways. But now with this new restriction by Facebook, brands and their agencies are forced to burn the midnight oil to stay in the game. Let’s see some of the changes that we will witness in the social media world with the arrival of this ‘ban’.

•Your page will not attract the amount of likes that it used to some months before. But look at the bigger picture: A page which has only 500 likes from people who are genuinely interested in your updates is better than some thousands of people who just signed up for the chance at a cool prize.

•You can’t incentivize someone to like your page in order to enter a contest, but you can incentivize them to enter the contest. Either way, you’ve captured their contact info which is what you were after in the first place.

•You cannot create a tab with a text that says “Like the page to download this ebook” or “Like the page to participate in the contest”. If you do so even after November 5th you will be in violation of Facebook Policies.

•The main reason around this change is to encourage quality likes and purify the intent of liking a page, according to Facebook. So if you are an agency that handles the social platforms (read Facebook) of various brands, you are going to have a tough day (and night) in convincing them about the ‘advantages’ of likegating ban.

•The social media content of various brands has to see a major improvement and vast appraisal if they want to stay in the number game. Remember no easy techniques like ‘like this’ or ‘click here’ are going to do the job for you anymore. So, let the page content speak for you! 

As the like-gate ban has got its own pros and cons, the best way to pass a verdict on this would be to gauge which outweighs the other in the interest of your brand or company. But at the end of the day, one must say that this Facebook move has deservingly vested more power onto the end user who will ultimately take the decision of whether to ‘like’ a particular page or not.      

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