Facebook “Like Gating” is the practice of giving people and incentive to like your company’s Facebook page. Examples of “Like Gating” include:
requiring people to like your page in order to get discount coupon or enter a contest, or
requiring people to like your page to access certain content on your Facebook page.
Many marketers do this because it is a quick and easy way to gain likes. The problem is that people are liking company pages that they are not actual fans of just to get the discount or contest entry. This causes two problems:
People are getting updates in their Facebook news feed from companies they don’t really care about.
Companies end up with Likes from people who are not really their target market.
Facebook recently released the following statement:
You must not incentivize people to use plugins or like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person had liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.
Some marketers feel this change is un-fair because some are using “Like Gating” in the same way you would use a landing page, by providing a relevant piece of content in exchange for a Facebook like. In theory if the content offer is relevant to the content that a company posts on its page then you’d be attracting the right audience. Unfortunately many companies are offering prizes and coupons in exchange for likes from people who have no real interest in seeing their posts.
If like gating is a part of your current social media strategy, don’t panic. Facebook’s ban on Like Gating is not the end of the world. Although you may get less likes as a result of the new policy, the people who do like your page will be true fans of your brand, not just people looking for free stuff. There are other ways to increase your likes and gain the right audience:
- Invite relevant people to like your page.
- Promote your page on your website and emails with social media plugins.
- Promote your page offline including flyers and in store displays.
- Provide interesting and valuable content that your buyer persona wants to see.
- Like and interact with other companies.
- Be active and experiment with the timing of posts, and use page insights and analytics to find out the best type of content to post to drive engagement.
- Encourage your employees to create post and share page content to their own social networks.