We’ve all seen it: “Like our Page and you could WIN a two-week trip to Timbuktu for you and your friends!”
Many of us have also been guilty of this in the past. Brands are hungry for fans and like-gating seems like an effective way to bring in the numbers. But, we all know better — and so does Facebook.
By November 5, ‘like-gating’, or artificial incentives, will be banned by the social media giant.
What are Facebook’s new rules of engagement?
“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.” (Source: Facebook)
Basically, Facebook is saying that people should connect with your business because they genuinely want to, not because you’re dangling a carrot in front of them.
Why has Facebook done this?
The updated rules are part of Facebook’s ongoing effort to modernize and clean up the platform – along with the drive for quality content. Forced and disingenuous likes just clog up the News Feed with content that people will ignore.
From a brand perspective, like-gating is a complete waste of time and money anyway. Most of these ‘fair-weather’ fans lured under the pretense of free stuff won’t be valuable users. In many instances, a fan will like the page, enter the competition and then quickly unlike the profile shortly after.
Brands should be targeting fans that want to make meaningful connections.
Page likes don’t necessarily drive your business goals. The only way to prove that your social activity is working is to measure based on your true goals, be that increased sales, market share, awareness or something else. There’s no point in having millions of likes or high engagement levels if it isn’t contributing to your business.
If you are still like-gating, it’s time for a social strategy overhaul. Social media isn’t about using underhanded tactics to amass a ‘free’ audience or trying to get anybody who will listen to interact with your content. It’s about setting real business objectives, knowing your audience, using social data to target that audience and using paid services to drive a return on your investment.
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About the author:
Genna AlTai, content manager for Sprinklr London and lover of all things fried, originally hails from a pleasant land called New Jersey. When she isn’t Tweeting the day away, Genna likes to dance aggressively and read autobiographies about intriguing rock stars.