Facebook Bans "Like-Gating": Incentives For Likes A Thing Of The Past

A quintessential strategy to social media marketing on Facebook was banned by the social media company. In an update published by Facebook, they announced a ban on "like-gating," a popular strategy among businesses to earn more likes from potential customers.

What is Like-gating?

Facebook defines like-gating as "when you force a Facebook user who has not already liked your Page to like your Page before they can see content on a particular custom tab." What would this strategy look like? Consider this example:

A potential customer lands on the Facebook Page for a new clothing store. Rather than seeing the company's content, an image loads which prompts the customer "like this page for store info/a special promotion". This image will take the place of content until the customer clicks the like button.

Long story short, bribing customers to like your page is a no-no. Businesses are no longer to withhold content from users who don't "Like" their page.

Why is Like-gating banned?

In their published notes, Facebook decision to ban like-gating will "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." Facebook believes that like-gating is leading to artificially inflated like counts, as a result, they want to make like counts more reflective of the people actually participating.

This reasoning is fickle, to say the least. If Facebook was really concerned with generating organic likes, then why aren't they taking a similar stance on share-gating or incentives for using a company's services? The logic behind to singling out like-gating makes no sense, especially if they plan on allowing similar practices to stay in place.

How Does This Affect My Social Media Campaign?

Immediately, if you're offering incentives for getting people to visit your Facebook Page, you have until November 5th to remove those promotions. As for the long-term, there is plenty of speculation surrounding what this means for social media marketing.

Some suggest that likes on Facebook are a poor metric for the success of your social media campaign. Rather than obsessing over likes, a few social media managers theorize that the success of a social media campaign lies in shares and collecting contact information, as they will likely result in more leads. We agree with this practice to an extent. This theory makes a fatal assumption that shares are a result of customers meaningfully interacting with your content. If you recall an article we published a few weeks back, shares do not correlate with meaningful interactions!

It's too early to tell how the Like-gating ban will affect the landscape of social media marketing. If you're worried about the future of your social media pages, then you need a team of experts to back you up.

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