A few weeks ago, Facebook announced the end of like-gating. It’s a bold change, and one that you need to be ready to adapt to. But trust me, it’s a move in the right direction. The new best practices you’ll now use will actually bring in a higher quality of followers and leads.
Read on to find out why.
The social giant turned 10 years old this year. A lot has changed since 2004, and if you’ve been marketing on Facebook, your tactics have probably (hopefully) been changing too. So it’s no surprise that you’re going to need to readjust your best practices a bit here.
What is like-gating?
Like-gating is when users are required to like a page for some kind of return: a contest entry, a coupon, points in a game, etc. This practice produced excellent results in increasing page popularity. It was a good strategy back when more of your content was pushed out to the news feed organically.
But Those Darn Algorithms . . .
When Facebook changed its news feed algorithms – slashing the reach of business pages – like-gating as a best practice began its decline. Simply increasing the likes on your page was no longer the secret sauce it had been. Facebook’s new algorithm started penalizing your reach if all those snazzy page followers weren’t actually interacting with your posts. Now, if you’re gaining likes that aren’t truly interested in your product, you’re hurting yourself.
Jim Belosic, CEO of Facebook app developer, Shortstack, says: “We saw that a lot of people were getting a lot of likes using like gating, but then they realized that the likes didn’t really have any kind of real value toward their business goals.”
Here’s what Facebook had to say: “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.”
There’s a silver lining here. Switch your Facebook marketing goals to an action-gating model and you’ll generate better, high quality leads. Action-gating is when you ask users to do something to get something: comment on this post for a 20% off coupon. Give us your email address in exchange for free shipping. Share this photo of our new product for a chance to win one. Get the idea?
4 Reasons Why You’ll Love Action-Gating
- Action-gating allows you to build your email database. If you’re collecting those addresses, you’ll have a direct channel to your leads through email marketing any time you want. You’ll get your potential customers off of Facebook and onto your website.
- You’ll have genuine likes. If you’re a medical practice in Raleigh, North Carolina, why would you want 70% of your likes to come from Tuscon, Arizona?
- You’ll avoid annoying your potential clients. No one wants to be coerced into liking a page; some people just don’t want to announce to their news feed that they’ve just signed on to the Cleanse Your Colon page. (Yes, there is one.)
- You can now focus on your marketing goals rather than increasing likes. You’ll come away with more actionable data all around.