On Wednesday, Facebook removed the ability for pages to “Like Gate” – letting users view your content or contests in exchange for a page “like.” With the move initially announced in August, marketers, brands and businesses have had enough time to prepare. While their Facebook strategy is sure to change, some of the best practices for dealing with the change are tactics that pages should have already been doing.
“Facebook has always been about content, so you have to make sure you’re still providing high-quality content,” said Whitney Small, social media manager at Tier10. “The focus now should be catering content to be even more sharable and engaging.”
Small said having content that generates engagement and sharing will inevitably lead to new “likes.” Also, encouraging users to “like” your page instead of forcing them to will resonate better with them and will produce a much more relevant fan base.
Even with “Like Gating,” gaining a large number of “likes” for a page required a high-level of content and execution. However, some of the users who entered the page via the gate weren’t as likely to remain engaged with the page’s content.
“This will help both pages and Facebook users overall because it will weed out irrelevant users and spammy pages with low-quality content,” Small said.
This is part of the reason why Small isn’t worried about diminishing results for Facebook contests, which is a primary portion of Tier10’s brand awareness strategy for its clients. Contests with giveaways or exclusive offers can also serve as a reward for loyal users. A fan referral bonus system will also encourage users share to share your contests to sign up their friends.
“Users commonly “like” a page that their friend already likes,” Small said. “Even if they sign up for the contest and don’t like your page, you will still be able to market to them in the future since they used their email address to sign up. Marketing to someone’s email can sometimes be even more effective.”
Despite this seemingly big change for Facebook, pages won’t be affected as much as long as they keep on generating content that will keep users coming back for more – whether it’s with a service coupon, write-a-caption contest or giveaway – that is not cheesy and overtly selling.
As some final advice, Small stressed the importance of analyzing your posts in-depth, including the time and day of the week it’s posted and what type of content was featured.
“Every audience is different, and what they’re looking for can vary daily,” she said. “Keeping tabs on what works and when will keep you in the right direction.”