As you’ve probably heard, Facebook will get rid of like-gating on November 5.
For years, brands have used like-gating to prompt Facebook users who haven’t already “liked” their page to do so before they can see content, redeem a coupon, or enter a contest. Like-gating increases Facebook fan numbers so, predictably, not everyone has welcomed its elimination with open arms.
You know the expression quality over quantity? Well, some marketing experts argue that the ban presents an opportunity to focus on Facebook fans who are actually engaging with you.
People who come to your page but only leave likes might as well be ghosts, says ShortStack CEO and Co-Founder Jim Belosic.
“You have no way to get in touch with them in the future, or to communicate news about your company or your exciting new campaign,” he adds.
E-mail addresses you can use for future marketing, demographic details (that let you know where your customers are), and user-generated content (especially photos and videos that you can use on social media), are all more valuable than likes, he says.
Mairead Ridge, Offerpop Senior Manager of Marketing, argues that true fans don’t need an incentive to like your page because they’re genuinely interested in what you have to say.
“Deliver informative, quality content that grabs the attention of consumers and makes them want to become fans,” she says.
Mairead also recommends leveraging social channels, like Facebook, to collect emails and marketing opt-ins to ensure you can stay connected with consumers in the long-term.
Since you shouldn’t be focused on likes anyway, the end of like-gating doesn’t really matter, right?
Wrong, according to digital marketing consultant Jon Loomer, who has used Facebook for business since 2007.
“That argument is focused first on the fact that Organic Reach is down for most brands, so the value of a like is diminished,” he says. “While Organic Reach may be down for some … brands are still reaching a lot of people for free. That remains significant.”
Plus, likes help marketers bucket users for more effective targeting.
“If you build your audience with relevant people, this gives you a highly effective group of people to target when building your email list, driving traffic to your website or selling,” he says.
With like-gating going away, what are the best ways to continue growing your Facebook audience? Here are a few suggestions to get your started:
- Add the Like button or Like Box to your website. That way, fans can like your Facebook page without leaving your site.
- Send an email to customers to let them know why they should like your page. (Don’t forget to include a link to the page in your email signature.)
- Advertise your page on Facebook.
- Promote why people should like your Facebook page on your offline channels, such as signage, brochures and print advertising.