A New Facebook: The End of the Like-Gate

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Richard Dedor
Richard Dedor



facebook-like-gateBy now you have certainly heard about the recent and profound change in Facebook Rules regarding brand promotions through pages.

Since the dawning of the Facebook Fan Page, the "Like" button has been used as a phenomenal brand growth tool. Brands of all shapes and sizes have run promotions to grow their brands while utilizing a gate with a simple "Like" button. Users have clicked those buttons billions of times and have been incentivized to share content.

But what this created was a marketing nightmare: a metric — "likes" — that doesn’t tell a valid story and isn’t tied to end-of-the-funnel results. Consumers will like a page just for the promotion, and due to the way Facebook presents the content, these new “fans” might never hear from the brand again.

The new Facebook rule reads:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to "like" a page.


Of this change, Inside Facebook says, "This is a good thing, we promise.”

In the end, for marketers, this is a huge but necessary change. Luckily, more and more campaigns have been focusing on building positive, consumer-driven word of mouth, so this rule change is just further proof of where social marketing is headed. And you need to get on board.

This rule change will allow marketers to run social campaigns that build deeper consumer engagements. A "like" on Facebook is a dime-a-dozen. A positive brand experience that results in a piece of user content can be worth gold. It is time to develop campaigns that encourage, don't require "likes". That is positive and authentic word of mouth.

We are now living in a period that is called the “sharing economy.” And it is true. Social media users post a lot of content, so why not encourage sharing about your brand. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. Develop campaigns that get people talking.

While "likes" are nice to have, and you need them to be able to send and attract people to your messages, what is the use of a like if they don’t really want to receive your messages or they never act on them? Zero. In fact, it probably equals a negative return on your investment. Any campaign should drive business results: sales, email acquisitions, redemptions, and more.

In the short-term, this rule change is likely to be a pain, but if you look at it as an opportunity to push your audience to impact your bottom line, the possibilities are endless.

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