By Mary Liebowitz

August 19th, 2014

As of November 5th, Facebook will no longer allow pages to require a “Like” from a Facebook user to view page tab content or participate in contests.

The key to the new ban of the Fan Gate, or Like Gate, is the “incentive” required to gain a new follower; in an effort to trim page following to deliver more relevant content, Facebook is hoping users will Like pages by choice, and not because they were prodded to do so.

The payoff for Facebook will be to deliver more streamlined audiences for advertisers. For users, their feeds will only be populated with content they weren’t coaxed to follow. But what does this mean for businesses?


Facebook without a Like gate – What does it mean for businesses?

Businesses enjoyed the Like gate because it gave their content an aspect of exclusivity, and once Liked, gave them the ability to reach growing audiences with additional content. The downside was that followers could just as easily fall off again once they felt spammed by a brand.

Facebook will still allow users to opt-in for contests, permitting additional data collection, but without requiring a page Like. Were page followers to be assigned a value, in terms of their interest relevancy to a company’s content, followers Liking a page because of a contest or giveaway are considered a low value. With the removal of fan gates, page followers will have an increased value, in their relevance for actual engagement.

Over time, audiences will become even more relevant, with a clearer understanding that a Like is a choice to follow a business’ content and updates.

Still getting likes and engagement – How? 

To continue to grow an interested audience, here are four points to consider:

  1. Create a clear content strategy – so users know what to expect, and what type of content they will receive.
  2. Practice consistency in voice to strengthen brand identity. When you provide valuable content, your audience will look forward to hearing from you.
  3. Post native advertising that is meaningful to your streamlined, relevant audience. It’s one thing to grab attention, but it’s another to hold attention.
  4. Offer segmented content (stay tuned for Part 2!) so that your audience will associate Liking with following chaptered content.

While we never like to have options taken away, I think the removal of the Fan Gate is a positive move by Facebook to facilitate better audiences. Facebook pages will regain better social relationship management – which is what we strive for.

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