What Does Facebook’s New Ban on Like Gating Mean for You?

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“Like our Facebook page for a chance to win our newest doohicky!” If you have a social media account, chances are you’ve encountered this type of marketing ploy more than once. Dubbed “like gating” by online communities, it’s a method where businesses force customers to like their page (pass through a Like Gate) to reach the other side, where a prize, app, or other incentive awaits. It’s also the next striking block for Facebook’s ban hammer. Come November 5th, 2014, the social media giant is cracking down on this sneaky tactic.

A Shift in Strategy

While many businesses are lamenting the upcoming ban, it may be more of a boon than a bane. The ban will force businesses to find more genuine ways to attract customers – a sound strategy for developing long-term relationships. After all, customers are sophisticated people with diverse tastes and personalities, not robots who exist to click on thumbs-up buttons. In this respect, Facebook is acting like a parent, helping its kids kick a bad habit for their own good.

Why Like Gating Doesn’t Work Anyway

Smart Facebook users can recognize like gating from miles of pixels away. It’s easy for them to like a page for a chance to win a gizmo, then unlike it when the contest ends. If the chance of getting free stuff is the only reason for someone to follow you, you’re doing it wrong. As the reach of Facebook declines, marketers must rediscover a concept lost in the threads of cyberspace: providing real value to customers.

The Value of a Like

Businesses are always looking to quantify success, and likes seem to be the preferred unit of measure on Facebook. But what does a like really mean? How many of those likes represent real value? Many marketing experts agree that audience engagement – listening and adapting to customers – is more important than a misleading number next to a thumbs-up icon.

Is closing the gate on like gating a gateway to better social media practices? Have you ever used like gating? How will you change your Facebook marketing strategy come November 5th?

Post by Terri-Ann Cormier

*source: Business2BusinessCommunity

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