This week saw the news of Facebook putting a stop to people using like Facebook like gates to attract likes to pages. Facebook felt that like gates coerced people into liking a page to receive a reward which in most cases was unrelated to the Facebook page, think Ipads and Iphones.  Here’s their official statement they released on their developer site.

Ok so what is a like gate?

For those of you that are not familiar with a Facebook like gate, this is an app that is installed onto your Facebook page. The app allows you to show one web page to somebody that isn’t a fan such as “like our page to win a free Ipad or get your free report”. Once that visitor has clicked the like button, that page disappears and they are presented with the option to sign up for the Ipad or download your free report, the later of the two is our preferred method.

So why is it so bad?

No while we agree that many marketers were offering everyone and their dog a free Ipad in return for a like, it wasn’t the Facebook like gating feature that was the culprit for acquiring “spammy” likes. It was the lazy marketers and the like gate was simply the tool for deliver.

If used another way such as a business coach offering a free report on how to improve staff motivation and increase delivery or a new coffee company offering a free coffee sample. These are highly related to the company and also if somebody wants to read how to improve staff motivation its highly likely they will want to hear more advice form a business coach, likewise if somebody likes a page for a free coffee sample, they must like coffee and would be interested in trying our blends or finding out more about the supplier?

This is where the average marketer again got consumed by the number of page likes and not the QUALITY of page likes. Sure if you give people the option to win a free ipad just buy clicking a button they will. The thing is that’s all they want, the Ipad, not your 12 step new software, or your new app, just the Ipad. So after you have run your Ipad competition your left with a page full of people who want to win an Ipad, which as we discussed is create if you are PC world or Currys however if are a pet store your better hope that Jack Russell’s love Ipads.

Facebook went in hard:

In our opinion Facebook went in a little heavy handed and used a chainsaw when a pair or hedge clippers would have been more suitable. We feel that it should have been the incentives that were penalised and not the vehicle for delivering them, however I appreciate that would be a little harder to police.


So what can marketers do now?

What to do next?

Use Facebook to build an email list:

There are several alternative you can try now instead of going after the like directly in Facebook you can always direct the user to a landing page and collect their email address in turn for a free report or something similar. Then with that email list you can create a website custom audience via the Facebook ads tool and target them in Facebook that way.

Like gate on your site (sort of)

Another route to market would be to install the “like to download” button on your site. You can then direct your Facebook traffic to this page and ask them to like the page again in return for a relevant reward. This will then allow your Facebook page to receive their like if they haven’t already and then give the visitor access to your reward.
These are just a few tactics that we will be trying out and will continue to add new posts with other tactics that we will be working on over the coming weeks.

Aug, 12, 2014