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Facebook Kills “Like Gate” In Ads

Pages are no longer allowed to require end users to “like” a page in order to obtain access to apps, rewards, contests, or content. All existing like gates will be disabled starting November 5th, and any new app launched in the interim will not be able to add a like gate. Getting rid of the “like gate” is only one way to deter social media marketers from hoarding likes that are essentially useless. However, local businesses and large enterprises can continue to request likes in a variety of other ways. And in doing so, it’s important to remember the basics.


Is it important to have a certain number of likes or is it important for users to actually engage with a brand?

Are Extra Likes That Important?

Offering incentives for likes really serves no purpose. In fact, it isn’t a measure of social influence at all. According to Facebook, the like gate was used to create wider followings, not meaningful connections. After all, only about 5-6 percent of any brand’s followers on Facebook will see a new post in their news feeds. Gaining a meaningful presence on the social media giant is much more complex than simply gaining miscellaneous likes. In fact, too many likes from uninterested users often result in ineffective marketing strategy.

Connecting with a quality audience on Facebook has numerous advantages. Similarly, connecting with a lackluster audience has numerous pitfalls. The main goal of social media marketing is to allow interested audience members to engage with a brand, which can be fairly difficult to accomplish if over 90 percent of followers are more interested in a discount.

“That’s Cool” Versus “I Could Use a Discount”

Facebook has a reputation as a consumer-oriented platform for a reason. However, it might be worthwhile to skip the gimmicks for additional likes. While it is possible that to some degree, an incentive could attract users to a brand, and continual brand engagement could ensue. But, it rarely ever works out that way. Go back to content based marketing 101 (who can forget the slogan “Content is King?”) and find a way to pique Facebook user interests. Each like should represent genuine interest in the brand rather than genuine interest in a small incentive.

How Much Likes Matter to End Users

These days, it’s not uncommon for brands to have tens of thousands of likes. At what point do users fail to notice the difference? 10,000 likes is a lot different compared to 90,000 likes but does anyone really care? Emerging brands and startups often can use a little boost and a little additional credibility. However, sprinting at the beginning of the race could result in floundering halfway through. PR efforts and incentives for audience members to see what a brand is about in the first place are not a bad idea. Let interested users take the initiative to like brands without additional incentives. After all, liking a brand is as easy as clicking a mouse.

Social Media Marketing and Likes in a Nutshell

Follow the basics to marketing on Facebook, and think beyond likes. Think about how you can put the social back in social media. In other words, think about a sound strategy that will engage your target audience, boost brand engagement, and drive ROI. After all, isn’t that the entire point of social media marketing?

Written By

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL's Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Afnan Mir

    November 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    That is a very good step in my opinion. The brands cant get forced likes anymore.

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