Facebook is Banning the Like Gate. What Now?


Facebook just updated its platform policies effectively banning the practice of “Like-gating” a feature found not only on our page tab apps, but in others as well.

This tactic has been pretty effective in generating (okay, forcing) incremental likes for pages. We’ve seen this work so many times and coupled with a great offer, translates to a win-win for everyone. But in light of declining newsfeed coverage and page reach, this is forcing all of us to find other ways to make social a high performing channel for our businesses.

The most immediate reaction of people now is towards enforcement. Considering that there are over millions of fan pages out there, a lot of people think that the arduous task of penalizing pages is almost impossible. Either way, if you’re running a promotion right now, it’s time to come up with a plan B.

Take A Step Back – Based on our experience, Facebook will always be the “assisting channel” so come up with ways to drive traffic to your site. It’s time to focus on optimizing images you use on your newsfeed, specially ones that link back to your site. There’s absolutely no one-size-fits-all approach to this and in fact, even the notion of post a picture and ask a question is not performing as well even. Always look at your post performance from time to time and optimize from there.

Focus on getting emails not likes – Email Campaigns provide better performance than just getting likes in terms of meeting your marketing objectives. Tab apps are still a great way to enhance your acquisition campaigns and designing your campaigns in such a way that it helps you collect emails will just increase your chances of converting users. Maybe you used to display a coupon right after a page is liked. You can just change the form by requesting for an email and sending the coupon straight to their inbox.

It’s time to put advertising to the mix – Well, this was inevitable. Long gone are the days of great organic traffic going to your page. Depending on how much you want to grow your likes, you can probably get likes from $0.05 to $0.90 running a well targeted campaign.

Just Move On – Facebook’s known to change its policies regularly and this wasn’t really much of a surprise (also, you might want to put down your pitch fork). If you’ve been doing a great job sharing great content and clearly engaging your users with or without these like gates, then you’re fine.

Are Likes Really a Big Deal Nowadays? Shift your focus to conversion optimization! 

Besides, your objective is to really drive conversions to your owned properties, it could be an app or your website. That’s so much valuable than “cheap” likes.


  1. bill derosa says

    Facebook, you continually make these changes that are simply ignorant and asinine. Another proverbial nail in the coffin for small businesses trying to gain traction on an increasingly difficult Facebook marketing platform.
    Their moves continually push away the 90% of businesses in the US that are not big brands or have huge budgets. Foolish, foolish follow up to already declining Reach. Businesses better start looking at other social networks to find their audience, as living strictly on Facebook will be detrimental.
    What the heck do you mean by ” To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.” Ummm NO.
    Who are YOU to tell a business what a quality connection is? Studies CONTINUALLY and EMPHATICALLY show that fans Like a Page for these top four reasons:
    1. Support a Brand I Like.
    3. To receive regular updates of new products/services.
    You have already systematically started smashing #1 and 3 with your algorithms in a force to “pay to play” model, NOW you are going to KILL #2 and 3.
    What you obviously don’t get, Facebook, is that these incentives often result in further chance of viral awareness via engagement to potentially reach that friend of a friend that doesn’t know about a Page! Way to kill the usefulness of leveraging audiences.
    I love Facebook, and have been a HUGE supporter with my agency for over 5 years telling clients that should have a facebook presence (for the most part…some businesses don’t ever get an ROI on facebook die to target audience), should budget for some ads/boosted posts, create great content, and engage.
    Facebook: you better change directions soon.The grass is getting much greener on other social networks, while your lawn is quickly seeing the winter of our discontent.

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