This month, Facebook announced that as of 5th November 2014 the practise of like-gating competitions will no longer be allowed. So what is ‘like-gating’ and how will this affect the way Facebook campaigns are run in future?

Like-gating involves creating a virtual barrier so that users have to ‘like’ your Page in order to view selected content on it. Facebook competitions are one of the most popular uses for like-gating, as the added incentive provided by a prize draw is a very effective way of boosting numbers.

Encouraging lots of likes this way allows a company to increase its fan base (and audience for Facebook posts) by 100s or 1000s in a comparatively short space of time. But in a couple of months from now, the way this is achieved will change.

Platform policy

On 7 August, Facebook posted about changes to platform policy, stating that as of ‘90 days from today’:

“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check-in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page”.

Attracting lots of new likes is a top priority for many – so why is Facebook making these changes? Here’s how they explained their decision in an official post:

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.

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Whilst Facebook is stating that these changes are of benefit to both users and advertisers, there also exists a belief that they could have a large commercial impact on organisations wishing to grow their audience numbers, as there will potentially be more emphasis on paid for Facebook ads instead.

If you prepare a campaign effectively through careful planning, targeting and correct connection with influencers, then you should be attracting a high quality, relevant audience for your brand. When developing and delivering social media campaigns for our clients, we ensure that those who like your page are genuinely interested in your product or service.

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Window of opportunity

For organisations considering driving audience growth through like-gated campaigns, there remains a window of opportunity with the changes not taking effect until 5 November, but this is something that you will need to act on urgently as it takes time to plan, implement and deliver an effective social media campaign driving the right audience for you.

Digital Visitor is a digital marketing agency with a wealth of experience developing and delivering successful social media campaigns for a wide range of organisations.  If you are considering a social media campaign, get in touch ASAP as our experience can make this process easy for you. Find out more on our Campaigns page or contact us.