Four Ways for Pages to Prepare for Facebook’s Nov. 5 Like-Gate Ban

By now, you’ve surely heard about the Facebook like-gate ban that will go into effect Nov. 5.

OldOpenGate650By now, you’ve surely heard about the Facebook like-gate ban that will go into effect Nov. 5.

If you somehow missed it, here’s a quick rundown.

In August, Facebook announced that it would no longer allow businesses’ pages to like-gate or fan-gate their content. In essence, this means that businesses can longer withhold information or materials from their fans in exchange for “liking” their pages. This announcement affected custom Facebook page applications, which are also known as tabs, or, as we like to call them, campaigns.

Well, the Nov. 5 deadline is quickly approaching, so now’s the time to make sure your Facebook efforts won’t be negatively affected by this change.

Here are four ways to prepare your business for Facebook’s like-gate ban:

Remove any active like-gate campaigns you have published

Are you currently running a like-gated Facebook campaign? If so, you’ll want to adjust your campaigns to fit the new guidelines so that going forward, your fans will see the content you want them to see.

Starting Nov. 5, Facebook’s new application-programming interface will mean all fans will see the same content.

This change will affect businesses differently depending on which third-party platforms they are using to build their Facebook campaigns. The recommended best practice is for businesses to simply remove any like-gates and make the same content available to everyone.

Update your “gates”

Growing Facebook likes is really just a small part of the social media picture, but if it’s one of your goals, it’s still possible to do, even without like-gating. Want an example? Read about Great Lakes, a student loan service that recently grew its Facebook fans by 200 percent without like-gating.

If you were like-gating content, there are ways you can still gate that content in order to collect something valuable from your followers. We call it action-gating.

Action-gating is a function that lets you ask users for the information you need — e.g., email address, phone number or location — in exchange for access to your campaigns to strengthen your marketing efforts.

Removing the “force” of a like-gate should result in higher-quality fans.

Here’s an example showing how Ocado, an online supermarket, action-gated its campaign to learn more about the types of restaurants their shoppers would be interested in opening.

BelosicGuestPostOcado

Ask for a like

Just because you won’t be able to force people to like your page, doesn’t mean you can’t encourage them to do so. There are a few ways you can go about asking for a like. Here are some examples.

Great Lakes listed a few benefits its fans would get if they liked the Great Lakes Facebook page, such as updates on sweepstakes and helpful information about student loans.

BelosicGuestPostGreatLakes

Another company included a “like our page” link at the bottom of its form so when entrants finish filling in their information, they’re directed back to the brand’s Facebook page, where they can then like the page.

BelosicGuestPostForm

Brainstorm other places to host campaigns

Facebook’s like-gating ban opens up opportunities to expand beyond Facebook, to work on establishing a presence on other social networks and to think beyond collecting likes. For instance, you might be interested in collecting email addresses or demographic information.

We recently surveyed social media marketers on what their top business goals were for their social media strategies and our users were interested in the following:

BelosicGuestPostPollResults

The survey showed us that businesses are already thinking beyond likes and focusing on other valuable goals that will bring more customers, engagement and leads to their businesses.

Once you’ve determined what your new goals are, consider how additional social networks can help you achieve them.

If your goal is to collect leads from your audience, you can now collect those leads from your entire online audience by publishing your campaign to the Web, instead of to (or in addition to) Facebook.

By placing your campaign on the Web, you can increase the volume of information you’ll gather, and also increase the quality of that information. You’ll have the ability to easily drive traffic from Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, your blog and your website directly to your campaign without any hassle.

This policy change is a sign that even Facebook recognizes that there is information much more valuable than likes.

If marketers can begin to shift their thinking to align with Facebook’s, I believe they’ll see better results from their efforts. And with a few tweaks, you can have your business page ready for the upcoming changes.

If you have any questions about the upcoming like-gate changes, feel free to tweet us @shortstacklab.

Jim Belosic is CEO of Facebook custom app platform ShortStack.

Image of gate courtesy of Shutterstock.