Accumulating fans and likes on Facebook has been built into most marketing plans over the past 5 years and using a fan-gate or like-gate is a proven strategy to increase followers.
Fan-gates or like-gates are special tabs on a company’s Facebook page that require a visitor to like the page in order to gain access to special prizes, exclusive content, promotions, coupons, etc.
This strategy is tremendously effective in getting users to click the like button, but does this create authentic page fans? Are users simply clicking the like button to get the coupon, with no desire to be engaged by the brand in the future?
Facebook has declared fan-gates do not create authentic page fans and users only engage with a page in exchange for the coupon, content, or contest entry. As a result, Facebook has decided to ban the use of fan-gates or like-gates.
The major reason for the ban is that it creates false relationships between pages and non-fans that only clicked the like button to get entered into a drawing or to get exclusive content. As a result, users were being targeted by organizations they were not interested in hearing from. The end of fan-gates is being taken seriously by Facebook, which has threatened to shut down any pages that are still using the tactics following November 5, 2014.
This change will make it harder to aggregate new likes for any company that had been using fan-gates. However, the goal is that future page likes will be from a core audience that is interested in engaging with a company’s brand, not just having a shot to win an iPad.
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