Facebook announced last week it’s doing away with “Like-gating” as of November 5. If you’re not familiar with Like-gating, it’s basically a quid-pro-quo: You Like my Facebook page, and in return you get some sort of page-exclusive content.
For a long time now, Like-gating has been a decent way to build page Likes—sometimes even more efficient than buying Likes from Facebook. That’s likely the crux of the decision. Instead of page managers paying third-party apps to host Like-gated tabs that feature exclusive content, the most efficient way to build Likes fast will be to pay Facebook for it.
The whys don’t really matter, though; it’s happening. If you’re worried about what the change might do to your marketing efforts, here are a few ways to respond.
Make good content
This is the oldest and most obvious answer to what to do. If you want a popular page with a vibrant community, you need to post awesome content that people want to see. It's harder than it sounds, but it's also just that simple.
Focus on ‘email-gating’
The good news is that even though you can’t force a page Like for exclusive content, you can still require people to submit an email address. That’s arguably a lot more valuable than a Like anyway since it becomes an owned asset, as opposed to a rented one.
If you’re not currently focused on building an email list…who cares, frankly? Even if you don’t currently have a use for it, you have just about as much of a use for it as a Like. Most pages have to pay to reach the bulk of their audience. If you generate 10, 100 or 1,000 emails in the next few months, you can reach all of those people whenever you want, for free.
Build Likes outside of Facebook
If building your Facebook audience is your top priority, look to places where you already have eyeballs: your blog, your email list (heck, your email signature), your other social networks—anywhere and everywhere. Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and odds are the majority of people you come into contact with in those other spaces are on it.
One other thing: If building your Facebook audience really is important to you, you should seriously consider buying Likes. You can target pretty tightly to make sure you’re picking up the highest-quality new followers possible. It just takes a little work and attention to detail.
In short: Don’t Panic
If there are three things in life we can count on, they’re death, taxes and Facebook making random-and-ginormous changes on us all of a sudden. Don’t sweat this latest one. As long as you’re publishing good content, looking at alternative sources of growth, and advertising your Facebook page on all your other social and owned properties, you’ll be just fine.