On the 7th of August 2014 Facebook announced a new update for developers and two changes in the Platform Policy, one regarding payments in games and the other involving the end of the fan gate (a.k.a. like gate) in applications. This means that, from now on, we won’t be able to ask a user to become fan of a page in order to participate in our promotion or competition. Facebook has implemented this change with the aim 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“.
Facebook wants business pages to have genuine followers , instead of users who just liked the page to take part in a promotion or competition. This is why they have decided not to offer this option anymore, in an attempt to only classify as fans those users who have a quality relationship with the brand. In addition to this change in policy, Facebook will not allow new applications to be created to detect if a user is already a fan of the page or not.
When will the Fan Gate be removed from applications?
- From now on, new applications won’t be able to use the Fan Gate to increase the number of likes of a Facebook page.
- For apps created before the date the update was launched, the Fan Gate will continue to work normally up until November the 5th 2014. The promotions in operation by November the 5th will still work, but the option to become a fan to enter or vote will be automatically disabled.
How will applications work from now on?
Promos and contests used to be a very easy way to attract new fans, but because it was that easy, it had an impact on quantity but didn’t produce much quality. This change encourages us to take our social media strategy to the next level (in case we haven’t done so yet). But how?
- We need attractive content: This doesn’t mean that we didn’t need attractive content before. It means that content will now be the main reason for users to be willing to keep you on their feed and for new users to start following you. Your posts must include attractive messages so as to seduce Facebook users.
- Any actions to drive fans on Facebook will now be focused on Facebook Ads: This social network allows you to address any ads you want to a specific target audience. This audience can very well be new users that still haven’t become followers. Moreover, these ads can appear on their news feed in order to encourage them to ‘Like’ your page.
- Real fans are more valuable: This is something we have been suggesting for a long time . When launching a campaign in social media, any action we take on Facebook (or any other social network) should aim to turn users into buyers, rather than into fans. At the end of the day, if thanks to a promo or contest, we get email addresses from users who are not really interested in our brand and we integrate them into our CRM -which is meant to help us to accurately segment previously-created emailings and ads- we will be reducing the effectiveness of our marketing actions because we are directing them to users who are not really connected with our brand, as they only became fans to participate in a prize draw.
- E-mail marketing and promos still appear to be a good means to reach new users: The fact that becoming fan of a page is no longer mandatory to be able to participate in a promo or contest doesn’t necessarily mean that these kinds of social media actions won’t be effective any more. They include attractive content which energises our community and, if posted, they can drive new fans who are interested in the brand and promos, or in the e-mail marketing actions we carry out.
- The fan gate will no longer be available, but you can still ask users to become fans: When running campaigns in social media, you can ask participants if they wish to continue receiving updates about the brand and users will freely decide whether or not they are interested. If you run good campaigns and post quality content, you will be amazed how many people accepts.
What Cool Tabs options are affected by this change?
- The requirement to become a fan of a page to enter a promotion or contest.
- The requirement to become a fan of a page to vote a promotion or contest.
- Image to show to users that are not fans or fan gate of our promo, where we included an image to motivate users to become fans and hid the description thereof, in order they do click ‘Like’ for full details of our campaign.
Will promos and contests continue with the same level of activity?
- Participants and voters will increase in number, because those users who stopped participating or voting by not having to comply with the requirement to become fans of the page will be encouraged to do it due to the disappearance of this condition.
- There will still be new fans with our promotions and contests, because they will want to follow news related to the campaign and keep abreast of the announcement of the winners. Furthermore, this type of actions taken by brands always attract new users interested in them. However, the uptake will be less to not be a requirement to be a fan, increasing the quality of our community.
What do you think about this change?
We personally like this new approach that Facebook is developing since, as discussed earlier, it focuses into quality rather than quantity. But we would like to hear your opinion. Do you think this change is for the better? If you have any questions regarding this Facebook update and the way it impacts on your campaign, don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.