You Can’t Make Me Like You

The only thing that doesn’t change about Facebook is that at least twice a year, they push through some pretty significant changes. Whether those changes affect the public user or the business user is usually the only surprise.

The next round of changes to the business pages of Facebook will go into effect on November 4th and primarily will impact how many businesses get people to “like” their pages. A few years ago, “fangates” were everywhere. What are “fangates” you ask? It’s the practice of hiding content on your Facebook page behind an image until a person “likes” your page. Here’s an example:

no more fangating on facebook

While it was pretty effective back in the day, it didn’t take long for people to realize that you really didn’t have to like a page in order to get to the information. All you had to do was click a different tab. According to Facebook,

“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. 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.”

I don’t think this will affect the average business page, but  it may affect you if you’re running contests or promotions that require people to “like” your page in order to be entered into your promotion. If you fall into that category, then yes, you will need to think of a different approach.

Please don’t think that this means you shouldn’t ASK people to like your page—just that you can’t require it. You can always require (actually, I recommend it) that they do something else instead—sign up for your email, follow you on Twitter, etc.

This post originally appeared on my business blog!