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Changes in Facebook ‘Like-bait’ – how to build your Page Likes

 by wai on 13 Aug 2014 |
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From November, Facebook will no longer allow brands to incentivize users to like their pages. So those ‘Like to win’ or ‘Like to receive a discount’ type posts (what the industry called like-bait) will be banished from your newsfeed. The change to applies to Pages posts as well as any Facebook Apps that have integrated the Facebook Like into their features.

From the Facebook Blog:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app's 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.
Many businesses rely on these types of posts as they’re an easy way to quickly build an audience base. Facebook cites that the reason for this shift is their commitment to genuine connections between businesses and its users – we also suspect ‘revenue’ to be a motivating factor as well.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has cracked down on ‘like-baiting’; back in April, Facebook updated its algorithm to reduce the appearance of posts that explicitly asked users to ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘comment’ on the posts in order to improve its engagement metrics (eg ‘Like’ if you’re a dog person, ‘Share’ if you prefer cats). This roll-out mostly affects developers that offer in-app incentives and rewards in exchange for likes.

So what are some alternatives to building your audience outside of ‘like-bait’?

1. Create ‘Like-bait’ (in the form of great content!) – wait, isn’t that what Facebook has banned? Well, we mean a different type of ‘like-bait’ – the kind of that comes in the form of genuinely fantastic content - the kind you see on your newsfeed that you can’t help but click on! Instead of ‘spammy like-bait’, businesses wanting to attract likes and genuine fans should focus on making sure their pages are chock full of rich quality content.

2. Encourage but don’t require – you can certainly still encourage people to like your page by communicating the benefits you offer. While you’ll no longer be able to provide ‘exclusive content’ to your likers, you can use persuasive language like ‘never miss out!’ We loved this example of a Facebook Contest from the Sydney Entertainment Centre that encouraged entrants to tell their friends.

3. Facebook Advertising – this is why we’re pretty sure Facebook saw the dollar signs when they made the decision to ban like-bait. Without the ability to run contests or promotions to gain likes, many businesses will look towards Facebook advertising to promote their Pages instead. Read our insights on how to target your Facebook advertising.

4. Look to own your audience, not rent it – while social media and Facebook remain powerful channels, it should ultimately be just a part of your digital marketing approach. Use Facebook as a way to generate an audience but go beyond likes and fans by collecting emails and opt-ins to receive other communications.

What do you think is the best way to generate Facebook likes? And why the change, you think?


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