A few months ago Facebook announced that Fan Gates are going to be banned and that day has arrived. We will not be able to coerce users to like our pages if they want to enter a contest or use our app from November 5th. This feature was very useful if you wanted to increase number of fans in a short period of time. However, we believe that you don’t have any reason to worry regarding your future Facebook success, because there are many quality alternatives to get new fans and I will write about some of them.
Was the Fan Gate an ideal solution?
In my opinion it was not not. Fan gate was an excellent solution if you just wanted to increase number of fans, but it would not give you quality fans nor it would increase interaction on your page. Some analysts criticized like gating because it decreases visibility of your pages to your real fans. People who liked your page only to enter a contest will probably hide and report your content on News Feed and decrease reach of your posts and your page. Moreover, constantly forcing people to like something might induce a situation where everyone stops liking or everyone starts liking everything which would decrease value of a like.
Does this mean that we don’t need fans?
Certainly not, because more fans means better organic and paid reach. However, we should start thinking about alternative ways to increase number of fans. My suggestion is to use Facebook advertising and target specific audiences. This is the way to reach people who want to see your content and they will increase engagement, share your stories and create positive results beyond Facebook.
Why do we need to consider advertising on Facebook? Because our fans spend most of their time on their News Feed and rarely check our pages, so it is important to put our content in their News Feed. Facebook ads will make it happen and they are quite affordable. You can reach your fans 4 times during a day and non-fans only 2 times.
Contest and apps are still most efficient way to increase number of fans and engagement. Now you are going to focus on your entry forms in which you are going to ask your participants to like your page. Studies have shown that 80% of participants like the page without a Fun page if you ask them to. This form is an excellent way to gather useful information about potential customers and to further develop your relationship with them.
Finally, it is important to motivate your fans to share information about their participation in the contest and to make it viral. All of your apps, posts and ads have to be optimized for mobile devices, because the number of mobile users increased for 31% since last year and it is still growing. Certainly, you have to continue creating quality, useful, fun and educational content to keep your fans!