Facebook Like-Gating Died Today; This is How to Adapt

November 5, 2014. That’s the day businesses were no longer able to require fans to “like” their Facebook page to enter a contest.

That’s also today, which means the rules have changed on social media marketing overnight.

Sure, you had advance notice. You may have even had a meeting about it with your coworkers. Somewhere on a yellow legal pad in the corner of your shop, you might even have a list of ideas for how to move forward.

You know Facebook is important to your business. But do you know where to go from here?

To find out, we researched the future of Facebook marketing as told by Wishpond.com. The Vancouver-based Wishpond has grown by leaps and bounds in 24 months to become one of the leading providers of contest software on Facebook. They have built a multi-million dollar living out of new media marketing, and particularly Facebook like-gating. Here’s their proposed solution:

“With the removal of the Like-Gate, Facebook users who do Like your business’ Page are more valuable. Facebook recognized this, and we’re embracing it.

No longer do you run the risk (when you engage with a business like Wishpond) of garnering a Page Like from users only interested in your prize. Now, each and every Like you incentivize through a contest will be a user genuinely interested in your business….

…Incentivizing engagement with your brand on Facebook is still best done with a contest. Offering a prize related to your business or products is the best way to drive brand awareness, encourage people to (voluntarily) share your brand with their friends, and attract people who are (clearly) interested in what you sell.

And just because the Like-Gate has been removed, you can still host email-gated contests on Facebook landing pages to generate valuable, interested leads from the platform.”

Wishpond notes that the language restructuring Facebook’s contest rules is specific—it won’t allow you to require someone to interact with your page to enter the contest, but you can still ask for them to do so. In theory, or at least by their logic, this means you’ll avoid a large number of entries from people who are only interested in whatever prize you are giving away (please, let this be something more creative than an iPad mini.)

Their strategy is for you to start email-gating contest participants—require people to give you an email address to enter. It’s a solution that makes a lot of sense, and it’s a strategy you should have been using all along.

Facebook fans are great. But email subscribers are even better. 

Generally speaking, email subscribers are people who want to be involved with your brand. Yes, their may be fewer of them, but they are also more likely to be engaged; they are more likely to take you up on that hot sale or new product launch. Email-gating, is the new Facebook like-gating.

A year from now, the rules may change again. But today, on November 5, 2014, at the funeral of like-gating, you now know that the end to your digital marketing strategy is not here.