Should My Business Incentivize Facebook Likes?

Is Facebook The Right Social Media Platform for My Business? 

Facebook is by far the largest social media platform that exists today.  It has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users (2018) and is currently the most prominent social media platform.  With recent introduction of more modern social media platforms (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat) many businesses find themselves asking, “Is Facebook the best social media platform for me to be advertising on?”  The answer is, yes!  Facebook, although in competition with many younger audience social media platforms, is still the best way to reach the mass-market via social media networking.  The most important concept is understanding what target demographic you are trying to reach.

Incentivizing Facebook “Likes” – The Art of Like Gating

Many businesses struggle with gaining organic “likes” on their Facebook business pages.  This has led to a common practice known as “like gating.”  Like gating is a practice done by many legitimate business pages to gain page likes.  This is the practice of gaining likes, through incentivizing consumers, by requiring users to like a page before they can enter a contest, receive points in a game, or by offering prize rewards from their business.  A popular example is when the New York Magazine asked for page likes for users to read more of their online content.  As a business owner, you are probably saying:  So, what, and how, does this impact me as a business owner, and why can I not incentive users to like me business page? 

How Incentivizing Facebook “Likes” is Hurting Your Business

Like gating has become a common practice for many business pages, but what they do not realize is the potential risk of this practice.  This incentivizing practice often leads to business pages ending up with gaining more likes, but with very few consumers who are truly interested or who act as engaged followers.  Facebook’s algorithms have moved to more relevant and engaging content.  As a business owner, it is important to remember that roughly, only 16% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their newsfeed organically due to their recent algorithm updates to ensure their site can make money from the ads they sell.  With such a moderate audience, already seeing only 16% of your posts, you want to ensure that those that are seeing your posts are consumers who are engaged and relevant.  Businesses and Facebook want people to like a page because they want to connect and hear from the businesses, not because of artificial incentives. 

What This Means Going Forward – Must Alternatives to Like Gating

Starting today, your business should not incentivize page likes.  Since likes alone are not that helpful when it comes to accomplishing your business objectives, it is time to start focusing on the quality of followers and their level of engagement.  The best alternative methods to the practice of like gating include:  paid advertising and lead capture.  Facebook has been moving heavily towards making businesses pay to have their content appear in the newsfeed.  Paid ads and boosted posts show up in newsfeeds, and users spend more time here than on any specific page.  So, when you compare the value of page likes versus stories in the newsfeed, the newsfeed wins.  Most businesses ask though, “Can I afford to purchase paid ads?”  Facebook has shown that as little as $20.00 will allow you to get your posts or ads in front of users.  Even better, Facebook allows businesses to not reach just any user, but allows you to reach targeted demographics, which you can select using criteria like age, location, and specific interests. 

Think Leads, Not Likes – Effective Marketing Strategies

Email addresses and consumer information from prospective clients is far more valuable than page likes.  Embedding a lead-capture form is simple and highly effective.  Capturing lead information and emails is invaluable and allows you to use automated emails to keep in touch a group of consumers that are interested in your business, with a high level of engagement.  This form of strategic marketing is far more effective than posting a status and hoping the update will show up on the newsfeed of your intended audience. 

Let Us Help You Stand Out from The Competition

If you are looking for new ways to “up” your social media and overall marketing game, contact our staff at Stand Out Advertising.  Stand Out Advertising is a full-service, digital marketing and consulting firm designed to bring your company’s brand, story, and vision to life.  It is our mission to help your business Stand Out from the rest of the competition. For more information on digital marketing, expertise in Facebook advertising, or increasing your social media presence, please contact us.  Let us help you Stand Out today!