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Facebook just banned incentivizing Page likes. Read the new policy below:

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.

The platform is giving Page owners until November 5, 2014, so you still have a few months to transition to the non-gated format. But outside of just removing Like-gates, what does this really mean brands have to do?

1. Post better content

Publish and share content people actually want, which means keep it visual and keep it authentic. On Facebook, posts with photos make up 93% of the most engaging posts. But just choosing any random stock photo isn’t going to incite your community. That’s why brands like Marriott are turning to their customers to provide the content – because what’s more powerful than an authentic story from an everyday consumer? Well, according to Nielsen, nothing.

marriott's facebook

Instead of being a feed of the typical hospitality stock photography, their Facebook is filled with real travel stories and glowing love from guests. “Most brands put themselves at the center of the story, but that’s not the authentic story,” Michelle Lapierre (Marriott Rewards’ Senior Director, Customer Experience & Social Media) said during her Visual Revolution panel.

2. Be consistent

Campaigns are still a great way to center marketing around a specific idea, launch, etc. However, social media and content marketing works best when there’s consistency and reliability. You want your Page to be a destination for things like advice, inspiration and interaction.

Screenshot 2014-08-08 11.38.06

Purina uses their Facebook to share advice with pet owners

3. Engage

What’s something else both these and other highly successful brand Pages always do? Engage. Whether that’s in the form of call-to-actions, rewarding sharing by re-sharing, or responding, Facebook (and social media in general) is an incredibly powerful opportunity for you to have a 1:1 conversation with thousands of your fans.

Truthfully, this may be more of a boon for brands even though it seems like an inconvenience. Like-gating turns social media into a shallow popularity contest where people like you one minute and completely forget about you the next. What this really boils down to is that brands have the opportunity to incentivize Liking in ways that cultivate real relationships with people.

About The Author

Monica is a book hoarder and gets overexcited about community-driven marketing. She lives in New York City and dreams of a day when a landlord will let her have a cat.

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