We should know by now to never get comfortable with any of Facebook’s policies, algorithms or layouts, but inevitably, we do. A few months went by in the realm of Facebook where minimal changes were made and, dare we say, things were running smoothly. That is, up until a couple weeks ago when Facebook released this update:

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…To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connecFrustrated Girl - Facebook - Social Mediat and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.”

Hopefully you’ve caught wind of this update and this isn’t completely new to you. But for those of you who were just blindsided by this news, don’t worry, we’re here to help. We have a quick explanation on how this will affect your business and what you can do in the future.

What does this mean?

  • Contests and giveaways are NOT banned; you just cannot force people to like your page in order to gain any
    type of incentive. However, this does not mean you can never ask people to like your page.
  • You will still be allowed to run Page Like ads, targeting people who may be interested in your dealership.
  • If you are currently running a like-gate campaign, you have up until November 5th– after that, the ban goes into effect.

What do you do now?

Lilach Bullock, founder and director of CommsAxis, sums it up perfectly:

“We have to remember that social media is about targeting the right people, not just boosting numbers for the sake of it.”

This update may throw a wrench into some of your current marketing plans, but in the long run it will be a positive change for businesses. Instead of focusing solely on the number of fans, you should look at the quality of fans.

If you gained 200 fans from running a campaign giving away two tickets to the circus, there’s a chance most of those fans will never interact with your dealership. You might even notice a sharp decrease in fans after your giveaway is over. While it’s important to grow a local fan base, it’s just as important to make sure you’re finding ways to continuously engage with these fans to keep them worthwhile. This is why the focus of your marketing efforts needs to shift to something more sustainable.

We’ve come up with some like-gating alternatives that will still be valuable:

  • Email-gating: Build your email directory! Instead of asking people to like your page to enter the contest, asking for their email will give you the chance to catalog their information and market to them in the future. This is one of our favorite strategies to help dealers grow their marketing lists!
  • Reviews/Testimonials: Ask fans for a review the product they purchased, or of your dealership’s work. This gives you tons of feedback and can be great to advertise in the future.
  • Social Currency: Exchange a post on Facebook, or a check-in to your store, for coupons or rewards.
  • Ask for Help: Need a new logo or just an opinion of a new car? Ask fans to vote on their favorite logo or idea.

Looking for more ideas to engage with your fans or grow your email marketing list? Give us a call to talk to one of our automotive social media marketing experts!

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