In an effort to continue its cleanup of users’ newsfeeds, Facebook announced a few weeks ago that as of November 5, it would no longer permit brands and apps to incentivize users to like their Facebook page (phew! glad that one is over). No longer can content be restricted to users who have liked a page, or can brands reward users who like their page with special promotions. This represents a continuation of Facebook’s policy in recent months of increasing relevance and quality of its advertising content and reducing spammy or non-applicable messages. It’s amazing how quickly the industry focused on selling brands access to fans, which sprang up so quickly, will die in light of these policy alterations.
For users, this change seems mostly positive. How many users liked a page to participate in a contest, or to vote for friends in a contest determined by number of likes? But our guess is many social media managers still have quotas for likes. And if you are brand – how the heck can you communicate directly to your social audience? Especially if you want to segment the messages. If you can’t offer incentives for people to like your Facebook page, how can you continue to communicate with your best social ambassadors via Facebook?
Luckily, there are other approaches to Facebook marketing that will enable you to locate and engage with people enthusiastic about your brand. Consider the following ideas to connect with your best ambassadors without making them like your page.
Get your campaigns off of Facebook and onto your website.
Keep you best fans engaged. Develop an influencer marketing campaign to collect content, receive product reviews, increase site traffic and sales, and improve brand loyalty. GoPro has been ahead of this for years.
Base contest eligibility on providing visual content, not likes.
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Encouraging fans to post visual content allows you an opportunity to gather a quantity of high-quality images that you can later use to promote your products and enables you to connect with your most enthusiastic ambassadors. The bar for entry is slightly higher for contests that involve posting images than for those that simply require liking a page, so users are more likely to be truly enthusiastic about the product they’re posting about. You needn’t have such contests based on number of likes: you can select the highest quality images as the winners.
Offer fans the opportunity to like your page from your website.
People who are taking the time to look at your brand’s webpage are more likely to be interested in it than people who stumbled across the page on Facebook. Why not increase the ease of the liking process by allowing them to like it directly from your website? Users will be able to see if any of their friends liked your page from the like widget, providing an additional show of social proof.
If you have event photos, encourage your fans to tag themselves in them.
Your fans tagging themselves or their friends will spread your images, and thus the visibility of your page, to their friends’ newsfeeds.
Post and re-post conversation-starting statuses.
Try to start discussions with your fans by posting thoughtful statuses that inspire people to respond. Like tagged photos, comments on brands’ statuses will appear in their friends’ newsfeeds, again increasing your visibility.