Get ready. There’s big news is in the air for those relying heavily on Facebook and fan generation (ie., getting Likes), to obtain fans and opt-ins on your list. In November of 2014 the rules are going to change!

What’s the big deal? You will no longer be able to “force” people to like your page in order to receive your freebie or incentive. Essentially, Facebook is bringing to a near halt, the fan building frenzies they created not too long ago.

Here’s the Specifics

The simple version is this…

Coming in November of 2014, you will no longer be able to require people to “Like” your page to receive a bonus, freebie, coupon, gain access to an app or other incentive. This doesn’t mean you cannot offer them.

So to be clear, this does not mean you cannot offer incentives to get the sign up or opt in. You can. You just cannot use the Facebook “Like” as a requirement to get the incentive. The purpose is to ensure you are getting “real” fans who are more likely to engage with you. “Forcing” people to “Like” you is generally ineffective to gain engagement.

Forcing people to “Like” your page generally results in short term engagement at best. This type of engagement may be profitable briefly, but when looking at the lifetime value of the customer, it is not seen an effective long term strategy.

Facebook believes they will be helping you get better quality fans, and giving the users a better experience of Facebook.

How Will This Effect You?

Over the past year, Facebook is bending more and more toward consumer demands. Consumers want something useful, and if you can’t deliver, they won’t stick with you. Thus Facebook will drive you to gaining fans by you leveraging content. Does this sound a little like Google?

This means for you and anyone that you will need to have valuable content to get the like voluntarily, and must sustain the content to keep the fans engaged. Essentially your fans stay engaged because they actually want to hear from you. You, as an advertiser are being held accountable for your content.

What Will Happen to Your Facebook Marketing?

Obviously, many are sending people to fan page apps or tab apps with “Like gates” or “Like-Gating” for the viewer to claim the free offer or app download. This type of Facebook squeeze page will no longer be possible in November 2014.

Essentially, the simplest thing a new marketer can do is to focus on standard squeeze pages. This means your tab app or Facebook app page should be a squeeze page of some kind, and your content after the opt in will have to “lead” your new opt in to really liking you.

The Bottom Line for Your Facebook Marketing

Regardless of your instantaneous thoughts you are getting screwed as a small business or new marketer, this is likely a good thing overall. The real value of your customer is not the acquisition. It is your ability to retain them and move them up your sales funnel or establish them as a repeat customer.

This change is not likely to prevent you in any way from establishing the truly profitable relationships. In fact, it is likely to improve the conversions up your sales funnel. So once again, content will prove to be king