If you're new to the term 'Facebook like gating' and probably wondering what it would be, then you're on the safe edge already. 'Like Gating' is when you as a blogger/webmaster would lock out a certain content, that may be a premium content, some blog widget, an ebook or a contest, with Facebook Like Button.
Some examples of like-gates include:
- Entering a Contest by Like a Facebook page
- Giving access to coupons or promo codes once someone likes your Facebook fan page.
- Liking a Facebook Page in order to watch a video
- Giving access to PDFs or eBooks after someone likes Facebook page.
That is you only provide access to the stuff when people would 'like' your Facebook page. There are tons of free widgets out there that you can use to Like-Gate your content, but the question now is that is it really worth Like Gating a content?
Facebook recently announced that it would ban Like-Gating from November 5th 2014 which is a call that is received with mixed views all around the net.
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.
People who grew their Facebook fan bases with by like gating an iPad giveaway back in 2009-2010 would probably the most worried notch out there.
While other experts believe it's one of the most sound decisions made at Facebook Headquarters as it would promote the idea of gaining loyal Facebook likes rather than a bunch of people who signed up just to get what you were giving away for free in response to a mere Like-Gate.
In the worst case, people would 'unlike' your page once your contest is over or when they get the content delivered.
Below is how a typical Facebook Like Gate Looks like:
Intelligent marketers know how less valuable could an un-targeted Facebook like can be in comparison to other data that you could gather instead of forcing someone to 'like' your content.
I hope that you don't really make use of Facebook like gate already, though if you had done it in the past, it is time to up your marketing game and go after collecting more wise data that would help you better engage with your followers in the long run.
#1 Email Form Gate > Then Facebook's 'Like' Gate
As I talk about capturing email as much as I can and published a list of cruel mistakes that I did that you should avoid. 4.5 Blogging Mistakes That Would Hit You Back Hard - And Solutions
You can tremendously grow your email list by asking people to signup via emails to get access to the content. Though, these people won't be as targetted and interested in the content that you might want to sent in later, still you have a 'better' chance to engage with them, far more than if they converted into a Facebook fan.
With email subscribers, you could get to know their interest and feed them content as to what they like.
You can also later send these subscribers similar premium content or solve their problems with a specific product that you would make. They would be far too interested to checkout in comparison to if they were your Facebook fan.
#2 Use 'Share' / 'Engagement' gate instead of 'Like' gate.
This technique is already being used by major brands that offer giveaways and promotions. They would actually hold a contest on their websites and users would be able to enter the contest by submitting their art work, videos, content etc.
For example a photography blog may be holding a contest. Fans would be asked to share their version of the best well taken photographs with certain hashtag (e.g #takeapic) and the winner would get rewarded.
This way, you'd be creating massive engagement on your Facebook page and viral traffic would be your destiny.
Later, you can drive that traffic to your site and pass it along other funnels to make use of that. And if your website/blog is well setup, that traffic could be later converted into email subscribers too.
Sara at sociallystacked published a very comprehensive post on creating great Facebook ads:
#3 Manipulate The News Feed With Facebook Advertisement
Alternatively, if you have an advertising budge at your disposal, you can setup Facebook Ads (Which actually what Facebook wants), and promote your contests, content or email gates setup at your landing pages.
With Facebook ads, that are pretty easy to setup you can reach the exact audience that you want. Promoting your landing squeeze page, may that be promoting your mobile app or just giving your website more exposure in front of targeted demographics.
#4 Utilize Likes on Fan Page as an Entry Scheme
You can setup a contest where people could enter by commenting on your fan page. The best comment or idea that gets most likes wins. The same can be ported over to a landing page with Facebook comments plugin.
Obviously you would want to drive traffic towards your landing page to later convert that into email subscribers or convert those leads directly into sales, may be.
#5 Using Facebook Tabs
Making use of the online tools such as Shortstack you can create mobile/desktop friendly Facebook tabs for free.
You can setup an email sign up box with in that tab before you let the fan get access to the content. For such email subscription boxes, you would have to make use of popular email marketing tools like Aweber.
You can read: 6 Reasons to Get Started With Aweber - You'd Be Foolish Otherwise to learn more about how Aweber could help you in this regard.
I hope these alternatives to Facebook like gating would prove to be rewarding to you if you're looking forward to grow your fan base and drive some viral traffic towards your landing pages.
Till next time,